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Confirmed: Stanley Park bike lanes will not return in 2024

Future of the infrastructure not looking good after recent council meeting

Cars in Stanley Park

The Vancouver Park Board convened on Monday to discuss the future of the Stanley Park bike lane, and if you’re a cyclist, the results were not positive. The bike lane was put in place in 2021, replacing a more temporary lane from 2020 with semi-permanent infrastructure. It closed one lane of Stanley Park Drive to traffic, leaving one lane for motorized-vehicle traffic and one lane for bike traffic. Since then, the bike lane has turned into a flashpoint for opposition to added bike lanes in Vancouver.

Removal of lanes

During mid-January, the Park Board initiated a vote to reassess the complete removal of the bike lane. Among the alternatives presented, three proposals suggested partial removal. By February, the Park Board had decided to remove the majority of the bike lane.

There was a ‘funeral’ for the removed bike lanes in Stanley Park

In May, City of Vancouver staff began the removal process of Stanley Park’s temporary bike lane. That led to the restoration of two lanes on Stanley Park Drive for vehicular traffic. Cyclists congregated at the park to express their opposition to this decision and asked for the lane to be brought back for 2024.

Staff report: Impossible to restore by 2024

However, the possibility of achieving this by spring 2024 has now been ruled out, as per staff reports. The restoration of a configuration featuring one vehicle lane and one cycling lane is estimated to take two years and cost between $2 and $4 million, according to the report that was published on Global News.

Expansion of Stanley Park Drive would be necessary

If the aim is to reinstate a bike lane alongside two lanes for vehicular traffic, it would require expanding nearly 80 per cent of Stanley Park Drive.  That would cost  $30 to $50 million and take up to four years. Currently, there are no available capital funds for either option, as per staff statements. Both alternatives will undergo further examination in the conclusive mobility study report, slated for release in the spring.

Increase in speeders

Interestingly, the report also indicated some troubling news. Of all vehicles monitored on the 30 km/h Stanley Park Drive, half were registered at speeds of 50 km/h. That figure is higher from the previous 11 per cent recorded when the lane was operational.