Cycling or not in Hadden park

February 19, 2014

This article has been mainly written in November 2013, so could need to be read in the context of a still active law suit regarding the construction of a bike path in Hadden park [4]. I have added further information made available in the interim

Is it legal to cycle in Hadden park (block 136-137)?

Like in most of the urban parks, cycling is prohibited in Vancouver parks, except on footpath or promenade specifically designated as a cycle path [2]: Does such exception exist for Hadden park?

The cycle maps provided by different sources from City of Vancouver seem to be confusing:


The Vancouver cycle map (1) seems to indicate a path thru the north of the maritime museum, hence not on the land covered by the Haden covenant, but that is not practcal, while the report (3) seems to indicate a shared bike/pedestrain path thru the Hadden donation

The signs, along the seaside route, say a total different story again:

various sign along the seaside bike lane in Kits point

The real sanctioned route is apriori:

the existing seaside route, as according to signage

the existing seaside route, as according to signage

The Vancouver street and traffic by-law confirms this interpretation [5]

extract of the {5) showing that the Seaside bikeway doesn't infringe Hadden park

extract of [5] showing that the existing Seaside bikeway doesn’t infringe Hadden park

The lawsuit [4]

The Nov 2013 Megan Carvell-Davis vs City of Vancouver lawsuit states two important points:

  • The City of Vancouver approved an “active transportation corridor” which mandates a bicycle path through Hadden park but requires the approval of the park board to approve the construction of the bicycle path
    • This first point insisting on the bike path rational, tend to support the idea that the goal pursued by the construction of the bike path thru Hadden, is not for the enjoyment of the public, what is a first contravention of the Hadden covenant
  • The construction of a paved bicycle path through Hadden park is a violation of the term of the Hadden trust.
    • The second point claims that the bike path is an alteration to its present state of nature which is not reasonably motivated by neither park preservation, safety or enjoyment of the public

It will be probably an important legal point to demonstrate that either or not, a legally sanctioned bike path already exists or not in the Hadden park land under covenant (block 136 and 137).

It will be also eventually important for the petitioner, to demonstrate that the current use of Ogden avenue constitutes a reasonable, and safe alternative for cyclists to enjoy the current state of nature of the park, making the request for a bike path in the park an unreasonable alteration of it.

There is little question that cycling along Ogden allows cyclists to enjoy the park and the view it has to offer. The arrangement chosen to the under construction bike route along Point Grey road (near Trutch) will support the idea, that Ogden avenue is

  • either safe enough for cyclist of all age and ability to cycle,
  • or the city can modify Ogden avenue to achieve a desired safety without infringing the Hadden park covenant:
The seaside bike way at Point Grey Road at Trutch will share the road with local traffic

The seaside bike way on Point Grey Road at Trutch: cyclists will share the road with local traffic, demonstrating that such arrangement can be considered safe enough for cyclist of all age and ability on “neighborhood” street, such as Ogden


To give more strength to its case the petitioner has provided reference to a peer reviewved scientific paper titled ”Safe Cycling: How Do Risk Perceptions Compare With Observed Risk?” [6] (affidavit [7]). A paper, we have already studied here. What is important to retain for the case under trial is that this paper states that a “bike only path” and “residential street designated bike route” exhibit a similar level of objective safety (thought that the perceived risk is measured greater in the later case) as shown in this graph:

A study on Toronto and Vancouver (Canada) from [6]: “bike only path” and “residential street designated bike route” exhibit the same level of objective safety


The petitioner case proved strong enough to have the City of Vancouver finally renouncing to fight against it on February 17th. That also makes the route alignment, thru the picnic area, in Kitsilano park, meaningless.

Main source is the lawsuit filled by [4]

[1] City of Vancouver cycling map

[2] park by laws City of Vancouver, Jan 1st, 2008.

[3] Seaside Greenway Completion and York Bikeway (Phase 1 of Point Grey-Cornwall Active Transportation Corridor),General Manager of Engineering Services, City of Vancouver, July 16, 2013

[4] lawsuit filled by Megan Carvell-Davis vs City of Vancouver, on Nov 4th, 2013

[5] street and traffic by-law no. 2849, City of Vancouver, January 1st, 2014

[6] Route Infrastructure and the Risk of Injuries to Bicyclists: A Case-Crossover Study, Teschke K, Harris MA, Reynolds CC, Winters M, Babul S, Chipman M, Cusimano MD, Brubacher JR, Hunte G, Friedman SM, Monro M, Shen H, Vernich L, Cripton PA., American Journal of Public Health: December 2012, Vol. 102, No. 12, pp. 2336-2343.

[7] Megan Carvell-Davis vs City of Vancouver: 3 affidavits filed on January 29th, 2014

17 Responses to “Cycling or not in Hadden park”

  1. Jeff Leigh Says:

    Why would running the bike path through Hadden Park or not make the Kits Beach Park bike path routing meaningless? There is an existing short paved path aligned with Maple, north of Ogden, that connects to the Kits Beach Park path very well. And it isn’t in Hadden Park. It provides access to the picnic area, and the beach, and keeps bicycles away from the parking lots which get busy in summer.

    My point is that cycling in Hadden Park isn’t the issue. There are multiple alternatives. What is important is what the routing is west of Hadden Park.

  2. Voony Says:

    Jeff, Notice, that I refer explictly to “he route alignment, thru the picnic area, in Kitsilano park” as “meaningless”:

    The bike path being aligned along Ogden street (and not in Hadden park), a detour thru the picnic area becomes a non sense.

    The rest of the route in KIts could effectively stay as is proposed by the VPB.. That saidI have already suggested a different solution here:

    (that is convert Arbutus one way, to make room for a bike path, on the model of what is done at English Bay).

  3. Jeff Leigh Says:

    I guess I see access to the beach and picnic area as one of the great features of the Seaside Greenway, and not as nonsense. This isn’t a commuter route.

  4. susan smith Says:

    Voony, I could not disagree with you more. The very local and vocal minority of status quo advocates for keeping Hadden Park as it is have made a tactical error; as a result of insisting that nothing be done, nothing will be done (at least for a while) to that withered, unkempt, underutilized area, which could be beautified, trimmed, fertilized and updated for all Vancouverites, including the local residents, to enjoy. Instead, the funds that were allocated for that purpose will now be applied to other parks in the city. For anyone who has ever walked, run or cycled the existing paved pathway through Hadden Park, there is no question that the path cannot accommodate all would-be users and is a congested dodge-a-thon, with users having to wait, or push past others. A separate bikeway is essential there; otherwise, accidents are inevitable. It is shameful that a few residents (a well-known tiny Kits contingent of left-over 60′s hippies) want to prevent a deteriorated green space from being maintained and beautified for more people to use, and use safely. I believe that the few local residents who selfishly threatened a lawsuit against the City to prevent necessary and attractive improvements (not substantial development) to Hadden Park will regret their efforts to fervently resist change at all costs. What these naive people don’t understand is that their tiny park is of no meaningful consequence to Vancouverites, Vision, the City Council or the Parks Board. That is why the City abandoned their plan for the park when these few residents squawked. Hadden Park’s loss is another area’s gain in funding and improvements, as stated by the Parks Board. Too bad, so sad for Hadden Park and its current passers-through. To all cyclists, I would encourage you to use the current pedestrian pathway through Hadden Park rather than Ogden Street as much as possible so that the locals realize exactly the congestion problem that could have been solved. They blew their chance to beautify that dead space.

    • Voony Says:

      What is a dormant grass or unkempt area for some, is an opportunity for contemplation or to erect a badminton net, for some others…

      Regarding the outcome of the Hadden park Saga, I believe it will end up toward a better thought plan, able to accommodate cycling, without compromising other park activities in a park already congested.

      Some solutions have been suggested toward it such as

      see here
      It will also eventually help the Cornwall bike lane to appear sooner than later as suggested by Richard Campbell here.

      In the meantime, it is eventually useful to remind that it is forbidden to cycle in Hadden Park (part above the cliff), and I am not sure that encouraging cyclists to create conflict by adopting illegal behavior is helping their cause.

      • susan smith Says:

        Voony, the City’s plan to create a separate bikelane in Hadden Park would provide cyclists with the access that is currently denied them. By not creating that bikelane, cyclists are denied access; how is that benefitting all Vancouverites or all would-be users of this park?

      • susan smith Says:

        But Voony, the VPB Bylaws do not allow the erection of a badminton net or the play of badminton in any park, unless special permission is formally obtained, so why are you advocating a violation of those bylaws? You appear to be picking and choosing which Bylaws you deem worth following, and you are applying them or not at will. You can’t do that, Voony.

      • Voony Says:

        Cyclists can still access the park be Hadden or Kits as everyone else: park are small enough to walk the bike once inside (see ).

        The VPB bylaws effectively ban games, but such bylaws have to be understood as a legal ground to resolve potential conflict, not to be blindly enforced.
        However, it is the same for cycling: tolerance prevails in lack of conflict: it could be the case that on the Hadden park and Kits park trail, conflicts arise especially in the summer… so the bylaw could need to be enforced…in the meantime, there is no more reasons for cyclists to look for conflict as there is reasons for badminton player to insist to erect their net in an area traditionally used by picknicker…

  5. Jeff Leigh Says:

    If anyone on a bicycle gets a ticket for cycling in Hadden Park (on the paved path, not the grass) then this official City of Vancouver cycling map that shows it as a cycling path should be a pretty good defence.

    Click to access map-cycling-vancouver.pdf

    I make sure that I yield to pedestrians when cycling there, as it is a shared path. I encourage other cyclists to do the same. The more cyclists that use it, though, the better. It is that use that will establish the clear need for improved cycling facilities in Hadden and Kits parks, particularly once the improved Point Grey Road is opened.

  6. susan smith Says:

    Voony, you said that Hadden Park, though deteriorated and unmaintained, might still be attractive for someone who wants to set up a badminton net. But, Voony, badminton nets are not allowed under the VPB bylaws without special permission being granted, so why would you suggest that it is okay to set up a badminton net? In contrast, Voony, the VPB bylaws allow cycling on designated bike routes in parks, and the City and VPB make the decisions as to where those bike routes in parks will be. So, why would you suggest that cycling in parks is disallowed by the bylaws? You are wrong Voony on both counts. Further, the City’s own cycling map designates cycling in Hadden and Kits parks along the pedestrian walkway. Hence, the congestion and conflicts in use of this one continuous walkway. Cyclists having to dismount to walk bikes rather than having a pathway for continuous riding through Hadden and Kits parks would in no way be a completion/continuation of the Seaside bikeway around the City. Your suggestion to the contrary is erroneous and illogical. It is not supported either by the VPB bylaws or the City’s designated cycling route map.

    • Voony Says:

      Susan, I have already answered to your question regarding the Badminton net and the cyclist in this comment.

      This very post exhibits the bike seaside greenway:

      which is both consistent with the vancouver traffic bylaw and posted road signs (see inside post)

      This seaside greenway can be improved without interfering with Hadden park and Kits park, as suggested here

      At the end, Kits park is less than 100 meters wide (between Arbutus and the Beach): Is it too hard to walk on 100meters for a cyclist ?
      …and still, at Second beach, the bike path is ~100meters away of the beach…

      • Jeff Leigh Says:

        “at Second Beach, the bike path is 100 meters away from the beach”

        That is not true, Voony. At Second Beach the bike path loops right down to the beach at both ends of the concession and playground area. Why would someone walk their bike 100 meters across a playing field when they could ride to either end of that field on the bike path and step off onto the beach? And if you want to use Stanley Park as an example, then why not consider the entire seawall path, which follows the beaches? Third Beach is a good example along that path. But then you have just made the case for separated paths, since in Stanley Park families are not told to go ride on Park Drive and dodge the traffic. There are facilities for all.

        Interfering with the park is a harsh phrase. How about enjoying the park?

  7. susan smith Says:

    Voony, you are missing the point of my comment, though, which is that you are arguing against bike lanes in parks, wrongly suggesting that the VPB bylaws outlaw bike lanes in parks, which the bylaws do not; and, you are arguing in favour of badminton nets in parks even though you now admit that the VPB bylaws outlaw badminton nets. You are completely illogical; thus, your arguments fail.

    Further, the “hard[ness] to walk on 100 meters for a cyclist” is also not my point; the very nature of the cyclist’s means of travel is wheels, just like on a car, for CONTINUOUS travel on those wheels, not walking, unless the cyclist chooses to park for a break. Forcing a cyclist to dismount and walk 100 meters defeats not only the purpose of cycling but also the purpose of the CONTINUOUS seaside bikeroute and greenway. You are suggesting that a park must be only pedestrian-oriented; but, there is no either-or to this discussion unless you are content to be accused of discriminating against cycling and cyclists. Cyclists have the right to access parks just like anyone else, or do you disagree?

  8. Voony Says:

    This post reads “cycling is prohibited in Vancouver parks, except on footpath or promenade specifically designated as a cycle path:” and I didn’t said that “bylaws outlaw bike lanes in parks”

    I brought that aspect in the context of the lawsuit:
    The city as renounced to fight against this lawsuit, so there is no point to argue anymore on a bike lane in Hadden park:

    To the risk of repeat myself, for continuous bike ride:
    The existing seaside greenway is already existing, and can be improved as suggested here

    Regarding Second beach: The bike path looks like it:

    My point was: this arrangment putting the bike path a bit away of the shore, purposely to avoid a crowded area is making no problem at Second beach: why should it be different for Kits park?

    • Jeff Leigh Says:

      It shouldn’t be different. The bike path in your 2nd Beach photo above is shifted back from the busy pedestrian area along the sandy beach. It runs right through the grassy area. It even goes right next to a playground and a picnic area at the right of your photo (which is great, since many use the bicycle path to get to those areas). It comes close to the concession stand and washrooms. And most importantly, it is not on the road. This is all exactly what the Parks Board proposed for Kits Beach park, and what local residents fought against. I recall that your term for it in a previous post was “bicycle highway”. But I agree with you that it shouldn’t be different at Kits park.

    • susan smith Says:

      Voony, these are your words from your post on Price tag:”In Vancouver, as in most of the world, cycling is per default prohibited in urban parks (eventually because it is an activity recognized as distracting others, starting by walking or picnicking, and which don’t need a park to be practiced at the difference of others…). Such rule apply to the Vancouver park, as per the VPB bylaws [sic].”

      Voony, the truth is that cycling is absolutely NOT “prohibited in urban parks,” so you are deliberately misinforming people to say otherwise. Separating bikes and pedestrians on walkways is allowed, equitable and necessary for safety in urban parks, like Hadden and Kits parks.

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