A mass bike ride will take place at Stanley Park this weekend.
Love The Lane is billed as a family-friendly celebration bike ride to show support for the separated bicycle lane on Stanley Park Drive.
The bike lane was installed during the pandemic to help park visitors practice social distancing.
Following the mid-October municipal election, elected ABC officials stated plans to remove the separated bike lane during the winter, redesign it and reinstall the new design for next summer.
However, cyclists and park-goers worry that if the bike lane is removed it will not be restored by next summer, or at all.
For this reason, the Love The Lane bike ride aims to show community support for the bike lane, and ask that the lane be left in place until the new design is ready to implement. T he new mayor and council are sworn in Nov. 7, the day after the ride.
The protected bike lane was a widespread topic of concern for many Vancouverites over the summer. One Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation meeting had to come to an abrupt end after discussions lead to the topic of the bike lane and became heated.
Love The Lane bike ride
The bike ride will take place on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 10:30 a.m. Participants are asked to meet at Ceperley Park near Second Beach Pool and will do a single loop around the park following the protected bike lane.
Anyone and everyone is welcome to roll in support of the bike lane, from cyclists and electric bike riders to those who use mobility devices like hand-cycles to e-scooters and e-unicycles.
Unlike the monthly critical mass-style rides that happen in Vancouver, this unofficial celebration bike ride won't be impeding vehicle traffic more than necessary for safety purposes. The organizers also ask riders to leave no trace as there won't be any logistics support provided.
Why should the bike lane be left during winter?
The Love The Lane website lists several reasons for keeping the separated bike lane in place, including:
- Fewer visitors and fewer vehicles during the winter months
- The bike lane serves as an alternative route when the seawall is closed (from severe storm damage and fallen trees), including the annual three-week closure for routine cliff stabilization maintenance
- Opening up the second car lane will mean higher vehicle speeds and an increased risk to vulnerable road users
- Many cyclists continue to ride through the winter season and rely on the separation even more when it's dark and the roads are wet
- A redesign of the separated lane will be difficult to finalize and implement before next summer
The grassroots organization also included several obstacles that cyclists face on the Stanley Park seawall:
- The path between the Lumberman's Arch Splash Park and Second Beach is narrow and gets really crowded during peak times
- There are three gates that are inaccessible to adaptive cycles i.e. hand-cycles, non-standard or oversized bikes, bikes with bike trailers
- Several parts of the path have low overhanging trees and rocks
- Passing other cyclists can be frustrating
- Leaving the seawall to access forest trails and destinations inside the park can be difficult with a bike
- There is no return path since the seawall is one-way
- Handlebars easily catch on the rails at Slhxí7lsh rock