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Seniors, Physically-Challenged To Lose Access at Beaver Lake

October 21st, 2012 · 22 Comments

There is something really ugly about a society that marginalizes its elderly, infirm and physically-challenged.

Ask any elderly Vancouver resident or even those younger or middle aged physically-challenged with mobility problems and you may be shocked at how unwelcome they now feel in Vision’s Vancouver.

And it could soon get even worse.

They are the innocent victims of Vision sustained attacks against on the car … and although until now their lives have been more difficult on streets where parking has been removed in favour of bike lanes  ,,,  they could suffer yet another blow under new proposals to cater once again to cyclists at the cost of others … this time in Stanley Park.

The proposals (and we know what that means under Vision!) call for the present parking to be removed from Pipeline Road so cyclists can have unfettered travel along the road that cuts right through the park. (A couple of indented handicapped spots would just not cut it … nor would cutting cutting down trees to do it!)

Elderly and other physically challenged park visitors would LOSE almost all of the current convenient access to one of the favorite sites …. Beaver Lake, where brand new benches had recently been installed close to the present Pipeline road regular and handicapped parking.

Who cares! The cyclists must rule!

Of course, there would still be parking in the lots at the Stanley Park Pavilion or  Children’s Railway … several hundred meters away. But let’s get real, for seniors or physically impaired motorists of any age … who can drive but only walk very short distances … that parking might as well be in Chilliwack!

Many of these people are veterans or were hard-working citizens of the city who just aren’t capable of walking from distant parking lots any more.  Think of how many physically-challenged  or injured younger or middle-aged people there are who have difficulty walking, let alone cycle.

Why should they lose access to Beaver Lake? To other parts of Stanley Park? Apparently because they just get in the cyclists way!

This is what has been happening to Vancouver under Vision:  we are seeing a new phony idealized portrait of a New Vancouver Society taking shape: healthy, fit athletic specimens wheeling about in the open air through the city …  like those ideal images we used to see in Soviet or Aryan era posters.

Of course, those of us who live in Vancouver’s real world know those images do not represent the majority, who are increasingly being marginalized to cater to the minority.

Parking will probably soon be gone on Point Grey Road and other streets as well as the assault by Vision continues on the car and those who use them… including those who NEED very  close access to stores, businesses and restaurants so they can enjoy them too.

Seems to me if anyone is to go “the extra mile” so all Vancouverites can enjoy what this city has to offer it should be the fit cyclists, not the mobility-restricted among us.

And the latest proposal, to deny the elderly or other challenged residents or visitors ANY access to Beaver Lake on Pipeline Road, by removing ALL the parking nearby,  goes too far.

Kudos to The Province for denouncing this latest cyclist-centric obsession by Vision …but most of the media have unfortunately reported the plan and then ignored its consequences … probably because they believe Vision’s campaign against the car and those who ride in them is nothing new.

After all,  soon after Vision first took control of Vancouver City Hall and the parks board that they began a multi-million-dollar reworking of the downtown core  and residential streets throughout the city to cater to cyclists.

Cyclists became the untouchable Heroes of Vision … unencumbered by silly things like traffic rules or the need to respect others (vehicles or pedestrians).

And mobs of several hundred  can even shut down entire traffic flows … disrupt thousands, ignore traffic lights, give their fingers to anyone who dares protest … all the while aided and abetted by police who accompany them.

When motorists or businesses or residents dared to object … they pretty well got nowhere: suck it up, you establishment remnants of the Old Four-Wheeled Society seemed to be the response … Vision’s Healthy New Two-Wheeled Society would rule!

Businesses were forced to adjust, move or close; motorists had to do the same … and City Hall didn’t seem to care much … removing parking spots on some streets to accommodate the heroes of its New Society.

But they also seemed to totally forget or only pay lip service to the elderly and the physically-challenged … people who simply  CAN’T park and walk an extra block and a half to stores, offices, clinic or other places where they used to be able to park right outside.

There are tens of thousands of city residents … not ready yet for Handi-Dart .. who have suffered … literally …. under Vision’s inadequate response to THEIR needs.  And as the boomers age, there will be a hundred thousand or more … forced to pay for the New Society, but clearly not accommodated so they could participate much in it.

Now they are poised to even  lose access to an important part of Stanley Park.

It’s all part of the “proposed” plan.

Who cares about the old, those mobility challenged in a New Vision Society that worships the New Breed of Human!

Apparently not the current City Hall … or the Park Board

Harv Oberfeld

 

 

Tags: British Columbia · Media

22 responses so far ↓

  • 1 r // Oct 21, 2012 at 11:51 am

    S park should be All Access.Period.
    Vision Vancouver is blind.?

  • 2 mariner // Oct 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Vison Vancouver – yes, “dipshits rule” – I say that because it doesn’t take much grey matter to realize how handicapped people get around.
    However, it sure seems as if the Vancouver City Council is in dire need of some fresh brains and ideas.

    I agree on this Harvey – the already marginilized unfortunate are bing picked on a agin and this time by local government.

    Ii appears most politicians appear to have had a “labotomy” as a requirement for some sort of official offe. Only in Canada eh !

    Thanks.

  • 3 Diverdarren // Oct 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Either you need to read the report more closely, or you are purposefully misreporting because of your longstanding prejudice against cycling.

    The Stanley Park Cycling Plan (March, 2012) Issue #1, recommendation #1b shows the
    “[Creation of] accessible parking bays at Beaver Lake trailhead, Tisdall Walk trailhead and service yard. ” Pg 24

    http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/stanley-park-cycling-plan-final.pdf

    Vision Vancouver, it seems, concedes your point that there should be access for all to Beaver Lake. Of course, I don’t see anyone parked on Pipeline on Google Maps (May, 2012), and the parking revenue data supports this. Your argument for the disabled and infirm elderly looks like “straw men” to me, but it’s moot as there is plans for accessible parking.

    I hope you just missed that in your reading, and you weren’t blinded by your personal issues with cycling in Vancouver.

    (Response: I not only read the report on line..I phoned and talked to the park board planning contact for it .. AND HE AGREED that what I pointed out about Pipeline Road/Beaver Lake access would be lost for most. The truth is a few handicapped access is not enough…and there are many many people without handicapped tags …who would be affected. And your suggestion that no one parks there since a single Google snap one day showed no cars is ridiculous. I drove by there Saturday and personally saw the contrary!) As for a hate on about cyclists, why is it that as soon as anyone says ANYTHING critical of plans for cyclists, they are against ALL cycling. That is so puerile … reminds me of the old Stalinist/Nazi/Maoist styles of dictatorship governance, where anyone who said anything against “the Plan” was an enemy. What a crock! h.o)

  • 4 13 // Oct 21, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Harvey Ive never read one of your posts that makes me as angry as this one. The idiotic idea that bikes need any special treatment at Stanley Park is beyond comprehension. Nothing makes me angrier than some spandex wearing jerk off on a carbon fibre $4000 racing bike ripping past my left elbow on the seawall. The idiot is travelling far beyond the 30 kph limit that cars on the roadway are travelling.The pathetic attention seekers should ride their wonderful high tech marvelous bicycles on the freakin road. They could just as easily impress people in cars by whizzing past their side mirrors at excessive speeds.
    These morons are typical of the look at me Im in shape Im green Im more important than you vision types.
    I was born and raised in the West End. Ive ridden bikes motorcyles and driven semi trailers around the lower mainland for almost 60 years. Ive been a courier long before fax machines cell phones etc. The only reason that vision needs to protect these whinning sniviling namby pamby bike riders is that they dont have enough brains to ride safely with concern for anyone else on the road. They are the only ones in their bizzare world that have a right of way. To hell with the rest of us.

    (Response: Believe it or not there are MANY cities where cyclists, pedestrians and motorists all co-exist quite happily because there is mutual respect, enforced by laws. Seems to me under Vision, we have commissar-style government and an ideologically compliant bureaucracy … where cyclists are to be glorified … exempted from even the most basic laws (endless “warning” campaigns don’t count) and all the rest of society are to make way for them …have their rights taken away completely or diminished, even if the elderly and physically-challenged. That’s where and why we have such divisions between cyclists and the rest of society in this city…. poor one-sided management by Vision … not because others have a hate-on for cyclists. h.o)

  • 5 Gumby // Oct 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Oh the humanity!

    Vision should be in front of a firing squad, water-boarded, them damn Nazis, Russian Tsars, Mussolini would be proud, my gawd, Cyclists have taken over the world. I need a drink!

  • 6 Barry // Oct 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    “Straw Men” huh? I wonder how many cyclists use the bike lanes vs the number that use cars? My guess is not even close.

    Four wheels bad

    Two wheels good….

  • 7 Barry // Oct 21, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    And I’m happy to see this posting because yesterday, I was crossing Granville at a pedestrian operated crosswalk. The light turned red, the cars stopped, and I started crossing the street when a BikeNazi blew right on through almost running me down. The way Mayor Moonbeam and others on Vision bend over backwards for these pests may lead to some nasty confrontations…

  • 8 Ian Fromme-Nelson // Oct 22, 2012 at 8:00 am

    I also noticed, back in August when I had to go to Vancouver for a family emergency, that where there are no bike lanes (“yet…”) bike riders simply take to the sidewalks, and terrorize and frighten seniors and the disabled that way. I mxpressed my disgust to my brother (who lives in Van.) and he told me that he personally witnessed a middle-aged couple on bikes in Kits, merrily ringing their bells and laughing as they chased pedestrians off the sidewalk… such callous entitlement…

    (Response: It can get even worse. I’ve heard several peopel complain about cyclists hittins/cratching vehicles and just continuing on …and, should the vehicle driver witness it, refusing to identify themselves or even giving the finger as they flee. Bicyclists should be welcome as an alternative way of getting around … and most are quite responsible/safe … but there are too many thugs on two wheels: they should all be licensed, carry ID plates and required to obey traffic laws. But be careful, to even suggest cyclists obey the law, you’ll be branded as an “enemy of the people” in the Vision Republic of Vancouver! h.o)

  • 9 spartikus // Oct 22, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Sorry – I’m with DiverDan. You’ve grossly misrepresented the actual report, which takes your concerns under consideration.

    pg. 24: Remove parking to create a two-way bike path on the west side of Pipeline Road separated with a mountable curb. Vehicle traf? c remains two-way. Consider closing bike path and permitting parking during special events, with accessible parking bays at key locations (i.e., Beaver Lake trailhead).

    Pros: Provides a facility for all ages and abilities in both directions in one of the lowest revenue-generating parking areas in the park.

    Cons: Need strong case for changes to existing parking regime.

    Considerations: Subject to Traf?c Study to determine wider network impacts, including feasibility of bicycle connection from Pipeline Road past the Rose Garden. Note: This is a long term recommendation that should be re-evaluated in the future. Lumbermen’s Return is a higher priority return route for implementation.

    (Response: You’re quotes make my point, exactly! “Remove parking” to create a two-way bike path. Really? Is there that much bycicle traffic on Piperline road to require a two-way bike path! NO, never! Parking only during special events:clearly not designed to serve those who now park there regularly to access Beaver Lake. And a few handicapped spots … to replace the 30 spots now along the road … will do nothing for those elderly etc with reduced mobility but who do not yet need or want to take up handicapped spots. Low revenue? And how much revenue will cyclists provide???? And is that we’ve come down to under Vision: the old and infirm must pay a lot to retain even basic services they’ve enjoyed for 50 years or just stay away …but the cyclist heroes are catered to free of any charges? And you defend that? h.o)

  • 10 Elizabeth // Oct 22, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Great post, I had to pass on my experience, I dont live in Vancouver but had to travel there for a medical treatment, the day I was heading back home It was a beautiful Sunday morning I walked all over the downtown area and then headed off to walk the the false creek area, it was quiet and peaceful and I rounded a corner and three cyclists were riding slowly towards me, they looked amazing these three, two men and a woman their bike gear, their out fits, lean , atttractive,
    well I smiled gave a small wave and wished them good morning my response from them was..” your on the f&*king bike path” cant you f*^%king read” please note we were the only ones in the area
    Where ever you live you see all sorts of bad cycling, but Vancouver was over the top for me, the sense of entitlement was an eye opener
    I was happy,… no thrilled to be out of Vancouver and have yet to be back.

    (Response: It’s a shame because most cyclists are not that way and the responsbile ones abhor the jerks among them as much as anyone else. But Vision, in catering to the spoiled brats on bikes, has FAILED to insist or enforce that two-wheeled thugs drive responsibly, respect others and even the most basic traffic laws. h.o)

  • 11 D. M. Johnston // Oct 22, 2012 at 10:26 am

    God help us from the cycling lobby, as they have been empowered to a point so far removed from the real world, that they have become demigods and a law unto themselves.

    Today’s mantra is to hell with the elderly and the infirm and cater to a small minority of cyclists who think that society (read taxpayer) should treat them differently.

    A pox on Vision(less)’s house, they live in a different world than the rest of us.

    (Response: It’s really a shame that the Vision dictators simply haven’t learned the lessons of other cities, where mutual co-operation and accommodation goes so much further than just running roughshod over those who stand in their way. h.o)

  • 12 spartikus // Oct 22, 2012 at 10:27 am

    It’s an incredibly tepid proposal that explicitly acknowledges your concerns. Your telephone call to the staffer only reinforces the non-danger of parking on Pipeline being removed. All signs point to Option 2 – where parking is not altered – as the preferred choice.

    But in your world, apparently, to even think of possibly, maybe removing some parking is unacceptable.

    Meanwhile, one of your commentators advocates the execution of politicians (despite the fact this report was written by staff) with nary a word from you. Tell me again who’s the extremist waging war?

    Especially given this written explicitly in the “Guiding Principles”…

    Respecting the experience of all users includes motorists – the recommendations within this plan attempt to not unduly restrict vehicle access or remove parking without consideration of compensation elsewhere in the park. It is recognized that motor vehicles are, and will remain, a primary means of access for visitors coming from beyond the City of Vancouver, for many families with children and persons incapable of walking long distances.

    This is all much ado about nothing.

    (Response: It’s only by standing up LOUDLY before the final decisions are made that any solution that respects the vulnerable will be adopted. Although with the current council … it wouldn’t surprise me to see them just crash ahead, oblivious to anyone needs rather than offend the militant cyclists. h.o)

  • 13 Gumby // Oct 22, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Blow away commenters who disagree, tsk tsk, how dare they balk at your assertions!

    (Response: It’s actually those disagreeing who make for the best discussions on this or any other blog. But to suggest by pointing out where they err is blowing them away sounds just sour grapes when positions YOU agree with are proved wrong. h.o)

  • 14 mariner // Oct 22, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Yes, just look at major world class cities like London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris etc – where everyone seems to exist side by side, without the apparent beligerence of the “now crowd” – unlike Vancouver wannabies.

    I grew up in post war London and enjoyed cyclinig all over southern England without any problems at all. Motorists were very considerate of cyclists and vice-versa. The police were not above cautioning or fining cyclists that broke the law and acted in a irresponsible and selfish manner.

    Vison Vancouver seems to be fostering a different era and philosophy where honesty and integrity is an integral part of the council make-up. To hell with protocol and good intentions – let the less fortunate fend for themselves eh! Never mind that the sick, infirm and handicapped need help, just do what is the most popular thing to stay in power !

    Calous barely decribes the Vision of today, but does give an indication as to where they are heading.

    I am glad to be in my twilight years and not in my twenties, as I do not see a good future ahead. Too much greed, selfishness, disregard for acceptable values seem to loom increasingly more evident nowadays.

    What a shame that we cannot learn from history and past experiences.

    Thanks for the piece Harvey, much appreciated.

    (Response: I was in London last summer and noticed how civilized cycling is there; and I love Holland, where there are even bike lanes beside throughout the countryside, complete with bicycle traffic signals. But cars, bikes, buses all co-exist … no doubt because city officials there don’t pit one against the other. And I’d bet NO CYCLISTS in either place would even THINK about going out once a month and PURPOSELY disrupting as many thousands of people as possible just to run amok on roads/bridges etc like a mob … and have city officials/police protecting their “right” to do so! h.o)

  • 15 Thomas // Oct 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Yikes, now that was nothing but a bitter rant against cyclists. Others have pointed out you misrepresented the issue. Hope writing it at least made you feel better. Try getting some fresh air, go for a quiet walk, that often makes me feel better when I’m grumpy. It happens to us all.

  • 16 e.a.f. // Oct 22, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Vison Vancouver? they really need to take the blinders off. The majority of people are getting older, yes us baby boomers. Many need to be able to park to get to anywhere. Then there are all those who are physically challenged. or just try being a parent with two or 3 little kids. It would be better to have a parking spot near by.

    Stanley Park Isn’t just used by those who live in Vancouver but tourists from all over the world. Many of them are older. How does Vision expect them to get around with out vehicles.

    Vision doesn’t have any. They are focused on their personal agendas at the expense of taxpayers & majority of people. If Megs & Robertson think any body is going to think they were “pioneers” establishing bike lanes think again. Bike lanes will go the way of the “walking mall” on Granville St.

    I supported Vision Vancouver, (left wing envuiornmentalist) an aging baby boomer who along with their friends find it difficult to go places where we may have to walk too far. Its the knees.

    I do hope some one gets it together and replaces Megs & Robertson before the city is too large a mess. Fortunately Meg’s didn’t get the nomination so we hopefully won’t have him in a provincial government. The guy, in my humble opinion, is truly looney toons.

    The assault on people’s ability to enjoy Stanley Park may just be what pushes people over the edge & gets rid of Robertson & Megs & Barnes. I can’t say they are worse than the Anton’s of the world but somewhere we need to find some one with a bit of sense.

    (Response: I too actually voted for Vision their first time around. And wen I was worknig, I always enjoyed interviewing Geoff Meggs. But I found them to be a great disappointment: just got the feeling that is was their way or the highway…not really willing to accommodate or seek a middle ground. And any cost be damned if it was to achieve one of their goals. And don’t let critics ..those hacks …stand in the way. Yet, as blog readers know, I was also no fan of NPA either this last around ..with their Peter Armstrong Rocky Mountaineer scab hiring link. Tough time in Vancouver for people who see themselves as progressive but who do not support dictators either. h.o)

  • 17 Ed Seedhouse // Oct 22, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    When I was a kid you needed a license to ride a bicycle in Victoria and surrounding area, and you needed a plate on the back. I think it should still be that way, myself. As a pedestrian I am often nearly hit by bikes riding on the sidewalk right next to a well marked bike lane!

    By all means start handing out the tickets to the jerks that run red lights on bikes, and refuse to follow the rules of the road. They are the drivers of “motor vehicles” under the law and should be subjected to the same penalties for infractions.

    But I don’t mind bike lanes, I just wish people on bikes would start using them!

    (Response: I once blogged about the need for licensing and ID plates for bikes … and I still believe that would help track down those who do damage and simply drive away. If it’s a good system for cars, trucks, buses, motoricycles … why shouldn’t bikes be identified as well. h.o)

  • 18 DonGar // Oct 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Harvey,

    Vision doesn’t care what anyone thinks or who they impact. They march to their , none elected backroom, puppet masters. Lies to get elected, like listening to public input. They are destroying the city neighborhood by neighborhood. Recent meetings show the city has had enough and are uniting to fight this so called consultative government. No more dividing with call’s of NIMPism the city has had enough.

    http://cityhallwatch.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/media-report-future-of-vancouver-forum-oct-20/

    (Response: Well, they did get a second mandate, so that gives them some authority to act. However, I truly believe politicians have a responsibility to try to achieve concensus and middle ground …not shove things through seemingly without any regard for others’ views. Eventually they’ll pay a heavy price for that. h.o)

  • 19 r // Oct 22, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Whats next shut down city hall fall sitting.?

  • 20 Mo // Oct 22, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    You are all without your thinking caps on.

    Go to Europe, see what they have done. talk to people, gauge their attitude re cars and bikes, and then wake up!

    And to the jerk who uses the spandex imagery…. Grow up.

  • 21 teririch // Oct 23, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Harvey, Kits is next on the list for all things ‘bike lanes’.

    The city has had electronic vehicle counters set up over the last few months – along Cornwall, Macdonald and West 4th.

    I’ve also noted people sitting at Darby’s Pub at the corner of Macdonald and West 4th and ticking their little sheet of whatever.

    This is in response to the Point Grey elites wanting to wall off their little area of paradise. They want to limit vehicle traffic.

    Now, on Cornwall at Balsam is Point Grey Hosptial – a residence for eldery and disabled. The bus stops right in front of the building, heading west and across the street, heading east to downtown. So, if Vision decides (and they will) to remove a lane of traffic in order to build a separated bike lane, what happens to all the bus stops along that route that service the many rather than the bike lane that will service the few?

    What happens to the much needed parking for the apartments and muli ‘famlily’ residential units? During the non-rush hours, the street is lined with vehicles.

    On another note – I was very disappointed with Peter Ladner’s comment on hearing that an Ontario Medical report showed bike helmets do save lives (q’uell surpirse) – that he would rather people not wear helmets than not bike. Shook my head over that one – I thought he had more sense.

  • 22 morry // Oct 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Bike Helmets do save lives and head injuries for those that would commute over many kilometers and do fast riding. For those who ride in mostly a city environment… not so much. and it makes it more difficult to do city riding for causal spontaneous times .

    Many many many jurisdictions in Europe do not DO NOT require helmets when riding a bike.

    As they have had a biking culture much longer than in the village of Vancouver I am sure there is a very good valid reason for this.

    for more on the Helmet controversies:
    http://bicyclesafe.com/helmets.html