Should Vancouver’s Stanley Park reopen to vehicles? Emergency park board meeting to decide

The Vancouver Park Board is holding an emergency meeting Thursday to decide the future of Stanley Park.

The city’s crown jewel has been closed off to vehicles since the start of the pandemic and some advocates are pushing to keep it that way.

Commissioners are considering reducing Stanley Park Drive to one-way, single lane vehicle traffic.

The debate started back in April, when cyclists were banned from the seawall due to overcrowding concerns.

The bikes were subsequently moved onto the roadway, shutting non-essential vehicles out.

Commissioners tasked park staff with looking into the feasibility of permanent traffic calming measures earlier this month.

Those findings are expected to be presented at Thursday night’s meeting. Advocates for the lane closures argue it will make the park safer, greener and more appealing.

Those against the permanent closure are raising concerns about parking and accessibility for seniors, young families, and people with disabilities.

Owners of nearby businesses say the potential reduction of vehicle traffic would be devastating to their livelihoods.

The Tea House, Stanley Park Brewing and Ocean Wise are some of the groups that have spoken out against the change.

They’re urging Vancouverites to write the park board and sign an online petition, which has gained more than 12,000 signature so far.  

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