Car-free Stanley Park? Poll shows interest in days dedicated to cyclists, pedestrians
As Stanley Park reopened to vehicle traffic on June 22, 2020, one lane was blocked off for cyclists.
VANCOUVER -- Two months after Stanley Park reopened its roads fully to vehicle traffic, results from a park board survey are showing many Vancouverites enjoyed the traffic changes implemented earlier in the pandemic.
In April, Stanley Park was temporarily closed to vehicles to encourage physical distancing and reduce crowds. The seawall became for pedestrians only while the roadways were used for cyclists. But then in late June, one traffic lane reopened to traffic and the other was used for cyclists.
By Sept. 26, traffic had returned to normal – a change that was met with mixed reactions. Businesses in the park were pleased drivers could make full use of parking spaces, but a park board poll shows 70 per cent of respondents want to see some road space dedicated to cyclists.
Meanwhile, 62 per cent said they'd like to see some days be completely car-free in the park.
And 33 per cent said they want no changes made at all.
After the survey launched in late August, staff from the park board acknowledged the online poll was allowing multiple entries from individuals. In the end, while a little over 11,000 responses were collected, the board said a total of 187 responses were removed, leading to 10,859 being used in the report.
The survey also asked how the respondent uses the park, how frequently and how their visits changed during the pandemic. According to the survey, most respondents (73 per cent) used the park for passive recreation. The top feature, according to 83 per cent of those surveyed, is the park's natural environment.
The results of the survey were presented to the park board on Monday. The feedback will be used to make recommendations on future proposed changes to traffic management in the park.