Some park’s geometry considerations
October 28, 2013
Some people ask,
Many parks have bike paths, or scenic drives. Some have even a train, what is the problem with Kits beach?
The problem is one of geometry:
- A park needs to be accessible
- The smaller is the park, the more a new infrastructure impacts it
- The larger a park is, the more it needs to have access infrastructure, if one want to see it “used”.
According to what is measured, the impact of a bike path along Kits beach (around 1.1km) is between 2.5% of the total park area to 10% of the effective green space (vegetation):
In comparison, John Hendry park (Trout lake) is 27Ha and has a ~900m bike path. Kits beach a 50% smaller park, could have a bike path 40% longer than John Hendry park. The Trout lake bike path occupies roughly 1% of the park area. A number order of magnitude lower than in the Kitsilano Beach case
- Some shapes are better than other
Comparing surfaces area disregarding their shapes is missing the most critical informations on the quality of the space
Kitsilano is a narrow “strip park”, which usuability can be quickly compromised, if it can’t offer swaths of grass of sufficient size for spontaneous activities, usually occuring on grass that is ball games but not only; spontaneous activities typically occur on space with non defined use.
A good picnic site, in addition of a good view, also requires an agreable environment able to maintain a minimun of “social distance”, with other people and activities…what requires a certain size, too
One of the problem with a bike path into Kitsilano park, as initially approved by the park board , is that it will impact other activities justifying a park in the first place. If the park board proceeds as it wants, there is no doubt, the bike path will be successful, but that also means, that our seaside will become increasingly homogeneous, geared toward the enjoyment of cycling only, instead to offer a wide and diverse range of recreational activities
Fortunately, it is possible to provide a safe and scenic ride to cyclists, with minimal impact to the park, and its current usages, as we have seen here and in more detail, there. The question rest, does the Park board will finally listen?
 twitter user neil21
 Seaside Greenway Improvements,Vancouver Park Board, Oct 1st, 2013
 flickr user keepitsurreal