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HomeBusinessExclusive: Ambulance calls spiked while bikes had a monopoly on Stanley Park Drive

Exclusive: Ambulance calls spiked while bikes had a monopoly on Stanley Park Drive

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Bob Mackin

There were 84 ambulance calls to Stanley Park during the first five months of 2020.

But how many involved bicycles?

B.C. Emergency Health Services data provided to theBreaker.news shows total ambulance calls to the park increased 266% from April to May.

Stanley Park Drive in late June 2020.

There were 11 in January, 16 in February and 15 in March. Emergency calls fell to nine in April, the first full month of the coronavirus state of emergency. Then it spiked in May with 33.

“It’s a difficult request to narrow down in terms of paramedic response,” said EHS spokeswoman Shannon Miller. “A bicycle incident may be categorized as traffic incident or a fall, or someone unconscious. It depends on how the 9-1-1 call information was transmitted to us.” 

The leading causes for calls in May were falls (9), traumatic injuries (8), unconscious (4), traffic/transportation (2), potential overdoses (2) and other/unknown (8).

The Vancouver Park Board banned vehicles from Stanley Park Drive in March to give cyclists a monopoly. The COPE/Green alliance that forms the board’s majority initially refused to reopen Stanley Park Drive to vehicles, but relented after a public outcry. It allowed one lane for vehicles on June 22, but did not restore full parking and continues to block access from the Causeway to the park’s northern area.

Park Board bureaucrats continue to study a permanent closure, while opponents have threatened a lawsuit because seniors and people with disabilities who rely on vehicles for transportation are unable to enjoy full access to the park as they did for decades.

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