Vancouver Park Board set to vote on alcohol pilot project
VANCOUVER -- From beer-drinkers to mimosa-sippers, a good number of Vancouverites like to imbibe in city parks, even though it’s against the law.
But that last part could soon change.
Monday night, the Vancouver Park Board will vote on a proposal to run a pilot project allowing drinking in designated areas of 22 different city parks and beaches.
The sites are spread throughout the city and include at least one location in almost every neighbourhood.
“Why not? Yeah. We should be allowed to have drinks in the park. North Van has drinks in the park. Why not make the city way cooler?” said Daniel Code Sunday, near one of the East Vancouver parks on the list.
With physical distancing already difficult at many Vancouver parks and beaches, there are concerns corralling those who wish to drink into designated areas could make it even more challenging.
“I’m a little nervous in the sense that I think there’s a good chunk of the population that’s responsible and won’t abuse new rules,” said Park Board Commissioner John Irwin. “But there might be another part of the population that might abuse them a bit.”
Irwin said he is still undecided about which way he’ll vote, but wonders if there’s enough time left in this summer to properly study a pilot project.
“If we run it and it starts in August or September, whenever it starts, that’s a little bit past peak park season, right? So, it might be better to do it next year,” he said.
The 22 proposed locations include some of the city’s crown jewels, like John Hendry Park (Trout Lake) and Stanley Park, as well as some hidden neighbourhood gems like Pandora Park.
“Everyone respects the space that we all share, plus there’s also breweries that are in this area. I think it just makes sense,” said Ryan Hehn while relaxing with friends in Pandora Park Sunday.
Monday night, supporters of the idea will either raise a glass in celebration or drown their sorrows.