Re-Opening Beach Ave to Cars is BEST for the Environment

The car-haters are fuming!

Last week, Vancouver City Council rejected a 30-year “pie in the sky” proposal by the Vancouver Park Board for redevelopment of the West End waterfront.

Estimated price tag: $300 million (which, of course, would mean $2 Billion or more by the time it was completed … LOL!)

Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung called it a “fairytale plan”, as Council sent it back to the Park Board for a reality check.

Meanwhile, Council did approve bringing back two-way vehicle traffic along Beach Avenue between Stanley Park and Denman Street.

Right on!!

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, those I saw as just extreme left vehicle haters at the Park Board closed ALL Stanley Park roads to cars … severely restricting access to the 1,000-acre (405 hectare) Vancouver gem.

It was the dumbest move I had ever witnessed local politicians make: there was not a scintilla of scientific evidence I saw that ever showed people travelling in vehicles could spread COVID to others. In fact, sure seemed to me that pedestrians mingling on the seawall, speeding runners breathing heavily and panting cyclists represented more of a COVID health danger.

This was, in my view, just a hate-on for cars by extremists in power, come to fruition.

And to hell with the handicapped, seniors, families who needed vehicles to get around and restaurants/businesses in the park, or their hundreds of employees trying to make a living.

The hate-on for cars not only went on for far too long in Stanley Park, in various machinations, the radical lefties in charge at Vancouver City Hall joined their Park Board comrades in trying to punish the motoring public.

Vehicle access to many downtown streets was attacked/restricted/denied; parking areas were slashed; parking fees were multiplied; no left turn here, no right turn there, no turns at all; and no right turns on red became the rule.

Impact on the environment?

Well, almost all my trips downtown started to take five to eight minutes more since all these changes came into effect.

Getting there is sure no longer half the fun! It’s now often confusing, circuitous, even scary. (Check out the traffic lights/pattern northbound at Hornby/Nelson!!)

And think about the damage to air quality and the environment all these EXTRA punishments to motorists have produced: tens of thousands of cars every day travelling greater distances, idling more and taking longer to go anywhere or through the downtown.

Proof that for the car-haters, it’s not really about the environment: it’s targeting vehicles that motivates, just for the sake of targeting vehicles.

Beach Avenue is a perfect example.

For years, the anti-car extremists at the Park Board and City Hall have barred vehicles from exiting Stanley Park through Beach Avenue or Nelson Street or Alberni diverting ALL park traffic back to Georgia Street.

Been there; done that … and so have hundreds of thousands of other motorists bound for the Burrard Bridge, Kitsilano, the East End or Vancouver South.

Too bad, no one has ever calculated the EXTRA fuel, fumes, pollution forced on the citizens, visitors of Vancouver by having to divert back to very, very, busy Georgia Street and then back along Denman, Thurlow, Burrard to get to Kitsilano, False Creek, the East side or Granville or Main to get to Vancouver South!

The “environmentally-motivated” Park Board and Council were just blowing smoke … literally!! (Who advises them? The petro fuel industry?)

But change is coming …at last

“The new plan will see the road reopened to traffic in both ways, with plans to replace the beachside sidewalk with a new bike path and the installation of a new pedestrian path through the park,” Global News reported May 10.

“This was about balance,” said Councilor Kirby-Yung. “So it supports pedestrians, it supports cyclists and it supports traffic flow in the area.”

Exactly! Inclusion, sharing and equality.

But the car-haters don’t want balance and fairness: they want “car-cleansing”: a Stanley Park all but reserved for fit cyclists and really healthy pedestrians, capable of walking several kilometres … free of cars, seniors, handicapped and families.

So I have no doubt the anti-car crowd is not done yet.

Hopefully, the current Council will hold firm … cater to the majority… and do what’s REALLY best for the environment: end the war on drivers.

Harv Oberfeld

(Follow @harveyoberfeld on “X” for FREE First Alerts to new postings on this Blog)

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3 Responses to Re-Opening Beach Ave to Cars is BEST for the Environment

  1. R says:

    The fire near lost lagoon is prime example of reopening beach Ave for better access to the now trimmed tree Stanley park
    What 166 k trees?

    Response: Exactly. Because if I recall correctly, they didn’t just make it illegal to pass through in both directions, they put up physical blockades as well. h.o)

  2. Ijustdontknowanymore says:

    The extremist loonies do seem to act blindly before they think when constructing some bike lanes and doing what they did in Stanley Park and Beach Ave. Those overzealous unaccountable over reaching activist thugs causec that siuation, need to be kept out of office from City Hall and the Parks Board. These nuts actually do make the pollution counts rise because of traffic tie ups. And to not consider access for the elderly handicapped and working people at that time when Beach Ave was closed to traffic was shameful. But those extremist wouldn’t know about a real job except for causing trouble when they have a little power.
    You know it kind of reminds me of the loonie extreme left mindset we have now in the provincial NDP. It’s no wonder the polls are showing the way they are. And Federally I won’t won’t even try to fathom the madness . To many activist loonies of extremist thinking are getting in the back door and getting appointed to power. One wacko appointing more wackos. It is sometimes hard to read the room in the frenzy of campaigning at election time because politicians are making grand promises and people buy in and that’s the way it is, but reading the room in this country as a whole is pretty easy now, I see what has to be done when the BC election comes and the Federal election comes. That I can’t wait for.

    (Response: I’m not sure what happened, but somehow the federal government, the BC government and municipal governments in Vancouver and Victoria seemed to go “rogue”: catering to, responding to and governing for the loud, outspoken, activist minorities …forgetting or minimizing the needs/concerns/struggles of the majority (maybe the too silent majority?). Maybe not enough of the quiet/silent middle bothered to turn out to vote, while the activists did? But now there seems to be backlash: people are “mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore.” So we’ve seen the most radical far left extremists tossed from Vancouver City Hall (Victoria too?), the Conservatives making great inroads at the federal level (although few really seem to love Poilievre) and now, in BC, the Conservatives showing such momentum, although most don’t seem to really know much about Rustad or Conservative policies … other than axe the carbon tax. Voters are clearly not happy! h.o)

  3. e.a.f. says:

    Most likely the politicians thought they were so advanced with their actions and so European. Well this isn’t Europe. Europe has a tradition in some countries of using bikes as the main source of transportation and have for along time. they have accepted rules. If you are at a stop light in Rotterdam, all the bikes stop and then go again but they are all going about the same speed. No one crashes into others. Also countries like Denmark have a lot of bikes but with a population of 5 million and narrow streets it makes sense. Rotterdam, ditto, Things are much closer in Europe so its easier to use a bike.
    It will be nice to have that street open again. Emergency vechiles need to be able to move around quickly. Don’t forget Vancouver has a very large urban forest. If it ever catches fire bikes won’t do, it big fire trucks.
    The proposal of how many million did not make sense. It changed the whole appearance of English Bay. It would have ruined it. Some one would have made a fortune building it.
    We don’t need that type of money spent on the beach. The money could be used for other things you know, like child care, seniors housing, better services for handicapped people, more clinics for people without doctors, etc.

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