Dispute over Kitsilano bike path scheduled to enter the B.C. Supreme Court in March

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      A date is set for the next round in the fight over a bicycle path proposed for Kitsilano.

      On March 12 and 13, a petition that seeks to permanently halt the project will be the focus of a hearing at the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

      The case was brought forward by neighbourhood resident Megan Carvell Davis. Davis’s lawyer, Robert Kasting, told the Straight that while criticism of the project has mostly pertained to a perceived lack of consultation, the court case will revolve around the terms of a trust agreed upon when the land in question was donated to the city in 1928.

      The trust says that you should keep the park in its natural state,” Kasting said in a telephone interview. “So the argument is probably going to come down to whether the words of the trust are wide enough to permit what they want to build.”

      In defending the path proposed for Hadden and Kitsilano beach parks, the City of Vancouver will therefore have to convince a judge that the proposed bike path would not break its commitment to keep the area “near as possible in its present state of nature”.

      “They say that a bicycle lane of the sort that is being proposed is effectively what’s part of a park,” Kasting explained, “that it is necessarily incidental to the creation of a park.”

      Separated bike paths through Kits Beach and Hadden parks are part of the City of Vancouver's plans for a route that runs from Canada Place to Jericho Beach.
      City of Vancouver

      The Vancouver park board approved plans to spend $2.2 million on the construction of the separated bike path in October 2013. The lane was designed to complete a continuous path from Canada Place to Jericho Beach.

      On November 8, 2013, the Straight reported that the City of Vancouver had agreed to a B.C. Supreme Court injunction halting any construction on the path until a hearing was held on the suit.

      Comments

      19 Comments

      Mark Bowen

      Jan 9, 2014 at 1:40pm

      Good luck with that, Kits Point upper crusters. Pretty sure the precedent has already been set regarding the "natural state" of the park.

      Confused In Vancouver

      Jan 9, 2014 at 2:56pm

      What about the parking and other amenities that have been built in the park? Don't those contravene the intent of the trust and shouldn't they be removed?

      Wendy

      Jan 9, 2014 at 3:05pm

      Please show disdain in your dismissal, Supreme Court.

      Ned

      Jan 9, 2014 at 4:10pm

      Past trasgressions of the Trust don't provide a pass to break it again. Sorry Mark, your classist animosity isn't going to be satisfied unless the judge shares your ignorance of jurisprudence.

      Richard Campbell

      Jan 9, 2014 at 4:27pm

      The deed states in part, “… my motive in making a gift to the City of Vancouver of Blocks 136 and 137 Kitsilano, is chiefly to afford recreation and pleasure to the public generally, but especially for women and children". When I walk along the water by Kits, I notice that many people are slowly cycling with their children enjoying the view. All the fast cyclists use the road and will continue to use the road.

      Hopefully the court will realize this path "is chiefly to afford recreation and pleasure to the public generally, but especially for women and children." and will able thousands of people from Vancouver to enjoy Kits Beach by bicycle. After all, cycling is one of the most popular forms of recreation.

      Ned

      Jan 9, 2014 at 4:45pm

      Well Richard, Mr. Hadden then went on to specify that the park be kept in a natural state, so clearly he wasnt't intending the "recreation" it provide be of the type that required fascilities or the altering of nature.

      The road way is currently a designated cycling route and is very quiet and well suited for that purpose. Why are you so intent on paving this park when it doesn't need to happen?

      spartikus

      Jan 9, 2014 at 6:05pm

      One prominent "Save Kits Pointer" insists the Maritime Museum & parking lot are not located on the Hadden parcel. We'll let the judge decide. But what is located on the Hadden parcel is the Park Ranger's house and public washrooms. Presumably these will be removed, as well as the fencing along the cliff. Landscaping and grounds-keeping will cease, as that is the "altering of nature".

      This is one of the most mind-boggling selfish and hypocritical stands by a Nimby group I can remember. Selfish because in civic parks filled with parking lots, basketball, volleyball & tennis courts, an enormous swimming pool, a stage, a restaurant and paved sidewalks it is apparently preferable to these people to make children ride on the road* (and isn't it interesting that many of these same people feel road space is so precious that they oppose the Point Grey Road cycle lane, yet here, apparently, it isn't). Hypocritical because they wave their "No more asphalt" signs while their spokesman says things like the parking spots in Kits Point Park "are like gold" - as Howard Kelsey said in the October 14th edition of the Vancouver Sun.

      And yes, despite your sanctimonious attempted tut-tutting to the contrary, you are Nimbys. When your neighbourhood has a long history of opposing every proposal, you're Nimbys. And Vancouver remembers.

      *Actually they won't. They'll just continue to use the current shared pathway to the ongoing discomfort of everyone. Clap clap.

      collarbone o'hare

      Jan 9, 2014 at 6:16pm

      ned, get a rabies shot.

      Teresa

      Jan 9, 2014 at 6:50pm

      If the park is to be kept in a natural state, I guess Park Board should stop cutting the grass. Richard is correct, families will use the path while serious cyclists will use the road as a much faster alternative. Furthermore, the worst blight upon the "natural state" of the park is all the traffic and the parking lots we provide for them not to mention the air pollution! Maybe more amenities for cyclists will eliminate the need for all those asphalt parking lots.

      Providing a cycle path is tantamount to paving the park??? Get serious Ned and by the way maybe you should acquaint yourself with spell-check.

      MichaelHere

      Jan 9, 2014 at 7:44pm

      No the ostensible reason for this intrusion was clearly stated by Barnes when she said it was a "Safety" issue but did not provide any data to back that up.

      I note the Parks Board Partially DESTROYED the crow habitat on South False Creek Seawall (currently rear of Cavalia) removing a lot of plants, flattening and removing small hill/bump and I think some trees without ANY consultation nor notice.

      They are doing this not for us but for tourists.

      It is an outrage and it can and should be stopped.