Conflicts and damage cause park board to create temporary separated bike path in Kitsilano Beach Park

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      The Vancouver patk board has announced that it will be installing a temporary separated bike path in Kitsilano Beach Park.

      In a May 6 news release, the park board said the path will be through the popular park's south parking lot at the corner of Cornwall Avenue and Arbutus Street. 

      About 50 parking spots south of the tennis courts are expected to be lost as a result of the change.

      The board described the new path as a "safety improvement" and also announced an upgrade to a diagonal dirt path near Balsam Street. That change will be done to protect the damaged ground surface and attract cyclists away from the Balsalm and Cornwall intersection.

      Temporary diagonal gravel path near Balsam Street.
      Vancouver park board

      The temporary improvements will be commenced immediately and are expected to be completed sometime next week, according to the release, which also said the bike-path change will be in place for approximately two years, until a permanent solution is decided upon.

      "The safety improvements will be completed the week of May 10," the bulletin said. "The move is expected to reduce conflict in the south parking lot, which is busy with people walking, rolling, cycling, and driving. These temporary changes are expected to be in place for about two years until a fully separated cycling path connecting Ogden Avenue to Balsam Street is identified through public engagement and approved by the Park Board."

      The park board further noted that Kits Beach is one of the few sections of the city's popular Seaside Greenway strolling and cycling seawall route/network without such separation between recreational users.

      Temporary bike path through the south parking lot of Kitsilano Beach Park near Cornwall Avenue and Arbutus Street.
      Vancouver park board

      "Kitsilano Beach Park is a much loved local and regional destination park and the Seaside Greenway in and adjacent to the park is one of the most popular sections of the City's walking, rolling, and cycling network," the release said. "It is also one of the only sections of the 28 km-long continuous path connecting the Vancouver Convention Centre to Spanish Banks that does not provide separate paths for cycling and walking/rolling."

      The board also said that a bike counter near the west side of the park—on a nearby diverted section of the Seaside Greenway on Point Grey Road at Stephens Street—measured a half-million west- and east-bound bike riders in 2019. The next year, those numbers increased to 750,000. "Because of the high numbers of people biking through the park and the growing numbers of people cycling due to the pandemic, the separated bike path will improve the experience of all park users," the board noted.