Stanley Park restaurant says it’s ready to go to court over controversial bike lane

The temporary re-purposing of a lane of Stanley Park traffic for cyclists could soon find its way into a Vancouver court room.

The Vancouver Park Board converted a vehicle lane to a bike lane back in June as a part of its pandemic response, with the goal of freeing up more space on the seawall for pedestrians.

But businesses in the park say the move was poorly executed, and is driving away customers primarily due to its impact on parking.

Read more: Carriage operator says Stanley Park lane closure an ‘accident waiting to happen’

Lawyer and former Attorney General Wally Oppal is representing the Prospect Point Bar and Grill, and says the company is ready to take legal action.

“We don’t want to sue the City of Vancouver, but we will,” he told Global News.

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The restaurant claims the traffic restrictions have led to a 90 per cent drop in business.

Disability advocates say Stanley Park traffic rules violate human rights

“They ran the bike lane right through the middle of the parking lot. The deprived her of 60 parking spots without even consulting (the restaurant),” said Oppal.

“It shouldn’t happen in a democracy. The park board does these things without any kind of consultation, without any right to be heard.”

The lane change has also drawn the ire of the park’s horse-drawn carriage operator, and prompted a human rights complaint from disability advocates.

Read more: Following heated debate, Vancouver Park Board votes to open Stanley Park to one lane of traffic

Data presented to the park board in early July shows the park was averaging about 5,300 cyclists a day since the April, up from about 3,000 last year.

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Traffic data collected in the first two weeks of vehicles being reintroduced to the park found car trips varied from a low of about 300 on one Friday to a high of more than 3,500 on a Sunday.

Oppal said the restaurant’s owner is not opposed to cyclists, but feels she has been treated unfairly.

Read more: Vancouver Park Board to explore long-term plan to reduce traffic in Stanley Park

He added said his client had met with park board staff in late July, but has not heard anything since then.

In a statement, the park board said staff were “working closely with businesses to optimize the temporary traffic plan.”

It added that it does not comment on planned lawsuits or suits before the court.

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