Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation opening temporary separated bike path in Kitsilano Beach Park
The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation is making safety improvements to Kitsilano Beach Park by installing a temporary separated bike path through the south parking lot at the corner of Arbutus Street and Cornwall Avenue, and upgrading the diagonal dirt path near Balsam Street.
The safety improvements will be completed the week of May 10. 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.
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. 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.
High bike traffic area
A bike counter on the Seaside Greenway on Point Grey Road at Stephens Street, near the west side of Kitsilano Beach Park, counted more than 500,000 east- and west-bound bikes in 2019, and more than 750,000 in 2020. 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.
Public engagement this summer
Park Board and City of Vancouver Engineering staff will seek public input on a fully separated cycling path connecting Ogden Avenue to Balsam Street beginning in summer 2021. This will build on engagement activities that took place between 2013 and 2018 with the public and stakeholders, including HUB Cycling, Kitsilano Point Residents Association, and The Boathouse Restaurant.
Staff expect to provide recommendations to the Board on an alignment for a fully separated bike path through and adjacent to Kitsilano Beach Park in early 2022.
Kitsilano Beach Park safety improvements
In order to create the temporary bike path, about 50 parking stalls immediately south of the tennis courts will be temporarily repurposed as a bike path leaving about 200 parking stalls in the south lot. A fifth accessible parking stall will be added and all five stalls will be relocated to the middle bay in the south lot. At Balsam Street, upgrades to the diagonal dirt path will prevent further damage to the ground surface and divert people riding bicycles away from the busy Balsam/Cornwall intersection.
Kitsilano Beach Park has not been the focus of any comprehensive master planning or renewal for decades. The significant and growing amount of park use warrants a fulsome review and plan. To that end, it is anticipated that a comprehensive master plan will be undertaken in the next five years, pending the outcomes of Board decisions made through the capital planning process.
Safety improvements at Stanley Park
Kitsilano Beach Park isn’t the only park to receive active transportation safety improvements. A phased approach to transportation—bike, drive, walk, and roll—will be launched this spring in Stanley Park.
The interim plan features separated lanes for bikes and cars on Stanley Park Drive. The plan builds on public and stakeholder feedback and user data to ensure safer access for all park users during a period when many Vancouverites are looking for ways to stay healthy outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find more details