City pits cycling agenda versus business & communities

Post by Mike Klassen in

39 comments


CTV News talked to businesses and residents regarding the City's bike route blitzkreig

There's no question that when it comes to cycling routes, Vision Vancouver has set out a very determined agenda. And in order to blunt opposition from critics they are effectively mobilizing outspoken members of the bike lobby to push back for them. The result is that if you are a home owner or a business who might be caught off guard when a work crew is dropping a new traffic barrier on your block, you don't stand a chance of getting your concerns heard.

While I'm not surprised that Vision aren't consulting with the public, I am taken aback by the aggressiveness of this campaign. Bikes are supposed to be a feel-good story about health and the environment. Somehow the Vision city council have turned this into an us-and-them standoff, with residents on some bike routes and several small businesses appalled by the arrogance they're seeing on this issue from City Hall.

On Friday morning's "Moment with Mike" on Shore 104.3 FM I weigh in on the impact this is having on once proud shopping districts like Seymour Street. Check out Steve and Colleen's show on one of the best new radio stations in Vancouver, and listen for my report at 8:10am.

As for the "pilot project" of putting a permanent concrete barrier down Dunsmuir before telling the public about it, well, that doesn't seem like much of a pilot. Just as with the street food carts, it's appears to be more than just a trial balloon. Someone might want to remind Vision that even good policy will turn off the public if those governing are seen to be arrogant. Just look at what happened with the HST.

I'm sure others will notice that City Engineer Jerry Dobrovolny is now spouting Vision's mantra of becoming the greenest city in Lisa Rossington's excellent CTV story. Just how many now at the Hall are drinking from the Happy Planet fountain?

- post by Mike

39 Comments

The placement of the new safer bike lanes on Dunsmuir was hardly a sudden surprise as suggested. Consultation with businesses along Dunsmuir was done in April which showed the proposed barriers.

Let's not forget that cyclists are also shoppers, home owners and commuters in Vancouver. Business needs to remember that cyclists are their customers too!

Yeah. It's sure easy to bring home a big screen tv or a new home computer on your mountain bike. You cyclistas are completely out to lunch. Perhaps cyclists need to remember that business owners live in the city too, and perhaps our needs also need to be taken into consideration. Ever thought of that concept?

Having council launch a jihad against small businesses without consultation is a recipe to get them kicked out next year. Just watch. There are a lot more business owners than there are cyclists. We'll be motivated to vote in '11.

Lost in this debate is the fact Vision are actually reviving class and social warfare pitting various sectors against each other in order to create their socially engineered utopia while sucking up to the money people and greasing the the wheels for them.

The reality is Vision is far from consultative... The big briother knows better mentality is everywhere. Just ask those in neighbourhoods being chosen for rezoning... it spans the City.. Arbutus, Norquay, Hastings Sunrise, West End the list goes on and on.

It's hard to argue against safe, well planned bike lanes that are developed as part of a comprehensive plan in a consultative process. As one of the legions of fair weather cyclists that's easy to support and use.

It's far easier to turn sympathetic and recreational cyclists into your standard barriers by painting opponents (ie: evil small business owners) as being opposed to green transportation. (Business bad - Bike good) When in reality, it could be a win win for all.

Ahh but that takes work and the small and loud zealots might not like the outcome. better to beat business up and appease the zealots, after all they will knock on doors for you come election time.

By the way, can we actually see Gregor ride his bike in his fine suit sometime (with helmet on), rather than just see a really pretty photo-op of him walking his bike around a corner. Lets see him sweat in his well tailored suit to see if he can actually ride the thing rather than walk it.


Who said anything about brining home a big screen tv by bike? I'd use the car for that. But the safer bike lanes don't stop that, they just stop someone buying that tv from carelessly and illegally parking in the bike lane, creating danger for cyclists.

If this helps to get the cyclists off of the downtown SIDEWALKS, I am all for it. How about handing out a ticket now and then to these folks? Oh wait, that would mean a cop would actually have to get out of his cruiser...

This morning I witnessed an event that I am sure will become the norm on Dunsmuir. A Sapputto truck delivering to a store was getting out of the alley, but in order to see traffic it had to inch out into the bike lane. As a cyclist came rushing down Dunsmuir, he was upset at the truck for blocking his NEW lane, screamed at the truck driver, and kicked the truck as he cycled by. The poor truck driver then proceeded to merge into traffic, but because of tight space, his back wheels got caught on the new bike concrete barrier in middle of the street. This caused a massive back up of traffic up the street, and I was late for my first meeting this morning.
So as of today I am starting a campaign to ask the city to licence bikes operating in Vancouver and ICBC to insure them.
I drive and pay insurance. If I hit a biker, my insurance goes up. If he kicks my car - NOTHING HAPPENS. If bikes want to participate in traffic, they will have to participate in registration and insurance like other vehicles on the road.

I saw a pedestrian pound on the hood of a car that was blocking a crosswalk once. Better license and insure those pedestrians too.

I rather like how Marko draws a line from a cyclist heading to work to him being late for his meeting. That's impressively obtuse!

VISION = No Consultation Party. They know what's best for us, and they're going to ram it down our throat. I'm tired of these American funded activists telling us how to run our city. Gregor and his visionistas are the WORST civic government we've had in decades. If only the mainstream media (hello Garr, hello Bula) would wake up to this reality and stop reporting on what type of eye wear the mayor is sporting, we'd all be better off.

If only the mainstream media (hello Garr, hello Bula) would wake up to this reality and stop reporting on what type of eye wear the mayor is sporting, we'd all be better off.

****
What else are they going to report on - his riveting speeches?

No consultation? Businesses and the community were surveyed on the Burrard Bridge for 15 years!

For Dunsmuir, there also was a consulation process. The business community was aware of it. I completed the survey, did you?

It is ridiculous to suggest that downtown businesses need parking right in front of their store to survive especially ones that are a half a block away from a transit station. Businesses on Granville Street appear to be doing just fine in spite (or perhaps because) there are not cars on the street and there haven't even been any buses for the last few years. In Pacific Centre mall, there is no parking in front of the stores. All customers must walk to get to the businesses. There is plenty of parking within an easy walk of the businesses on Seymour.

Stores on Seymour would be wise to offer delivery to customers who arrive by transit or bike.

And finally, as people who ride bikes downtown are not spending money on parking and gas, they will have more money to spend at downtown businesses.

I agree that car parking right next to the store isn't essential: When I bought my LCD tv in 2008, the store guy was very happy to help wheel it down the street to the car... Probably especially since I went for the extended warranty, lol.

At least the business has got thousands of dollars of free advertising out of all this. I didn't even know there were still audio stores left on Seymour before the media coverage. Hopefully, he can take advantage of all the attention.

I know this blog likes to make doom-and-gloom gridlock prophecies, but I expect commuters and businesses will adapt to the changes. Last week we saw lots of congestion on the Dunsmuir Viaduct; this week there is hardly any. Human beings are resourceful. We might resist change, but we adapt.

Reminder to everyone: Next week is bike to work week.

Yes Chris. Human beings are resourceful and we adapt. We move on and shop in places where we are more welcome. That's why the art gallery on homer street has announced it will shut down due to he Burrard bridge bike lane fiasco.

This is NDP economics at work. Who cares if some small businesses are hurt as long as our friends in the faux green enviro movement are happy and funding us, all is ok. Sheesh. When will you realize it isn't feasible to get everyone on a bicycle?

@Ricardo: No one is trying to make everyone commute by bicycle. If they were, then every lane of every street would be converted to bike lanes. But rather a very tiny fraction of the available road space in the city is being reallocated so some people can commute this way safely. Just about all of the road space is still traditional general purpose lanes.

@chris Free advertising? The media are telling the world this is a terrible place to shop due to the new bike lane restrictions. This is not the kind of advertising that will encourage people to head down there. Clearly you don't own a business yourself! Just imagine if you had invested your life savings in one of these companies only to watch a wealthy mayor take it all away to please his green pals. Sad, very sad.

The best way to flame a blog in Vancouver is to write anything negative about the cycling movement, a bike lane trial or anything else this extremist group is for. And don't even think about calling them cycling nazis or facists.

Sure enough all the usual suspects and then some, will gather around and spout all sorts of nonsense about how they are hard done by blah, blah blah.

The Burrard Bridge bike lane has not produced ANY increase in cyclists - FACT.

The Dunsmuir route may be experiencing more bike traffic to date but there is no indication it has increased cyclists, rather that more are using this path to get where they're going - FACT.

In Vancouver, there is LUCKY to be 4000 people riding their bikes to work and back on any given day - and thats throughout the entire city, so in terms of road space, what you're getting is about 99% overkill to what you need.

But of course you whiners and crybabies scream the loudest to get attention.

The day of reckoning for the cycling nazis, er movement is coming.

Without any noticeable increase in cyclists, a new council will have no problems freezing any funding to expand the network and these so-called trials, but truly permanent bike lanes will be ripped up and put back to the way it was.

Ballum will be fired, along with head-up-their-ass Jerry Dubrovney who has supported this cycling nonsense from the get go as Penny's lapdog.

It will be a sweet sweet day when you're all put back in your place as the minority you are in this city, and council shuts the door on their temper-tantrum throwing child once and for all.

Lol, only 20 posts until Godwin's Law/reductio ad Hitlerum was used.

He he he, the sky is falling! For many years I followed the herd and ridiculed the political energy devoted to encouraging cycling in this town. Then, on a lark, I bought a bike and started commuting downtown (I work in office and wear a suit everyday, if it matters). Of course, it has since become my routine, and I know it would be for many more were it not for the safety concerns of dealing with an over abundance of oversized SUVs and pickups which have somehow become the daily drivers of non-trades people in this city. Reducing lanes of motor vehicle traffic on Burrard and Dunsmuir, in the grand scheme of things, does not impact on the quality of life for majority of our citizenry. Take the Cambie bridge! It's running under capacity. It's amazing the amount of visceral anger that drivers have on this issue. It must be the loss of control we feel being caged in our cars. As an antidote, I recommend a bike ride!

I always love how 'safety concerns' is sited by cyclists in order to push their agenda, yet, when pedestrians state the same concerns overs cyclists riding on sidewalks, they get ridiculed and booed.

The City of Vancouver is business unfriendly and this show it.

It's about time businesses were given the right to vote in municipal elections.

This would make Vancouver politicians care about business. Right now why care about business as they cant vote.

@Glen Hall

Funny, almost all posts by people who support safer cycling routes are calm and rational and don't resort to calling others names like fascists or nazis. It is also quite ridiculous to suggest people who work within the law in a democracy in a respectful way are fascists or nazis. Obviously you have no idea what either are and I hope you never have to experience either evil personally. I suspect the millions of people who have suffered and died under fascists or nazis might be insulted by you trivializing the horrible impact they have had.

I suggest you learn the facts and stick to them rather than insulting people. By the way, cycling over the Burrard Bridge increased by around 25% as a result of the protected lanes.

There is no proof that the numbers of cyclists have increased, rather certain counts that are favouable to the trial [and not the ones unfavourable to the trial] show an increase in cycling trips over the bridge.

Show me the proof that there are more cyclists Richard. You can't because there isn't any. And your buddy Geoff Meggs recently expressed his frustration that the numbers hadn't increased.

As for my "trivializing"; my great grandfather and his family were killed by the Nazis after having their wealth taken from them, so I think I'm more then allowed to use that terminology to compare the tactics your alliance of cycling bullies uses to push your agenda onto the masses.

So Richard, before YOU insult people, stating that they "obviously" don't know what facism or Nazism are, while attempting to take the moral high-ground, I suggest you take some time to reflect on your tactics because increasingly the majority of Vancouverites are in my camp and not in yours.

Interesting.

According to Councilor Geoff Meggs, the numbers stayed static at 3.7%.

They were hoping to see the number increase to 10%, but it did not happen.

So, I am not sure where you are getting your numbers from.

Oh, but I do understand the number of bike thefts increased by 53% however, the VPD can't 'say' whether the Burrard bike lane was a factor in that number....

The Burrard St Bridge cycling statistics do not show an increase in cycling as some on these Comments by cyclists state. Take a look for yourself...Google ..."City of Vancouver Bicycling" You can see for yourself. No wonder Mayor Meggs is disappointed. How do they measure these stats?
Also the City website neglects to show a measurement for the huge increase in traffic on Beach Ave between Howe and Hornby. What a farce this Council has become. When are they going to do the right thing and maintain infrastructure as they should (Think Burrard St Bridge!) instead of being citizen and business unfriendly as they implement their $25mill bike lanes. This is a time for govt's to retrench not to be frivolous with luxuries we cannot afford.

Excellent posts and commentary on this one. Glad I stopped in.

All parties - motorists, cyclists and pedestrians - need to come to a mutual respect and understanding, and WORK TOGETHER to solve transportation problems in Vancouver.

The "Us vs. Them" argumentation is tired and stupid; it's a non sequitur.

The only real solution will involve co-operation between all of us.

Grow up, kids.

@chicken Funny how you became a cyclist prior to vision pushing their $25 million agenda to ram in separated bike lanes. As did apparently thousands of other vancouverites. The city had built several hundred kilometres of bike lanes in the past without all this confrontation. Hmmmm. Vision doesn't consult and there is friction. The cycling lobby commits to be volunteers and provide cash on the next campaign. Hmmmmm. Me sees a scratch my back I'll watch yours mentality building here.

The commandments were written on the tarred wall in great white letters that
could be read thirty yards away. They ran thus:
THE SEVEN COMMANDMENTS
1. Whatever goes upon four wheels is an
enemy.
2. Whatever goes upon four wheels or has
wings (think chicken) is a friend.
3. ........


How often are you out buying a big screen tv? I'm talking food for dinner, a new shirt, a novel to read at the beach or a trip to the local gym. Are there more business owners than cyclists? Where are the facts on that?

Yes this council must do a better job of consultation; but with all it citizens not just business owners.

Well, Glenn, since you do know very well how bad facism or Nazism was, I demand an apology. Comparing people who use peaceful, lawful, democratic means to help create a healthier city and planet to ruthless, murderous dictators is simply inexcusable.

Richard,

You will get no apology because you and your type are how it starts.

It's called "a slow creep to socialism" and its you who owes those who fought for this country in WWII an apology.

My father was one of those people, whom I doubt you much respect or appreciate.

If you did, you may understand a minutae of where your actions inevitably leads to.

Interesting reading

fact: # of cyclists has not increased
(see CofV stats for details)

fact: City was building bike routes through the city for the past few years with little issue, which have been well used by most.

fact: Vision comes along and lo and behold there is little or no consultation and bad bike routes are implemented, Result.....bad blood, bad business, increased confrontation

fact: a small minority of cyclists ignore taffic laws, think they are immune from any kind of courtesy and create ill feelings to the vast majority of responsible cyclists

Subfact: Personal experience has shown these "cyclists" to be the loudest advocates of cycling, banning cars and supposedly going green.

In fact a couple of them are on the radio or tv all the time. Yet every morning I see and experience 2 of these hypocrites ignoring basic traffic laws and acting as if they own the road
(i) red light .. ooo not for me
(ii) using proper lane change procedures,,,, ooo not for me
(iii) swearing at, abusing drivers or smacking crs as they go by that get in their way.... OO I own the road now
(iv) using proper and safe ways to cross the street.. not me I can dart across traffic and the cars HAVE to stop for me

Yet I see these 2 are at the forefront of advocating responsible cycling for everyone else but them.

Interestingly, 1 day as I was stopped I actually got out of the car and asked why they felt they could ignore the rules of the road and common courtesy.. answer...
expletive laden result and being told cops have better things to do than ticket people like me

MMM can you say double standard
ohhh and BTW talked to Cops about the lack of road safety by some of these people and was told.. we have been told to lay off.

Yet they are there like bees to honey for speeding, illegal lane changes, turns etc by cars...bikes not so much

Remember
Visions' Credo:

All pigs are created equal, but some pigs are more equal than others...

Right Glen... Because giving people a safe place to ride bikes separated from motor vehicles, which will still have a big role in the city even with bike lanes here and there, leads to the holocaust and attempts of world domination...

The Thought of The Day

"

Glen Hall,
I'm backing your comments 100%. I for one got tired of commenting on this subject. Deja vu, you see. And I have no problem to call this kind of Vision attitude... nazi or commie.

It's what it is, I recognized as such from the very beginning and they know it. Vision simply don't want the rest of the voters to wake up to it too soon, or before they can grab enough power. You see,the damage should significant enough so it could justify its means, and too expensive to reverse in a timely and fiscally responsible manner.

Not to speak the unspeakable...not everybody can bike, or afford to bike, or want to bike. Applying restrictions in the form of barriers, segregation, reduced free parking, increased parking tariffs you basically restrict movement of families with kids, the elderly, and people who live outside the West End, Kits, Fairview, Point Grey.

Someone please remind me where all the beaches are and how the seawall is covering them...my point exactly. But if you are the Mayor who's residence was purchased through an American corporation, coincidentally just before his pitiful stunt as an MLA (what a crock that was) and only blocks away from the Silly Hall, or all the numerous Hollyhock friends brought in from the US to leech on taxpayers money, only for them to advocate later. walking and biking, simply because on that kind of dough they can now afford their place in a five block radium from the Hall...

License the bikes, ask them to pay insurance (yes I know that you still consider the helmet a suggestion), and test them the rules of the road (and respect them too).

Then and only then, make noise about me being a pompous ass.

Until then though...

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

Ooops. Wrote it in a hurry,changed my mind midway, forgot to proofread. Missing a 'it; be; the; on' Tz, tz,tz...A thousand pardons! There you go.

The Thought of The Day

"I see a Hydrobike designated channel in the future. Also, someone is due for his Hollyhock intervention."

Yogi Berra said it best: "This is like deja vu all other again"

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

This thread really took a nosedive.

Mike - do you still think you have good commenters on this site?

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