March 26, 2024 - Minutes

PDF Document Printer-Friendly Minutes

City of Richmond Meeting Minutes

Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Committee




Tuesday, March 26, 2024


Council Chambers
Richmond City Hall


Councillor Chak Au, Chair
Councillor Michael Cllr. Wolfe, 
Councillor Laura Cllr. Gillanders
Councillor Andy Cllr. Hobbs
Councillor Bill Cllr. McNulty

Also Present:

Councillor Carol Day
Councillor Kash Heed

Call to Order:

The Chair called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.








It was moved and seconded



That the minutes of the meeting of the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Committee held on February 27, 2024, be adopted as circulated.











With the aid of a PowerPoint presentation (copy on-file, City Clerk’s Office) Jane Fernyhough and Andrew Wade, representing the Richmond Arts Coalition (RAC), presented their annual report and spoke on 2023 activities and promotional opportunities for community artists.



Discussion ensued with regard to (i) working with the City on sharing artist calls and other artist works, (ii) expanding opportunities to include ethnic art in the community, and (iii) establishing RAC office space in the Richmond Cultural Centre Annex.



It was moved and seconded



That the Richmond Arts Coalition annual report presentation be received for information.











(File Ref. No. 11-7375-01) (REDMS No. 7569237)



Arts Services staff presented a video summary of 2023 arts activities (copy on-file, City Clerk’s Office). Staff advised that the video will be available on the City’s website.



Discussion ensued with regard to various arts initiatives including the Art Truck and improving accessibility to community arts programs.



It was moved and seconded




That the Arts Services Year in Review 2023 as presented in the staff report titled, “Arts Services Year in Review 2023”, dated February 2, 2024, from the Director, Arts, Culture and Heritage Services, be received for information; and




That the Arts Services Year in Review 2023 be circulated to Community Partners and Funders for their information.







(File Ref. No. 06-2345-20-N3RP1) (REDMS No. 7583151)



Staff provided a slideshow presentation as a brief overview of the No. 3 Road Bark Park (“Bark Park”) proposed enhancements for site users.



Staff reported insight gained through discussions at the public open houses and written comments submitted, noting:




safety related concerns for many users of the site;




several that frequent Bark Park regularly like the way it is now with minimal changes;




dog owners appreciate the opportunity to walk their dogs off-leash on the looped trail;




many like to walk their dogs off-leash along the dike trail because it is a unique experience allowing dogs to run freely and have access to the river, while others have safety concerns about the free access to the water and would appreciate some control measures limiting access;




the cycling trail is a recreational and major regional commuter route used by people cycling the dike trail system and connecting to and from the George Massey tunnel shuttle for cyclists;




some dog owners would like to see separate small dog areas;




there are concerns among dog owners and pedestrians about the speed of cyclists through the area, as well as electrical micro mobility devices such as e‑scooters and e-bikes; and




similarly, there are concerns among pedestrians and cyclists about walking/cycling through the dog off-leash areas as well.



After consideration of the comments received during the public engagement period, staff has proposed a number of safety enhancements that take into account the values and concerns of all site users.  The following highlights 4 main points of these safety enhancements:




includes the preservation of the entire site and a portion of the dike trail as a dog off-leash area;




maintains a looped pathway that is 2m wide where people can walk with their dog off-leash near the river front;




a speed rail fence along the north side of the multi-use dike trail to provide separation between the off-leash dog area and multi-use trail without impacting the dike crest; and




introduction of a 4m wide multi-use trail along the south edge of the dike for cyclists, pedestrians, rollers and dogs on-leash that is consistent with the rest of the dike trail, as well as provide a continuation of the existing dike trail system to the west and east of the Bark Park, and



these proposed enhancements also include new directional and adequate signage that includes reminders for e-scooters noting they are not permitted on the unpaved trails.



Considered through public engagement, staff further noted the existence of a Riparian Management Area (RMA) to the north side of the site which is why further interventions within that zone were not considered; not impossible, but would be required to undergo a long period of permitting which may not be granted, therefore other options were presented through public engagement that can be implemented in a more timely manner.



In response to queries from the Committee, staff noted (i) the existing trail pre-existed the RMA and is grandfathered, (ii) the RMA stems from the entire north side to the centre of the pathway and restricts any further adjustments, enhancements or modifications, (iii) there would be implications for any proposed intervention to the site that does not directly contribute to the environment and ecological values of the areas and, going forward with any proposed changes would be a significant process (approximately 18 months), (iv) with respect to any opportunities to disturb the division where the trail comes up to the dike, anytime there is a major/minor intervention into the dike crest, structurally speaking, a permitting process with the Province is required, in the meantime, to lessen the conflict at that access point, staff has put down some temporary barriers to slow down cyclists, (v) safety measures outlined in the report should mitigate and solve safety issues at Bark Park, (vi) one of the key elements noted through staff research for dog parks in the region, is physical separation, which is proposed while at the same time balancing the needs for the majority of the area being a dog off-leash area that dogs can do free runs, while preserving areas and segregating it for cyclists for multi-use (dogs on the multi-use path will have to be on leash in that area), (vii) the 4m wide proposed multi-use trail and benches are consistent with the majority of the rest of the dike trail; west of Bark Park is a very similar width and has amenities along it as well, (viii) the 3 options that were presented as part of the public engagement process were also presented to HUB through the Richmond Active Transportation Committee, and (ix) HUB were also given the opportunity to attend the public open houses and complete the survey; through the 3 options in the public engagement process, HUB supported Option A, with the recommended enhancements closely followed with some modifications from additional input received from dog owners.



Discussion ensued with respect to the reporting of any serious incidents that took place at Bark Park.  Staff noted (i) information was received through the public consultation engagement process of some instances that happened at Bark Park but no specific reports were received through any process (RCMP, Bylaws or City’s customer services system) for any incident directly registered for Bark Park, (ii) when calling 9-1-1, the caller is asked “police, fire, ambulance” and if an ambulance is required, it will be captured with Emergency Health Services, not necessarily with the police unless they are required to attend, in which case the RCMP will create an incident report, (iii) with respect to the enforcement of the Animal Control and Dog Licensing Bylaw, the City contracts the BCSPCA for incidences with dogs (contact information for BCSPCA to investigate, available on the City’s website) and (iv) incidents relating to cyclist/human interactions, fall within the jurisdiction of the RCMP.



A brief discussion ensued with respect to the lands surrounding the park and it was suggested that staff and Council visit the park to better understand the complexity of the proposals in the report.



Judith Hutson, Richmond resident, spoke to her submission (attached Schedule 1), noting safety issues in regards to Bark Park and the Option 6.0 recommendation outlined in her submission.  Ms. Hutson further noted the majority of cyclists that go through the park comply with the 15 km/h speed requirement, however some cyclists, cycling groups and e-bikes travel quickly, utilizing the area as a commuter route.



David Tanner, #24 7733 Heather St., spoke to safety concerns noting unless the trail is significantly widened, there will still be the issue of high speed cyclists and e-bikes going across north end of Bark Park.



Nick Gagne, Richmond resident, spoke to the need for safe community spaces without injury to dogs or cyclists, noting (i) making this exclusively a dog park could avoid most conflicts, (ii) the avenue for reporting incidents should be addressed, (iii) signage noting the space is a dog park only, and (iv) the City needs more dog off-leash areas for larger dogs.



Karen Yamada, 57 9111 No. 5 Road, spoke to the impact of witnessing a dog being hit by a cyclist speeding past and the resulting affect on her and her son, noting that adding barriers and effective signage to make cyclists dismount in the area would increase safety at Bark Park, as many cyclists don’t appear to be aware that the area is a dog off-leash park.



Julie Roberts, 5851 Goldeneye Place, spoke to an incident with her small dog at Bark Park noting additional signage and barriers would increase safety along the pathways.



Sandra Polsky, 23160 Dyke Road, shared concerns about safety noting that the south pathway should be for pedestrians only.



Mark Smith, Richmond resident, expressed his concerns on the safety at Bark Park, noting that the majority of cyclists are respectful, however Bark Park is a destination park and most cyclists are riding through the park only.  He further noted that more adequate signage is needed.



Further to comments and concerns expressed by the delegations, staff noted (i) there are some temporary traffic calming measures in place and are waiting for some additional structures to arrive for installation, and (ii) will look to providing further signage enhancements and locations.



Discussion ensued noting that Bark Park is unique, as it is formally a dog off-leash park with additional uses going through it, and that after the public engagement process, it seems that Options A, B, C and Additional Options 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 do not address the values and concerns of the site user groups.  It was further noted that there is no call for tree removal or paved trail as part of the recommended motion, but rather environmental enhancement and habitat compensation works.



As a result of the discussion, the following referral motion was introduced:



It was moved and seconded



That the staff report titled “No. 3 Road Bark Park Proposed Enhancements”, dated March 4, 2024, from the Director, Parks Services, be referred back to staff for the following:




parking lot/west entry improvements, which may include but not limited to: slowing and directing cyclists off the southern dike raised portion with permanent bike barriers, enhanced blackberry control, enhanced fencing and a gravel trail on the northern most side where cars park;




staff analysis with costed budget impacts for two additional options:





with an exclusive bike route on the northern-most side of the existing tree line (where it is grass then sloping to the ditch/fence), and





with a widening of the existing lower/future “middle” trail with a chain-link or other appropriate fence separation with bike only traffic on the northern half of the trail, and all other modes to the south;




staff be directed to immediately put appropriate barriers, then install wooden barriers that prevent cyclists from using the southern dike raised portion from both entry ends of the Bark Park; and




staff be directed to prioritize the two new requested options so that a Committee decision can come in May, design can occur this spring/summer, and work can occur in the summer/fall.



The question on the referral motion was not called as further discussion ensued noting:




A barrier with a large visible sign is needed immediately, which should make it near impossible for cyclists to continue on their speed.  The challenge will be moving cyclists to the northern side of the parking lot to continue on to their exclusive route through Bark Park.




Wooden barriers, narrow enough to prevent bicycles from getting through but wide enough to walk through, is ideal.  Cyclists could dismount and lock their bikes in the parking lot bike lock area.




Council would benefit from going to the site and having staff highlight where these markings are especially the 15m RMA boundary, and the implications (if any) of a wider trail/barrier for the grandfathered trail.




It would be ideal to have a trail on the north side all the way over to Garden City.




Slowing down cyclists through the area should be addressed immediately and then analyze the resulting effects.




Consideration of a multi-use pathway instead of an exclusive bike route.




Achieving voluntary compliance is the goal.



In response to comments from the Committee, staff proposed (i) immediate measures to address concerns such as signage and additional barricades as highlighted both on the central trail as well as restricting access to the southern trail, and (ii) follow up on-site with Committee/Council to discuss referral items, the RMA, and direction/options going forward.



Staff further noted that DCC’s typically fund projects that are directly related to new growth and will flag recommended improvements for review with Finance.



The question on the referral motion was then called and it was CARRIED.








Poppy Memorial Street Signage



A brief discussion ensued in regards to adding a poppy to the Francis Road street sign.  Staff noted they will undergo steps required.





Iona Beach



It was noted that Metro Vancouver Board has launched a pilot program at Iona Beach that will allow controlled alcohol in the park this summer.








It was moved and seconded



That the meeting adjourn (6:32 p.m.).






Certified a true and correct copy of the Minutes of the meeting of the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of the Council of the City of Richmond held on Tuesday, March 26, 2024.




Councillor Chak Au

Lorraine Anderson
Legislative Services Associate