Monday, June 29, 2015

East Van: The Segregation of Hastings Park 2015


It's been a while since I posted some new original content, so... why not shake off the rust with style by not only adding new content but also a new category "East Van".

Every spring I start my cycling season out with a ride through Leeside Skate Park and on to New Brighton Pool. (regular visitors to this site are already familiar with this ritual). This year however was different, as I took my first ride of the season eastward into Burnaby to the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex. While the Burnaby Sports Complex has a travel distance of 7 km from my home (almost double the distance of going to New Brighton) do to the lack of elevation changes its a far easier ride. 

So why go eastward this year? Its hard to answer this question without sounding bitter or resentful, but I assure you that is not the case, the reason quite simply is change. Having spent 7 years on the Hastings Community Associations Board of Directors, I felt it my duty to ride through the various parks and neighborhoods, so as to have first hand knowledge of the catchment area that I was responsible for governing. After a disappointing display of endorsement from the  HCA during my municipal election campaign to be a Parks Board commissioner, I felt it best to end my partnership with the HCA. In April of this year I choose not to seek re-election to the HCA board, and thus ending my responsibilities not only to the HCA but to the governing of the Hastings catchment area parks and neighborhoods.

So a few months have gone by, and I've decided to see, first hand, how much better of a job this newly elected Parks Board can do...

The Segregation of Hastings Park

With all due respect to the newly elected Parks Board Commissioners and their Chair (whom I actually like) John Coupar, why have you segregated East Vancouverites from their from beloved Hastings Park and ultimately the New Brighton Pool?

It used to be that you could access Hastings Park from Leeside Skate Park and avoid crossing the busy Hastings street, but not anymore. What you will find now is spiked fencing with a locked gate.
  
As the worlds gaze descends on Vancouver as one of the host cities for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, few people realize that Hastings Park's Empire Bowl is being used as a practice field. 

While visitors to our fine city see security, manicured grass and vegetation...

For East Vancouverites. like myself, we see overgrown vegetation, 
 segregation, 
 and garbage.

 Lets hope these changes are only temporary and that the newly elected Parks Board can find time to making all Parks in Vancouver accessible, safe, clean and fun for all Vancouverites.

Oh, and one last item of concern, when was it decided to block access of New Brighton Pool from the PNE?


 As you can see from this panoramic view, access to New Brighton Pool has been blocked by mounds of dirt, cement barriers,  and a series of garbage containers.


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