It’s time to reopen Stanley Park to cars, commissioners Barker, Coupar call in motion
The Vancouver board of parks and recreation is holding a special meeting on a motion to reopen Stanley Park to cars.
The motion was brought forward by park commissioners Tricia Barker and John Coupar.
Stanley Park has been car-free since April 8 this year as part of measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in Vancouver.
The proposed motion seeks “immediate steps to reopen Stanley Park to its pre COVID19 transportation and access plan”.
It also provides that this move is to be “completed prior to the weekend of June 20-21, 2020”.
The special meeting to take up the motion is on Thursday (June 18).
On June 8, Barker and Coupar voted against a motion that calls for a study on reducing motor vehicle traffic in Stanley Park for the long term.
The motion was approved even as thousands have been signing a petition seeking to keep the park open for all.
According to the petition, the “temporary and sensible closure of the park” because of COVID-19 was “meant to be just that, temporary”.
“Changes to access could mean that the able bodied would be better served at the expense of anyone who can neither bike to the park, or walk the considerable distance to popular destinations within the park,” the petition notes.
The petition states that restricted access will be a barrier to a lot of people.
These include individuals with mobility challenges, the elderly, and families bringing gear and food for gatherings at the park.
“Refining the park experience, making it safer and more enjoyable is a good thing, but creating a barrier to others is not the way to do that,” the petition states.