Kitsilano residents are drawing battle lines over bike lanes.
A planned bike path through Kitsilano Beach Park, designed to separate pedestrians from cyclists and boost safety on the busy seaside route, has sparked a protest among those who don’t want to sacrifice green space for concrete.
Despite city surveys that found park users “overwhelmingly” supported a separated path for cyclists, some residents say they haven’t been adequately consulted about the route that will bisect a popular picnic area and require the removal of some trees and at least one memorial bench.
The city said residents had sprayed white lines to mark the path, which the city power-washed them away on Thursday.
Kits resident Paul Hughes, who isn’t affiliated with any particular group, questioned why cyclists can’t use the quiet street behind the park.
“I don’t think another pet project bike path is needed,” he said.
This is the second bike lane to cause controversy in the neighbourhood the past few months. Loud opposition erupted this summer when the city decided to close Point Grey Road to commuter car traffic at Macdonald in order to develop a seaside greenway that aims to connect the western beaches to False Creek.
Residents opposed to the bike lane will hold a meeting at the Kits Boathouse restaurant on Sunday at noon.