B.C. Supreme Court Stops Controversial Bike Path through Kitsilano Beach Park
For the moment, the B.C. Supreme Court has halted the controversial bike path set to run through Kitsilano Beach/Hadden Park.
As reported by The Province:
Today a B.C. Supreme Court order was issued, barring the city from paving a path through Hadden Park, before a hearing on the legality of the plan. The lawsuit was put forward by historian Megan Carvell Davis. Davis believes city plans for a three-metre wide paved path through the middle of the park violates the terms under which park land was gifted to the city in 1928, by Harvey Hadden.
Hadden stipulated the city must keep the land, “as near as possible in its present state of nature,” according to Davis’ research.
On Friday, Davis said she was very pleased with the court action. She said that when she took her material, covering years of research to lawyer Robert Kasting, he opined that the evidence for blocking the bike lane was strong.
In a statement, Davis’ lawyer Kasting said: “we are encouraged that the city of Vancouver and the Vancouver Park Board obtained legal advice and have consented to having an injunction in place against them. We hope that this will begin a dialogue between the Park Board and the public on how to build the Greenway Bicycle Corridor, meanwhile preserving their obligations as trustees of the Hadden Trust.”
Former Olympian Howard Kelsey, chairman of the Canada One Athletic Foundation, was at a press event in Hadden Park on Friday, in support of Davis’ announcement on the successful injunction application.
“She has done an amazing job for the community,” Kelsey said, adding he believes communities from across the city who are not specifically against the Kits beach bike lane are joining the protest, because they can relate to similarity “undemocratic” development moves in their own neighbourhoods.
In reaction to public outcry, Vancouver Parks Board promised an advisory group to potentially tweak the controversial bike route. However Vision Vancouver board commissioners have said they will not consider moving the route off park land, and onto existing roads and bike lanes bordering the park.
On Monday, the park board voted against a motion to give “claws or teeth” to the advisory group.
Dozens of people packed the meeting to have their say on the $2.2-million route, which would wind 1.4 kilometres from Hadden Park (near the Vancouver Maritime Museum) along Kitsilano Beach to Balsam Street.
On Friday, Kelsey reiterated that he does not want to participate in the advisory group if it cannot cause substantial changes.
“We don’t want to be part of an ipso facto, post-mortem consultation,” he said. “We need to have negotiations that can make changes before the patient is cut into.”