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E-scooters, e-bikes given green light on Vancouver cycling paths

A person rides an e-scooter in this undated stock image. (Shutterstock) A person rides an e-scooter in this undated stock image. (Shutterstock)
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The Vancouver Park Board approved the use of e-scooters and e-bikes on designated cycling paths at a meeting Monday night.

Park staff said it's hard to get a clear count of how many people are using e-scooters and e-bikes, but estimate a 25 per cent growth from 2022 to 2023.

During Monday's meeting, commissioner Tom Digby said he's concerned about how busy the Stanley Park seawall will get with these new rules, adding he'd like to see the return of the Stanley Park Drive bike lane. That temporary bike lane was removed last year, when the park returned to pre-pandemic traffic levels.

City staff said e-bike users are permitted to use Stanley Park Drive, but Digby suggested they may not feel safe to do so.

"On any sunny Sunday, you're just going to have a zoo on the seawall and I think people need to be better protected," Digby said.

Some Vancouver cyclists have already raised similar concerns about capacity. Last summer, Travers, a sociology and anthropology professor at Simon Fraser University, told CTV News Vancouver the current cycling infrastructure in the city is "bursting at the seams." 

At the time, they said the city needs to expand the space to accommodate more cyclists and users of these e-devices.

"If we have more protected bike lanes, you’ll just see more and more uptake," Travers said.

"And this has the potential to resolve issues around traffic congestion, it will reduce our carbon emissions and it’s a form of active transport."

Park staff acknowledged many people were already using e-scooters and e-bikes on cycling paths, but the bylaw change will make it legal. Hover boards, however, still aren't allowed. 

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