Haste on Hornby causing "laneway grousing"

Post by Mike Klassen in

121 comments

streets equipment
CoV street construction gear on Howe & Davie – ready for action on Hornby?

For the most part, it's been a picture-perfect summer here in Vancouver. Let's face it, things are tough in other parts of the planet today – with floods in Pakistan, and fires in Russia. Yet, here on the Left Coast we seem to be having some of the most pleasant climate you could ask for.

However, when it comes to politics, there often seem to be clouds on the horizon here in our lovely town.

In the weeks since city council recessed for summer, things have been heating up on Hornby Street. The separated bike lane on the street seems to be a done deal. The "consultation" is being staged at the rotunda at Pacific Centre Mall (plaza at the corner of Howe & Georgia Streets) beginning at 11am (Wed. Aug. 11th). Media will be in attendance, and so will some people with strong feelings about the separated lane on both sides.

For a city that has already welcomed hundreds of kilometres worth of safe, well-marked bike routes criss-crossing its neighbourhoods – with the largest expansion taking place under the previous council – this town has become dead prickly on the subject of bike lanes. Several consider Vision Vancouver's aggressive approach as a huge win for the cause of building alternatives to the car. Others feel that it is an unwelcome encroachment.

So here we are in the dog days of summer – and warmer weather on the way. Our brains are fixated on beaches, patio time and bottles of Rosé – not bike lane battlefronts. Which is exactly why Gregor Robertson booked off back to Cortes Island and left staff to take the brunt of the brewing backlash.

The Vancouver Sun's Jeff Lee and CKNW's Janet Brown are reporting some discontent along the proposed route itself, with businesses, their customers and residents all wondering what happens when the separated bike lane wides up in front of their door. It's predicted that the project will cost about $2 million, with the City standing to lose an estimated $1 million annually in parking metre revenue from the removal of those spots located a short walk from St. Paul's Hospital and the Vancouver Court House. Up to seven intersections between Davie and Dunsmuir will be reconfigured with new traffic rules to boot.

Defenders of the lanes argue who cares? The City is always transforming streets and changing up parking, so why not now? The bugbear on this one seems to be city council's top down approach to the issue. Even the Sun's Jeff Lee is asking if the project is merely a fait accompli.

No Parking signage, backhoe buckets and other street construction equipment is staged over on Howe Street at Davie, presumably for the Hornby project, but even if it isn't for that it's symbolic of how swiftly Engineering are going to act at council's urging to get the separated lanes on fast. It will not matter what people say on Wednesday down at Pacific Centre, or in online surveys or other fora, this decision has long been made. If you still want to weigh in, here's where you can do it on the City's website. And here are the comments already piling up from both sides of the issue.

What's coming after Hornby appears to be a plan to connect Yaletown to Stanley Park by another bike route along Helmcken and Comox Streets, if the map on the City's website is accurate.

The shame of Robertson's haste to prove himself as Action Man is that worthwhile causes get tarred by the bad feelings the Mayor's arrogant approach has stirred up. For example, I happen to think that PARK(ing) Day is a really fun idea. The Courier's Sandra Thomas has done a fine feature on this, which the Vancouver Sun has re-published on their website.

The point of PARK(ing) has been since it began to create some usable and pleasant public space out of a parking spot. Someone plugs the metre for the day while people bring out sofas, astroturf, plants, or whatever decor they have on hand in a creative, one-day event. Locally the event is being managed by the Vancouver Public Space Network.

Organizers have "fun" in mind, and not friction. But the comments on the Sun's website (recently balanced off by the bike lobbyists – who spend a LOT of time online) are predictably grumpy. Last year PARK(ing) Day went off without a hitch, but given the irritation many are feeling on the separated lanes subject the event may garner more controversy.

All of this follows July's Critical Mass ride which blocked the Lion's Gate Bridge for just under an hour during Friday rush hour. Certainly some members of Vancouver's powerful bike lobby aren't trying to win friends and allies among the mainstream.

Let's just count ourselves lucky that we've got such a beautiful city and enviable weather. And if you're Mayor Gregor Robertson be thankful that you're out of town and not around to feel the real heat.

- post by Mike

121 Comments

It's hard to believe that previous NPA councils were able to construct hundreds of kilometres of bike lanes...almost without a peep. There were also plans to build much more without all of this class warfare approach.

Ensuring there are bike lanes for casual and regular cyclists (I'm in the former category) is a good thing. Consulting with local communities about where they should go is a no-brainer.

I'm absolutely shocked at Vision's "my way or the bikeway" approach to all of this. It's almost like they revel in the fact that groups of citizens are being pitted against each other. This is very disappointing and will work against them in the long run at the ballot box.

The bike lanes on Hornby are a done deal. This consultation is merely about what kind of perennials will be planted in the flower boxes lining the street - not about whether a separated bike lane should happen or not. The decision to put a separated bike lane on Hornby has already been made behind the scenes, and staff know it.

I attended the Bicycle Advisory Committee on Wednesday,July 28, and yes, the Hornby lanes are pretty well a fait accompli. City Engineering staff are more than just "onboard"-they are paddling as fast as they can. If anyone thinks staff are impartial to the outcome of this "consultation", they are dreaming.
The most shocking thing to me was to see more than one member of the advisory committee heaping scorn onto the VPD liason representative for police having the gall to enforce helmet laws and other traffic regulations during bike week.
His first name is Pat, and he responded to their abuse very patiently and professionally, but his face and ears were turning red...

The Hornby "consultation" has class-action lawsuit written all over it. Put the impending costs and settlement on top of the monstrous amount being spent on the lanes, and it's clear that Vision will leave office with Vancouver's finances in Greece-like shambles.

"t's hard to believe that previous NPA councils were able to construct hundreds of kilometres of bike lanes...almost without a peep. There were also plans to build much more without all of this class warfare approach."

Bike routes which consist of some signage and roundabouts such as 10th Ave and 8th Ave aren't bike lanes Daniel, and they certainly aren't protected, separated bike lanes such as are being implemented by the current administration. Additionally, most of those bike routes built in the past were on streets that were little used by through traffic. The exact same counter-arguments against protected lanes are heard in other places too, such as New York City, where noted communist and radical Michael Bloomberg is the current mayor. :-)

There's no class warfare going on. Cyclists occupy all levels of income and pedigree, and some have more disposable income than habitual drivers since they don't have to spend so much on transportation.

How much more progress and consensus could be achieved if we decided to abandon the divisive rhetoric and politicization of necessary improvements to infrastructure... and instead recognized that choice of transportation has little to do with political leaning?

@Chris & Others

Perhaps you hadn't noticed (I suggest viewing a map.. but then I tend to be old school, I suspect Google Earth or Maps will show the same thing)but Vancouver IS NOT located in Europe and isn't called Stockholm, Brussels, Berlin or Amsterdam.

(here's a hint on how to find Vancouver Canada... look for the BIG PINK country in the Northern Hemisphere of your map and follow it way over to the left to Georgia Straight and it's right there!)

So here's the deal, last time I looked at a map, Vancouver seemed to occupy a rather compact chuck of land surrounded on 3 sides by water (yes you can see that on a map... amazing huh?)

You will also notice that by studying said map, that such a compact geographic area requires some innovative thinking as to how best to accomodate the many hundreds of thousands that may live there.

Common sense would seem to dictate that fostering cooperation between the communities would lessen friction and improve civic harmony.
Common sense would seem to dictate that prior to a major project being undertaken those effected would be consulted as part of a real co-operative effort and out of that effort would arise a project supported by the majority.
Common sense would seem to dictate that complete information regarding, the impact on the environment, the residents, the economy and the safety of those effected would be made available.
Common sense would dictate that once the above are completed, the necessary finds would be allocated AND that those funds would NOT take away from other much needed programs, facilities or infrastructure.

Of Course we live in Vancouver.. so the above doesn't apply.

Zealotry and ideology should never replace common sense!


Although this is a done deal and the "consultation" is a sham, there still needs to be an outright ban on cyclists using the sidewalks on the downtown peninsula. I almost was hit by 2 cyclists (who were going so fast that they were 'standing up' on their bikes) going north on the sidewalk on Hornby. Less than 5 feet from their beloved bike lane. Why is this? Can a study be done as to why they insist on not using these lanes and using the (already crowded) sidewalks? Didn't think so...

@Chris "Bike routes which consist of some signage and roundabouts such as 10th Ave and 8th Ave aren't bike lanes Daniel, and they certainly aren't protected, separated bike lanes such as are being implemented by the current administration."

I just love how cycling lobbyists have very selective memory. What do you call the bike route surrounding all of Stanley Park? Or the new bike lane in South East False Creek? Or the bike lanes around Kits Beach or Jericho Beach...and so on, and so on. Oh, don't forget the Carrall Street Greenway? Have you forgotten the millions of dollars invested by previous NPA governments to create the Ontario street or the 37th Street bike paths?

If you were to remove your Vision blinders for a moment, you would see that Vancouver has demonstrated a lot of support for cyclists over the last number of decades. However, since the last election, a lack of consultation and a "father knows best" attitude by the current administration has helped to fuel a very hostile environment. And it's only going to get worse as businesses and residents get better coordinated in their response to this regime.

Why can't you simply admit that the way in which Vision is approaching these separated bike lanes is a big part of the problem.

Thanks for the geography lesson Dave.

The majority almost always wants the status quo. Sometimes politics and change take the courage to stand on principle, not buckle to public pressure.

First they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then they tell you how they thought your idea was a good one all along.

It was ever thus.

Having successfully implemented crazy European ideas such as public transit, running water, and tapas, I'm guessing Vancouver can probably manage a few bike lanes here and there as well, just like those decidedly Continental jurisdictions of Portland, Seattle, Seoul, NYC, Montreal, Madison WI, Davis CA, Hobart Tasmania, Austin TX, Nairobi....

Any transportation system that can be brought to its knees by taking away a couple of metres of road space (which I personally doubt would be the outcome) is one that needs a major rethink anyway, and I'm not sure the large segment of the population who rely upon the status quo to maintain their comfort and convenience is going to embrace the necessary changes. By all means, let's talk about solutions from all angles, but given the general tenor of the opposition to cycling improvements, it's clear that the political leadership has to be willing to take a little heat and make those changes, despite all the unfair and unwarranted criticisms of the process and the motivation for change.

Nice one Daniel. You managed to miss my point entirely. When you're done rah-rahing the NPA, perhaps take another look at my post.

Bike lanes are not bike paths are not bike routes. You'll never get the same push-back from the public by slapping up some roundabouts and bike signs on a quiet(ish) street such as Ontario or 37th as you will when you create a separated lane with barriers in the downtown core.

If you can't or won't distinguish between the varieties of cycling infrastructure you will only further cloud the issue. If the NPA had attempted to put in a facility such as the new Dunsmuir lane are you going to sit there with a straight face and tell me there wouldn't have been just as much opposition from the powerful car lobby?


If you want progress and productive public debate over these initiatives then it's incumbent upon you to put aside the barracking for any party, get your facts and terminology correct, and then address the issues.

thanks,
CK

Bike lanes are ageist.

What about those of us who live downtown and want to age in place? We need cars and parking not only for ourselves but for care givers, visiting friends and helpful trades.

Guess Mayor Gregor doesn't give a damn because he thinks he will never get older..sort of like Dorian Gray?

Sadly this is a done deal. It is amazing how Vision can pit one small organized group against the rest of the citizenry.

2011 can't come fast enough so we can "Off with their heads" and sweep City Hall clean!

The progressives running city hall and their Hollyhock money masters don't give a flying foo-foo about you & me think or want . . they are smarter & better & nicer than us so we should just bend over and enjoy the decisions they make for us.

Mr. Keam. You just don't get it, do you? & Vision doesn't either. Daniel, Dave, I & others are not against improving bike transportation downtown. We are against having a proposal rammed down our throats which, in the absence of any definitive information appears to have the potential for significant negative consequences.

Vision's latest attempt @ consultation was to install a sidewalk @ the park @ 25th & Crown in order to use up Federal stimulus $s. The neighbours are up in arms. Maybe they could have spent the money more intelligently if they had had the courtesy to ask the community what it's priorities were.

Hey Chris,
How much would you be willing to pay to ensure this infrastructure for bikes is used. We have a small segment of the population demanding costly infrastructure but with a sense of entitlement that everyone else should pay for it (via ICBC, gas taxes, general revenue).
So put a number on it. Rather than just sucking cash out of society for your own use (under a misguided "religion" about what is best for the planet).
What should be the cost of a bike licensed to use the lanes, cover the cost of all the accidents and injuries to pedestrians or with cars when it's the bikers fault.
It's fine that you think you are entitled to all of this infrastructure, I just don't understand why you think you are entitled to it for free.

Sure, I'll play silly buggers on this one.

What's a good number to start with?

1000 kg car pays what... about $2000 a year in insurance for work purposes?

Average crappy bike weighs about 15kg. $2.00 a kg. $30 a year for a bike lane on every street and recognition that I have as much right to the road as any other user? Priceless. Where do I sign up?

Will this tax be included in that same statement as my sidewalk, escalator, elevator, and air-breathing taxes?

:-)

Mr McCreery:

I absolutely get it. You're playing politics with the safety of cyclists and putting a rather low dollar figure on my life. Pardon my reluctance to be complicit.

If you want to have a reasonable debate about this, then the very first thing we need to do is stop with the fallacy that previous gov'ts installed hundreds of kilometres of bike paths. That didn't happen. Bike routes were created, which consist of signage and some changes to intersections. The Seawall is a fine thing, but it's not a useful route for someone who needs to get to work.
A far different set-up than a protected lane in the downtown core.

Full marks to to the NPA councillors for what they did (especially in light of the flak they took from their own side), but it's not the process that's the problem, it's the product. This same argument is playing out in countless other cities over exactly the same kinds of facilities. The brouhaha isn't because of Vision or the process, it's because a change to the dominant paradigm is being instituted and some people are clearly trying to use opposition to the culture shift as a way to further the fortunes of their favourite political party. I've never spent a dime or a minute supporting Vision as a party, but frankly, it's starting to become a more attractive option with each passing debate over these small changes to a sprawling transportation network.

Several commentators seem to think that the fact there is consultation happening in August is somehow inappropriate. What is this France? I don't know the type of circles you folks are moving in, but most people I know don't have the ability to have extended vacations through August. The City doesn't just stop because some of its citizens have the ability to dream of patios and wine all day. Get real.

Hornby Street is a no-brainer for a north/south dedicated bike lane, and the fact that so many are setting their hair on fire in commenting otherwise can only mean that the issue is being unduly politicized. People seem to think that any alteration to the status quo constitutes using the issue as a wedge, but I just can't see it. Politically speaking, bike lanes do not do much for Vision given the limited numbers of cyclists that are actually fired up by infrastructure issues. If anything, these initiatives are a political liability. In light of that, I have to give council points for action on an issue that they are committed to despite political expediency.

As has been pointed out previous councils have created more bike routes than vision.

Some of these were simply bike routes that shared the road with vehicles (like 10th and Ontario). But there were many actual bike lanes that gave a distinct strip of pavement to bikes. Many were downtown and some removed parking and/or lanes for motor vehicles.


Examples of bike lanes introduced before Vision took power include:
- Burrard Street
- Hornby Street
- Pacific
- Carrall Street
- Homer
- Richards
- Pacific
- Beatty
- 41st
- 49th

But from what I remember in most cases there was LESS pre-construction communication and public process for these changes then there has been for the Burrard bridge, Dunsmuir Lane expansion and the Hornby Lane expansion.

It seems to me that the reason we are hearing more criticism is because there has been earlier and more public communication about these projects prior to construction.

I support bike lanes, but not by taking away motor vehicle space of the road.
Motor Vehicle drivers pay insurance, licensing fees, air care, 35% parking tax, property tax, income tax, and gas tax and are getting nothing in return. No new roads, no more parking, no less time spent idling causing polution.
Bike riders pay NO gas tax, pay no insurance, pay no license fees, and get new bike lanes, more parking spaces, block traffic with their Critical Mass protests, break traffic laws and hit other cars without licenses and insurance for mitigation.
Where is the justice?

@Chris

Playing politics with your life eh? mmm

According the Lon LaClaire research has shown - particularly on Manhattan's one-way streets - that cyclists will travel both ways in a separated bike lane even if the lane is marked as one-way.

In other words, cyclists still have trouble obeying basic rules of the road that non-cyclists have to adhere to!

By default, he said, a one-way lane on Hornby would become two-way. LaClaire also points out that the 1.5 metre width needed for two-way is only slightly larger than the one metre needed for one-way. He also points out that research in Copenhagen shows that over the long term separated bike lanes bring an overall 20 per cent increase in cycling.

And ...

lastly, LaClaire said that separated bike lanes inherently result in higher collision rates than painted bike lanes. There are several reasons for this, he said:

* Separated lanes create a confined space for cyclists. Passing other cyclists and dealing with oncoming bikes can create places for conflict.

* In painted lanes, cyclists and cars share the same space and are much more aware of each other. Separating them out means "out of sight, out of mind" that can result in accidents at street corners and intersections. Signage for both cyclists and motorists is part of the answer.

LaClaire said that despite that increase in collisions, separated lanes are considered to be overall benefits because they increase the number of cyclists, which increases the general health of the population, which supposedly reduces health costs.

So Chris as you will be much happier and healthier on your way to the hospital after you get hit by a fellow cyclist.

Oh and who will you be suing to recover lost wages and other damages as you recover?

MM I am sure the comrade that hit you would have been long gone and not left much info for you to go on. But the being the altristic, wealthy type I am sure that losing your livelihood for a period won't effect you in the least while the public (and you) pick up the tab for your recovery.

@marco

The idea that cyclists don't pay their fair share is one of the most persistent myths of modern culture.


In fact, private car ownership is one of he most subsidized aspects of our society. In Metro Vancouver two separate studies found that taxpayers subsidize car owners by over $2 billion per year (bc.transport-action.ca/learning/background/transport_2021/cost_report.html).


So cyclists who drive little or never are actually helping to subsidize the habits of frequent car driver.

@Marko.

"No new roads, no more parking, no less time spent idling causing polution."

Surely you joke?

Hwy 1 expansion
Sea to Sky
New Port Mann bridge
New Pitt River bridge
SFPR
Planned NFPR
HOV lanes on Hwy 99
etc etc etc...

hmmmm...so by your rationale, Chris, should people who ride the bus or airlines have to pay by the pound?

Should obese people be charged a higher tax rate to cover their increased medical costs.

Should non-smokers demand that smokers pay higher health care surcharges.

Everyone pays for sidewalks because everyone uses them. Everyone who drives, pays for roads.

But those of us who don't use bikes lanes are expected to pay for 100% of the costs.

Campers pay fees for campsites. Fisherman buy licenses to fish. Community centre users pay fees for programs and facility use.

Bikers are the ultimately freeloaders.

@rf

I don't use the Pitt River bridge but I paid for it.

How is that any different?

If you want progress and productive public debate over these initiatives then it's incumbent upon you to put aside the barracking for any party, get your facts and terminology correct, and then address the issues.

************************

Chris:

You finally nailed it on the head!

We WANT progressive, productive public debate.

And currently, we aren't getting it. No matter what the topic.

The 'suggestion of consultation' after the fact is not open dialogue and is not addressing the issue.

An ugly pattern with Vision is in place: tell the people after the fact.

We saw it with the HEAT shelters, the WEN residents are still experiencing it and the bike issue is and will be ongoing. I also understand the businesses around the Bosman Hotel hit the same roadblocks. What they think, how it effects them, does not matter.

So until this Mayor and Council can wrap their brains around the idea of 'public dialogue' and actually participate in it BEFORE decisions are made, people will continue to be angry and resist any changes. There is NO trust.

So much for Robertson's 'apology' over the last incident. It was empty and meaningless - as here we go again.

It is backdoor politics, sneaky and under-handed.

pretty lame example, even for you.

Max has described the reason for the backlash succinctly. Some people want this to be all about cars vs. bikes, but it has very little to do with that.

Actually Larry:

Granville Street would have been a better option. The recent expansion of the lanes and sidewalks, the no parking, and less vehicle traffic overall.

The area is predominately foot traffic to begin with and as the area has been sectioned off to vehicle traffic for a period of years now while the Canada Line was being built, car drivers have already adapted to the change.

They could have expanded the route from the Granville Bridge down to Dunsmuir.

It would have less of an impact on the existing businesses, traffic, parking (no loss of revenue to the city) and overall, a safer route for cyclists.

I'll take your ignoring my point as accepting of it. :)

At least with *some* of the new roads there will be tolls so drivers will come fractionally closer to paying the true cost of driving. Too bad it's not on all new roads/bridges....

or bike lanes.......

RF:

"hmmmm...so by your rationale, Chris, should people who ride the bus or airlines have to pay by the pound?"

Baggage is limited by weight and size on an airline. Weigh more pay more. Same with a number of other ways we move freight. Size matters when it comes to moving goods and people. That's why the ferries charge more for over height and over length vehicles.

I'm perfectly happy with the current lack of fees required to use a bike. I gave you one example of a way to price out your suggestion. You see a problem? You suggest some reasonable solutions.

You might start by comparing the costs to the system for car accidents etc, compared to that of bike-related incidents and then pro-rate accordingly. But you won't. Because we both know that doing so would only point out how pointless and unnecessary bike fees would prove to be.

"Everyone pays for sidewalks because everyone uses them. Everyone who drives, pays for roads."

Everyone pays for roads. The idea that drivers are paying their 'fair share' in this regard has been dis-proven again and again. If your argument relies on a fallacy for validity then the whole house of cards tumbles.

How about $25,000,000 for bike lanes for 5000 bikers over 20 years = $250/year.

ICBC makes a profit so I don't see how that holds water. Sure there are some health care costs but since when do we pay propriationately for health care.

Heck...I could actually live with the $30/year that you suggest. Pretty reasonable for the use of all of this dedicated infrastructure for the 'holier than thou' biker crowd.
Why on earth would you even want a bike lane on every street? Just to prove that how easy it is to waste other people's money?

interesting comment from a former NPA councillor here:
http://thetyee.ca/News/2010/08/11/BicycleBacklash/


For Gordon Price, director of Simon Fraser University's City Program and former NPA city councillor, Anton's comments have little to do with council's bike policies and more to do with the game of politics.

"If you don't like the party, you criticize the process," he said. "She does not want, I would guess, to criticize the idea of the bike lanes in principle but also wants to support critics because she's 'in opposition.'"

Public consultation is a vital part of policy-making, Price said, but it is important to distinguish those who just want to criticize the process as a way of avoiding having to object to policies like separated bike lanes or affordable housing.

And after sitting on Vancouver city council for 15 years, Price is wary of councillors who use the 'public process' ticket as an excuse and a strategy to gain political ground, he said.

"Vision does the same thing. . . all political parties do this," he said. "It's a fairly subtle point but an important one. It means that there is no process that would be satisfactory unless they were in power."

"Pretty reasonable for the use of all of this dedicated infrastructure for the 'holier than thou' biker crowd."

Having to make sweeping value judgments about people whom you've likely never met and have no idea as to their personal behaviour as a means of justifying fees for access to public space is a dangerous road to do down IMO. If you do that one might be forced to point out that everyone has equal right to equal access, but drivers by their choice of mode, actually monopolize public space and as such are the obvious candidates for tolls, fees, and other charges to offset the costs of maintaining their privileged status in the transportation network and selfish desire to see public space allocated expressly to their convenience, despite the fact that most streets are far under capacity 24 hours a day and only a few major roads ever experience anything resembling congestion, and usually only for a few peak hours.

Truly a 'be careful what you wish for' scenario.

@ Chris. Sorry, I'm not playing lose with your life. & yes this issue, STIR & others have become politicized. Why? Because Vision insists on foisting half backed, half thought through initiatives on us with wall paper for consultation. Sadly, one thing vision has succeeded in is dividing citizens one from another. More sadly for such misguided reasons.

I just returned from the City's show but no tell. I expected to finally see the unveiling of the detailed design of the Hornby bike route. With 2 weeks already gone of 6, nope, just more eyewash. The businesses & condos on Hornby need to have this information so they can do their due diligence to determine how it's going to affect their businesses. After much encouragement staff finally allowed the might be a detailed design ready by +/-5 September. Council is meant to vote on this 21 September -- 2 weeks for people to do their assessment & come to a conclusion & to share their own findings with other affected parties. Sorry, this is not public consultation.

Perhaps it is you who are playing fast & loose politics with their businesses, their livelihoods & that of all their employees.

I do not want to stop putting in a north / south bike lane, I do want it to be located in the right place & I do want it to work, minimize the economic impact & be safe. Time to stop & take a breath Vision.

"ICBC makes a profit"

If drivers had to pay the full cost of accidents and injuries caused through automobile crashes, insurance would cost tens of thousands of dollars annually. Every time somebody kills or injures another person due to bad driving we all pay the medical costs. We all pay the policing, emergency responder, and court costs. We all pay for the lost productivity due to traffic delays. We all pay for testing and licencing costs of the DMV. We all pay the costs associated with pollution and environmental damage due to smog and resource extraction.

Those are the real facts and no argument over entitlement and 'holier than thou' attitudes is complete without taking a long hard look at the entrenched expense the entire population, from the 10 year old kid paying HST on a popsicle, to the cyclist who pays property taxes, are forced to bear so that those who drive can do so in a subsidized fashion.

Chris, I really believe that you are exactly that way.

The crowd that makes $40,000/year and convinces themselves that they actually pay taxes.

The crowd that has traded religion for the equally subjective certainty of "green inititives".

It all about you until the bill shows up. Then it's about everyone else.

Public consultation is a vital part of policy-making, Price said, but it is important to distinguish those who just want to criticize the process as a way of avoiding having to object to policies like separated bike lanes or affordable housing.

*****

Rob, there is a huge difference between criticizing for the sake of criticizing and wanting to have, or having, the ability to voice legitimate concerns and have those concerns addressed in an appropriate and timely fashion.

To-date, the history Vision has created is that of no public consultation.

One of their campaign promises was 'transparency and accountability in government'. To-date, they are failing miserably on that front.

Businesses will be affected, their revenue impacted by these decisions. It has already happened with 2 businesses located at the Burrard Bridge lane.

And had people been able to be involved prior to the stamp of approval, perhaps a very viable alternative could have recognized.

Regardless of which political party gets in, they need to balance their leadership and represent ALL citizens equally; not pander to special interest groups.

"I just returned from the City's show but no tell. I expected to finally see the unveiling of the detailed design of the Hornby bike route. With 2 weeks already gone of 6, nope, just more eyewash. The businesses & condos on Hornby need to have this information so they can do their due diligence to determine how it's going to affect their businesses. After much encouragement staff finally allowed the might be a detailed design ready by +/-5 September."

You seem to be expecting a fait accompli in terms of design before the consultation process is complete Bill. I find your position contradictory and at odds with your expectation that the public should have a say in the design and implementation of the plan.

Chris:

Businesses have reported to various news outlets that they too feel the lane is a fait accompli - and that was before today's 'information' meeting.

So, what - we are all just imagining this?

The bike lane route was leaked weeks ago and before any 'decisions' were supposedly made my the Mayor and Council.

And again, referring to their past history of 'public consultation'.

As the saying goes 'Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.'


It's not about me or any single person RF. You have to keep personalizing these debates and making denigrating comments about people because unfortunately, there aren't many facts on your side.

Sadly, it's that kind of approach that makes it difficult to cut through the b.s. and get to a place where solutions can be found that work for everyone.

If you can't criticize an infrastructure project without insulting people who might benefit then it shows a paucity of strong reasons to oppose the changes being proposed.

"Regardless of which political party gets in, they need to balance their leadership and represent ALL citizens equally; not pander to special interest groups."

Agreed.

But where is the evidence that this applies to the current situation?

As others have pointed out, previous councils actually implemented more bike lanes with less public consultation.

Vision was elected on a clear mandate to implement bike lanes. They specifically pointed to the Burrard Bridge bike lane during the election campaign.

The only NPA councillor elected is the most bike friendly of their slate.

And yet Vision is lagging behind other councils when it comes to bike infrastructure.

Far from pandering to special interest groups it seems to be they are simply following up on a clear mandate from the electorate. Although, not as well as previous councils when it comes to bike infrastructure.

Max:

Reread Bill's comments and my response. My observation is that Bill is complaining there's not enough consultation... and then complains when he goes to a public meeting and there's still opportunity to revise the plan. That's the way I read it anyway. It has nothing to do with what's going on or not going on, simply that he seems to want something and is now disappointed when he gets it. I would have thought he would have been delighted to find out the plan is still being fine-tuned.

Chris, (and Max),

This was fait accompli MONTHS, not weeks, ago---when I talked to a CH staffer who admitted it at a meeting we attended together.

Please, don't try to be so disingenuous. Or dishonest.

"Chris, I really believe that you are exactly that way."

And given your comments RF, your opinion of me matters not a whit. As I once remarked to another online poster who chooses ad hominem attacks and erroneous suppositions as their method of choice, if you didn't think I was a jerk I'd wonder what I was doing wrong.

cheers,
CK

Could not agree more. Not opposed to bikes haveing safe trails, but am opposed to it when it takes away valuable road space for motor vehicles making travel to and from downtown even more congested. Granville Street would be a perfect choice. Already not much traffic on it, it is dense, shopping oriented street. It can be like the woonerf in Netherlands. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woonerf

Few issues attract as much debate on both sides of the issue as bike lanes. So why not put it to a referendum?

I want more golf courses, Chris. I think it beautifies the land. I think the 10km walk is great excerise for the heart and it calms the soul. If only everyone played golf, just twice a week, the city would be a better place.
It is a chance to plant more trees. It is a chance for strangers to connect and become friends.
We can take the disproportianate amount of land dedicated to housing and roads, and dedicate it to a pursuit enjoyed by 4% of the population.
We should subsidize this. It will allow people to park their cars for 5 hours and just enjoy the city without polluting it.
It doesn't matter how many people don't use the golf courses, it should be paid for by everyone, not just the golfers.

to Chris, rob et al

mm I would like to know how you get meaningful input and consultation after answering questions like...

7. Which of the following bike lane considerations are the most important to you?
a) greening the street?
b) Restrictions to right turning vehicles?
c) Access to loading zones and/or customer access to parking?

mm reads like a leading question dontcha think?

Also from Vision's Platform, they campaigned on a bike lane on the Burrard Bridge (1 lane)

This is a far cry from the disruption, fear and anger created by the implementation of a far more aggressive social engineering agenda they have embarked upon.

In fact Robertson stated:
"We need to bring people together from all cultures, from all walks of life, all perspectives, all neighbourhoods, to get the best ideas Vancouver has to offer and develop a made-in-Vancouver blueprint to show the world what true social and environmental sustainability is."

Funny how things work out.


"valuable road space for motor vehicles"

If road space is valuable then cars should delegated to last in the priority list. No other form of transportation comes even close to the single occupant vehicle when it comes to outsized requirements for public space to operate safely and it seems most of the cars coming downtown contain a single person.

Anyone truly worried about getting the maximum utility from our roads would be hectoring Council for more buses, more bus lanes, more bike lanes, and tolls for entering the core, as well demanding perks for car-poolers, time-shifters, and companies that encourage tele-commuting. The last thing they would be doing would be complaining about cars losing primacy in the hierarchy.

Vision was elected on a clear mandate to implement bike lanes. They specifically pointed to the Burrard Bridge bike lane during the election campaign.

*************
Yes, he did speak to the Burrard Bridge Bike lane as a trial and with ....here are those words again....public consultation.

Next, we read a week in advance of the final meeting on whether the bike lane would become a permanent fixture that guess what - the bike lane was approved and now permanent.

The we read a bunch of BS about the supposed number or riders crossing the bridge, numbers that at that time the city website didn't even support.

Then, on the city website, you read the methodology of how those numbers were derived - through an 'estimation' process some (can't think of which now) other city used at one point in time. Numbers estimated.

And as someone who crosses that bridge, on foot, everyday, to and from work, I can tell you - the numbers are not even near what City Hall was spouting out.

Next, on the topic of 'campaign' promises:

Other promises included eliminating homelessness by 2015, building more affordable housing, improving street safety, making Vancouver the greenest city in the world, and fostering creative business innovation.

Silly me, I though the vast majority of the people elected Robertson and Vision because they PROMISED to end homelessness. (and I know people in the DTES thought that too) Not his new 2010 version of ending 'Street' homelessness, but homelessness. So far - that is up by 12% so they get an 'F'.

And don't even get me started on why the deterioration of the under carriage of the Burrard Bridge still has not been addressed.

For the Love of God - get your priorities straight. Fix the bridge, then make the changes to the bike lane. Not vice versa.

Yet, I do see that they have manged to spray paint the areas where the stone work is wearing away on the bridge railings with GREY paint. Could they have not gone for a paint, like say brown or sand, that would match the stone work???

Between that paint and the ugly black paint they used to spray paint the bike signs on the foot pathway, the bridge is looking more ghetto every day.

I would be more than happy to post pics.


I've never seen someone golf their way to work or school RF. Terrible example.

I was at the public information session today and, true to what everyone is saying, this project is a done deal. The lanes are going in, no matter WHAT the public says.

I stood back for a second to look at the crowd. I counted about 10 City of Vancouver employees there to answer questions and "sell" the idea to people who arrived. Between 11am and noon, by far the largest number of people there were media. Once most of them cleared out, there were about 20-30 people left who opposed the bike lane transformation. Finally there was one woman and her boyfriend who were in favour of the bike lane.

Anyone who showed disapproval for the project immediately saw these two descend on them and get into a heated debate about how dangerous Hornby Street is for cyclists. The cameras immediately turned to the confrontation and these two got an immense amount of attention. Later I found out the woman is on the City's Cycling Advisory Council.

The big question I asked at the meeting is, "why has Hornby been chosen over Howe Street." I know on the surface the answer is simple, there's no busses on Hornby. However this morning Translink announced busses would be returning to Granville street in September. This would leave PLENTY of space for a two way bike lane on Howe.

The answer I got was not quite as noteworthy as the brief smile I saw form on the face of the city's engineer. I can only imagine this option was brought to council's attention, but Mayor Robertson and his Vision Vancouver cohorts quickly quashed the idea.

I feel for the Engineers at the city when dealing with this council. This city is one of the most beautiful in the world and they are to be thanked for coming up with many of the plans to make it that way. This council's narrow-minded "shoot and ask questions later" approach to these changes will end up costing them next year.

What's even more slimy is that NOT ONE of the Vision Vancouver councillors were brave enough to be at the "information session" to answer questions. They sent the Engineers out to face the fire of upset residents and business owners. Shame on them all for being cowards.

Good news!

I just became the 1,000,000th person to go the public consultation on bike lanes!

:-)

When you figure out a way when I can get my wife and kid from my house in Coquitlam to Downtown on a bike or a bus in less then 3 hours then we can talk about other more valuable uses for road space. Perhaps the money used for the bike lane can be transfered to fund Evergreen line. I will gladly leave my car at home in that case.

Congratulations!

Did you get a free t-shirt??

Marko:

I chose a random Coquitlam address for a starting point and downtown for a destination and came up with a 100 minute trip. This issue over Hornby St is not really about travel from the suburbs however.

C38, 160 3:51pm 5:30pm 1h39 min. 1 0.70km $5.00 $3.50
Departing: 3:50pm on 08-11-2010
Travelling From: WB VICTORIA DR AT 3500 BLOCK, VICTORIA DR @ 3500 BLOCK, COQUITLAM
Travelling To: W GEORGIA ST @ GRANVILLE ST, VANCOUVER
Step by Step Trip Detail

Bus Departing From: 3:51pm - NORTHBOUND CEDAR DR AT CHELSEA AV
On Route: "C38 PRAIRIE"
Travelling To: 4:11pm - PORT COQUITLAM CENTRE BAY 1
*Stay on the same vehicle
Bus Transfer At: 4:16pm - NORTHBOUND SHAUGHNESSY AT MCALLISTER BAY 2
On Route: "160 VANCOUVER VIA BARNET HWY"
Arriving At: 5:30pm - SOUTHBOUND HOWE ST AT DUNSMUIR ST BAY 3 Alert! Click for more information

Chris:

I can tell you have traveled very little, for any distance, by bus.

I head to Surrey every weekend to see the boyfriend.

My average trip is 1.5 hours and that is on a good day when the buses run on schedule and I make my connections - along with three 'transit' transfers.

Loads of fun.

Couldn't imagine doing it with kids in tow.

If I had to commute to town from a distance - I would be driving, regardless if I was a single in the car or had a family to drop off at various points along the way.

@ Chris.
"You seem to be expecting a fait accompli in terms of design before the consultation process is complete Bill. I find your position contradictory and at odds with your expectation that the public should have a say in the design and implementation of the plan."

The logic is this: Hornby has been selected by Vision as 'the' lane. No other options are illustrated even via their little dotted doodles. Their dubiously curious matrix chart attempts to justify this selection, the other choices being Thurlow & Burrard. Brilliant. But, it remains, Hornby wins!

So we come to a public presentation today to be told what we already know -- the separated bike lane goes down Hornby. In my opinion as well as quite a number of people there today that was not good enough. We want to know specifically what is being proposed so we can do our due diligence. We are told by staff, after pushing to get the information, that the earliest the detailed design would be available will be +/-5 September, leaving 2 weeks before Council will vote.

There are no alternative options presented, the route is Hornby & no site specific info, so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to conclude this is window dressing & a waste of time & taxpayers money. Sorry but, you'll find its backfired as a strategy.

Max:

Marko's requirements were Coq. to downtown in under 3 hours. With one kid and a wife. The solution was presented with 80 minutes to spare.

And yes, I have traveled plenty by bus, to a variety of locales in the region.

It's irrelevant to the topic however, as the Hornby St. bike lane isn't a facility created with suburban commuters in mind.

Having said that, lots of people use buses to get themselves and their kids to and from destinations. Sure, it takes additional planning and forethought. Nobody would argue that point. But I also know from experience that it is possible and usually reasonably timely.

The idea that we can possibly sustain the current system of building more and more roads to accommodate more and more cars simply isn't feasible, nor can anyone make a promise that switching to transit won't involve making some changes to expectations and lifestyles. If nobody is going to make a few small concessions to reality for the benefit of our kids then we are bequeathing a world of hurt on the children of today and tomorrow. And that, more than any other issue surrounding transportation in Metro Vancouver is the absolute crux of the issue. What are we as individuals willing to compromise on to leave our children with something resembling a livable region? If the answer is 'nothing' then let's just be honest about it.

I'm afraid your mind works very differently from my own. I'm very comfortable with the way mine works, so guess we're @ a draw. I'll let others come to their own conclusions.

Not that anyone cares, but the construction equipment pictured in this blog post is likely for scheduled road maintenance on Hornby for August 14/15

my household laughed out loud when Brandon Steele commented on the news how businesses should perhaps adapt to attract the cycling crowd. Pure comedy.

Yes, businesses should take advice from a flunkie who works at the marijuana seed exchange in the DTES.

we all know how cyclists love to open their wallets. Such a wealthy free spending bunch.

And so we have the face of another hard core cycling advocate. Seed Dealers unite for bikes

Pro-tip:

People who are confident in their p.o.v. and the reasons for it don't rely on name-calling and derision to make their point. It just makes them sound petty and scared and weakens what few good points they might have.

@Max

From Vision's platform:
http://www.votevision.ca/sites/all/files/vision_platform_web.pdf

On page 13:
– Create cycling infrastructure that safely integrates bikes into the road network, beginning with a pilot project that provides separated bike lanes on several major bike routes.

Both Dunsmuir and Hornby are major bike routes so there you go. Politicians living up to their campaign promises, it is rather refreshing.

Seriously though, you would think that after the Cambie court decision, the City would be much more cautious when dealing with consultation that impacts the health of local businesses. This sham of an open house, complete with borderline harassment of bike lane opponents, represents even less consultation than the Cambie process.

It's looking more and more like the citizens of this city are going to get saddled with another hefty legal bill because of Gregor's folly.

you have mistaken blogworld for the real world, Chris.
Now stop waving that crystal back and forth on a string.
You sound like a creepy hypnotist.

Red-light Robertson? Mayor Flip-Flop (ignores the plight of businesses gored by his government's decisions after championing business's cause against Translink)? Mayor Moonbeam? Mayor Snowbird? Mayor Minor? Oh, I've got one...how about ex-Mayor Robertson?

How one behaves in the 'blogworld' under the cloak of anonymity says a lot about a person RF.

It's a shame it brings out the schoolyard bully in you. All you're doing is providing addt'l ammunition to cycling advocates that opposition to protected bike lanes is a knee-jerk reaction from people who are simply looking for something to complain about.

It's call anonymosity. Googl'it.

It's called weak.

I'd love to continue, but I'm too busy looking at traffic cams and marveling at the amount of empty lanes during the weekday morning rush.

http://www.gvrd.com/webcams/

Was that a tumbleweed that just blew across the Cambie Bridge?

cheers,
CK

No, I don't care. it's an exemplary illustration, not a literal depiction.

CK, this city is spending enormous amounts of taxpayers cash and city staff time on a non-problem. $25 million-for bike lanes???
Did you you know that when (not if, but when) the big quake comes, this city will go up in flames because no attention is being paid to burying electrical cables throughout the city?
Or that we're spending $23 million dollars on Granville to make it a "Great Street" (I thought it was great before they started ripping it up,but hey, what do i know), while the city runs a $60 million deficit, and food-bank line-ups are double and triple what they were only a few short years ago?
I'm not saying that bike lanes may or may not be important to some, but this council has got it's priorities terribly twisted and is creating a lot of havoc in return for very little public good.

Gerry:

People keep crying havoc, but when will we let slip the dogs of gridlock? The reality is that these changes are being implemented with a lot of wailing and gnashing, but when viewed without emotion, we see that the changes barely register on the list of things that create traffic problems in Vancouver.

There are two easy ways to take our daily traffic temperature. Check out the traffic cams I linked to, and listen to traffic reports on the radio. The biggest problems are always the same and in the same places. Congestion in the suburbs and on the freeway, which is entirely because we embrace the inefficient method of one person/one car, and traffic snarls caused by bad driving creating crashes. We could make Vancouver traffic problems disappear in just a few years if individuals sought out ways to combine trips with their neighbours or co-workers, and the provincial gov't instituted licensing requirements that were more stringent and demanded a greater understanding of driving than simply rubber-stamping the application of every would-be motorist who manages to parallel park.

Council is taking the long view when it comes to transportation and in the big scheme of things I think it will be seen as a timely and intelligent use of public money.

@RealityCheck

Time for a reality check. Comparing 4 years of Cambie cut and cover construction to these bike lanes is absurd and insulting to the poor businesses that suffered and lost a lot of money. It is pretty obvious that you never actually observed the chaos along Cambie.

If you want a idea of what Hornby will look like, just go over to Dunsmuir. There are tons of people walking on the sidewalks, lots of people cycling cycling in the bike lanes including people with children. I expect that the businesses are doing just fine.

You still didn't answer the question, CK. $25 million is a lot of money that's being diverted from what everyone agrees are far more important issues. It's being used to build infrastructure that won't be used much for almost half of the year, and not at all on any day it snows.

Comparing it to how businesses on Cambie suffered is not the point. The law is the law. The Cambie case set a significant legal precedent and standard for public consultation by municipal governments and it hasn't even come close to being met here.

A class-action lawsuit here is very likely. And it stands a very good chance of success if this project goes ahead.

From:
http://crosscut.com/2010/08/12/vancouver/20056/In-Vancouver,-new-bike-lanes-and-soon-public-bikes/

"Stopping for an impulse retail buy while you’re riding a bicycle is about 100 times easier (based on my personal experience) than when you’re driving a car."

"The biggest complainer about the Burrard Bridge bike lanes was an art dealer who had through traffic diverted away from his street. It turned out his destination business was already shutting down, opening only for a few hours a day."

The article is by Business in Vancouver publisher, Peter Ladner.

A newspaper article is not the same as legal precedent. If the businesses on Hornby can demonstrate a significant loss of business after the bike lanes are installed, taxpayers are once again on the hook for a costly legal challenge and settlement.

"The Cambie case set a significant legal precedent"

On Cambie St, traffic was totally removed at various times and the project took years. Drivers won't be prevented from using Hornby St and the construction process will be quite short before things return to the 'new normal'.

apples and oranges.

Unless you happen to be the judge, the courts might not agree with your assessment.

But there is a very good chance that this whole affair will end up before a judge at the taxpayer's expense.

"You still didn't answer the question, CK. $25 million is a lot of money that's being diverted from what everyone agrees are far more important issues. It's being used to build infrastructure that won't be used much for almost half of the year, and not at all on any day it snows."

I didn't see a question addressed to me.

$25 million is a lot of money. You could buy one-quarter of the fighter jet that got flown into the ground a couple of weeks ago with that kind of cash. If we are willing to blow that kind of dough on public spectacles then a gov't that's actually spending money on real improvements to the city looks positively fiscally conservative by comparison.

As to the amount of time the bike lanes will get used, they will be used year-round, although demand will dip during the winter months, just as the automobile use of roads goes down in the summer. Perhaps we should start basing road construction projects on minimum usage periods for all forms of transportation, rather than the demand exhibited for about an hour at 5:15 pm on a weekday? Surely the same rationale should apply regardless of vehicle type?

The decision on the Cambie case had nothing to do with public consultation. The decision was based on nuisance.

http://www.francesbula.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/canada-line-damages-decision.pdf

From page 41 of the decision:
Certainly, not every invasion of a person's interest in the use and enjoyment of his land is actionable. The principle of "give and take, live and let live" is fundamental to the adjustment of claims in the law of nuisance. That principle
is best expressed in the Restatement of the Law of Torts, Second American Law Institute, §. 822 (1969), in these terms:

Life in organized society and especially in populous communities involves an unavoidable clash of individual interests. Practically all human activities unless carried on in a wilderness interfere to some extent with others or involve some risk of interference, and these
interferences range from mere trifling annoyances to serious harms. It is an obvious truth that each individual in a community must put up with a certain amount of annoyance, inconvenience and interference
and must take a certain amount of risk in order that all may get on together. The very existence of organized society depends upon the principle of "give and take, live and let live," and therefore the law of torts does not attempt to impose liability or shift the loss in every case
in which one person's conduct has some detrimental effect on another. Liability [for damages] is imposed only in those cases where the harm or risk to one is greater than he ought to be required to bear under the circumstances, at least without compensation.

----

It is pretty clear that only in rather extreme cases like Cambie, will there be liability. Otherwise, nothing would ever get done in the city because everyone would be suing everyone else.

I am sure the homeless are jumping for joy. $25 M to bike lanes that service fewer everyday bike commuters than we have homeless people in this city.

And I am sure the children that used to attend various summer programs that have been canceled due to no money (they could not come up with a whopping $60K) will are thrilled as well.

Let them know where they stand in the list of priorities - I am sure when the rain begins and cycling numbers drop, the homeless will be comforted in knowing that their well being fell below that of cyclists.

Haste on Hornby causing "laneway grousing"

Very clever and funny headline, Mike!

"And I am sure the children that used to attend various summer programs that have been canceled due to no money (they could not come up with a whopping $60K) will are thrilled as well."

Based on the paragraph that follows this statement you appear to be critical of programs and money spent on 'seasonal' amenities and programs.

mmmmm, about the same amount for bike traffic is crossing the Burrard.

Nobody is making the claim that the Burrard bike lane is at capacity, unlike the many cries that our other roads are jam-packed. Things get built with growth in mind and cycling is on the rise, while car trips downtown are dropping. It would be irresponsible of our gov't not to address these trends.

Are these cyclists planning on using these lanes during the dark, wet and cold winters? For the money we're spending on them, I certainly hope so.

Cycling is on the rise?

The increase was 24% over the existing 3.8%. That is a 0.8% jump which places the new number of cyclists at 4.5%.

And again, when the wet weather comes, that number will drop and it be wither bus traffic or car traffic that will increase.

Providing homes to the homeless is the responsibility of the provincial and federal governments. They have increased funding but still, the province's priorities seem to be elsewhere. Unfortunately, the province is spending $500 million on a new roof for BC Place, $1 billion on the South Fraser Perimeter Road and cutting taxes to corporations. Yes, the city can and is helping by providing property and leadership but it can't do it alone.

By the way, people who are homeless can't afford a car or even bus fare and rely on bicycles to get around so they do benefit from safe bike lanes.

"The increase was 24% over the existing 3.8%. That is a 0.8% jump which places the new number of cyclists at 4.5%.

And again, when the wet weather comes, that number will drop and it be wither bus traffic or car traffic that will increase."

Now you are conflating an overall trend with seasonal fluctuations.

But anyway, let's take your 0.8% figure, call it 1% because it's easier for cocktail napkins calculations and assume the rate of increase holds steady for a while. In fifteen years nearly a fifth of downtown commuters will travel there by bicycle. That's the kind of change that needs to be identified and addressed early on, otherwise there will be huge problems down the road (pun only slightly unintended). Again, what we are seeing is a Council making tough long-range decisions that have an excellent chance of proving to be the 'right' way to go, based upon the past experiences in other, similar cities (with Copenhagen the obvious example).

Little wonder they face opposition. The easy way out rarely gets a backlash.

Richard:

Perhaps Robertson should have kept his mouth shut and not promised to 'End Homelessness'.

I fully realize that all parties need to be involved and Lord knows, the Liberals have committed more time and money to the situation in the DTES as well as other effected areas within the Province than previous governments.

And before you woof on about replacing the roof at BC Place, realize how much money that stadium brings to this city and how many tax dollars it generates. Also, go back and read how the funding for that roof is coming about. That money is not being taken from the provincial coffers.

I remember well the NDP years: no new roads, no new infrastructure; businesses were taxed to death which prompted many to pack it over to Alberta - and those jobs were lost. (Finning comes to mind.)

Where do you think the bulk of tax money comes from??? You and me??? No - it comes from those businesses that you want to hammer.

As for the balance of your statement about homeless not affording cars but ride bikes...are you serious? Is that the best you can come up with?

I'm going to take a stab at this but I would bet they would rather have a roof over their head than a bike to use in 'bike lanes'.

And FYI - that business that went under due to the Burrard Bridge bike lane had been operating there for 15 years without a hiccup.

And the owners words: "The fact that they didn't consult. That's what hurts because I thought the people we elected were supposed to be the ones who promised that they'd consult. And, they were the ones who stood up for Cambie Street businesses."

And that takes us back to the crux of the problem.

@Max

The city IS consulting on the bike lanes. That is what this whole article is about. In addition to the public session yesterday, they are also meeting privately with the people affected. What more do you what?

They have asked people what the issues are before developing the detailed plans. They will then consult on the detailed plans.

BC has some of the lowest business tax rates in the developed world. They could easily be raised somewhat without forcing them out of the province.

The $25 million for bicycle improvements comes from the street capital plan developed by the last NPA council and approved by the taxpayers in the last election. It would not be even appropriate to put it to another use.

Chris:

You are using crystal ball math.

What any council should be looking at is increasing public transit.

According to the 2006 stats, 43% of the current population working in Vancouver traveled from outside the area. (I would guess this would be closer to 48 - 50% now)

That is roughly 162,000 workers.

These people traveling from Surrey, Delta, White Rock, Coquitlam etc are not going to cycle.

Above that, you have a portion of the working population that need a vehicle as part of their job description.

There was only a 1% increase in commuting cyclists from 1996 - 2006 which at that time took it from 2% to 3%.

So from 2006 to 2009, the increase was 0.5% and now a 0.8% increase above that.

And Chris remember, much of the population of Vancouver comes through immigration. 50% of Vancouverites do not speak English as a first language at home.

Image, status and the show of success are extremely important - and cars are part of that success. The parents will have a car and they will ensure each one of their children has a car as well.

It is similar to the building of monster houses. We may not like it, but it is not going to change. They are a status symbol, a show of prosperity and wealth.

Richard ,
I participated in one of the mayor's consultation sessions. The session was not held until after the decision was made and 300+ citizens showed up 95% or more very vocally against the mayor and his idea. Result?? Nothing - he and the blurred Vision party did what they wanted anyway. That was over a year ago. Then we have the F**ing hacks consultation and now this.
So don't call this a consultation - it is a sham. VISION is shamefully following whatever path they choose in the name of social engineering.
Someone earlier posted that the mayor is fulfilling his campaign promises - I would like to remind the writer, the mayor and the VISION party that 67,000 people voted for him - that is maybe 10% of the population. Not all of us agree and while he is giggling now he may not be come next election. Wait what am I saying - he always giggles especially since his handlers asked him to stop doing that 'I'm listening' thing with his hands....

Good article on this topic in today's Vancouver 24 hours:

Businesses livid over bike lane.


http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/PDF/2008/05/01/daily0812.pdf

Just read Jeff Lee/Van Sun's article and AG. has a very interesting blog on this issue.

http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/Skalbania+cycling+advocate+clash+bike+lane+change/3388754/story.html

This seems to just be the tip of the iceberg and other 'no so green' plans are already in place.

http://alexgtsakumis.com/

(FYI - would have paid to see Skalbania battle it out with pot head and Vision supporter, Brandon Steele!)

Max:

I don't buy the immigrants won't cycle argument. I think it's disrespectful to people who come here from other countries who are quite capable of understanding the importance of an effective transportation network. I see people of every ethnicity on the bike routes. There may be a smaller percentage at present, but to suggest they are hide-bound to continue with things the way they have always been is to sell short both their community leaders and the individuals within it.

Further, as we see with South Korea, countries outside of North America and Europe are making impressive commitments to greening their economy, so presumably many immigrants will come here with the sustainable mindset already a part of their world-view.

http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/barun-roynew-korean-war/404247/

"These people traveling from Surrey, Delta, White Rock, Coquitlam etc are not going to cycle."

I don't think anyone is suggesting the separated bike lanes in the downtown core are meant to be a solution to suburban commutes, although with bike racks on nearly all buses now, and bikes also allowed on Skytrains to varying degrees, multi-modal commuting is very possible for plenty of folks. Another reason to make sure there are good cycling facilities surrounding transit hubs and CBDs.

"Above that, you have a portion of the working population that need a vehicle as part of their job description."

Realistically, what proportion of the working population are we talking about, and then, what portion of that work in the downtown core? Most of the cars I see commuting downtown aren't sporting commercial plates.

"There was only a 1% increase in commuting cyclists from 1996 - 2006 which at that time took it from 2% to 3%.

So from 2006 to 2009, the increase was 0.5% and now a 0.8% increase above that. "

In other words, the pace of up-take for cycling is actually increasing. At this rate we will see the increase exceeding my conservative 1% estimate very shortly.

At a glance these numbers you've quoted only reinforce the oft-quoted "build it and they will come" mantra, and are a useful statistic to show expanded bike networks bring greater visibility to the mode and more people become willing to adopt cycling as a means of transportation.

You are ignorant. How about delivery drivers. Cabs, tour buses for tourists bringing millions into the economy, tucks delivering food, supplies, picking up recycling materials, mail, delivering blood and organs to hospitals, picking up lab samples, even needles to Insite. All vehilces need roads to come into downtown and deliver throughout downtown so you can go to the grocery store to buy your tofu and organic hemp mix.

Congratulations to Chris Keam for being the 1 millionth poster to this topic!! He wins a F***ing Hack tshirt...


(Statistic brought to you by VISION Vancouver - need a stat? Call us first! We have the biggest selection in town and can even customize a statistic to fit your own personal social re-engineering agenda! Call us at 1-800 - BS STATS!!)

Chris:

I have no disrespect for our new Canadians. But you are somewhat naive in the cultural differences and what they value.

Money and things are very important to certain ethnic groups. Cars are a huge showing of wealth and prosperity.

This is not going to change.

It ain't people on bikes holding up those important trips Marko. It's... wait for it, people in cars. People riding their bikes downtown are a bigger help to commercial drivers than a hindrance, because they aren't driving. Think about it. Every single vehicle you described in your post would have a commercial plate. That's exactly not the kind of vehicle use that's at issue here.

Lay off the personal attacks. If that's all you've got, you've got nothing mate.

"But you are somewhat naive in the cultural differences and what they value."

Not naive, just not so judgmental that I think people can't change their ways, or think that second and third generation immigrants will be bound by old country attitudes.

http://www.straight.com/article-70992/ethnic-communities-tackle-global-warming

Chris:

There are MANY jobs that require a vehicle and is written as part of your job description and or contract.

Sales for one; trades persons for another; couriers, delivery drivers. taxis, etc.

I work in sales, and this is the first time in 17 years that I have not had to have a vehicle as part of my contract with a company.

In the past, every job I've had required a car as part of the job description.

For me, I now work with a primarily out of town clientele.

However, all of my other co-workers drive as they need their car for work - and guess what, non have commercial vehicle plates.

Interesting leap.

You need to factor in the overall growth of the area and how many more people are commuting to the downtown core for work before confirming your stat.

Don't worry, Vision isn't great with stats either.

But hey, when the company providing you those stats contribute over $100K to your party ....I guess you can get what you want, when you want and how you want it.

One thing I've picked up on though through various sound bites; whenever Roberston is confronted with a number a stat, - he uses the line 'That is what I am told', which for me, is an easy out. Should those numbers not be true he can shrug his shoulders and claim no knowledge.

"There are MANY jobs that require a vehicle and is written as part of your job description and or contract.

Sales for one; trades persons for another; couriers, delivery drivers. taxis, etc."

OK Max. Tell us what percentage of downtown workers must use a car as part of their job. Couriers, delivery vehicles, many trades vehicles, etc have commercial plates and the fewer commuters clogging the roads in single occupant vehicles, the easier their jobs will be. Again, traffic congestion isn't due to bike lanes, it's due to people driving cars, and further, those people riding to work are parking their bikes and probably working all day, so they aren't clogging the roads in the day time.

The argument that bike lanes will have a significant negative impact on business-related car use falls apart with even a cursory peek at its underpinnings.

Let's try this: (as we are on a news site) how many ad sales and journalists working at the Vancouver Sun/Province are there? Couple hundred between the groups.

I can tell you that all of them by contract are required to have a vehicle, as would the CTV/Globe & Mail people, Metro Vancouver, 24 hours etc, CBC, etc.

The Province and Sun used to park their fleet of cars on the south side of the Granville Bridge, prior to moving their downtown location.

TV crews use fleet vehicles Max. The reporters usually ride along with the camera person. I've never been interviewed by a member of the news media who rolled up in their own car.

I think you need to provide some proof that a vehicle is part of the job description for Canwest print journalists. That's not my understanding. I think they use fleet vehicles too, but I can't say for sure. Please provide some corroboration of this.

After all, if we are going to let a few hundred individuals dictate the layout of our road network we can't just run on anecdote right? :-)

job advert for Radio-Canada Vancouver.

no car required.

http://www.mediajobsearchcanada.com/job_view.asp?jobID=18034

@Omoishiroi. Just got back from a holiday in Toronto with the family this morning and logged in to check out the blog. I had a good chuckle with your comment! Very creative.

Does that mean I actually get the t-shirt? Men's large please. Mailing address on my website under 'contact' or I can come by City Caucus world HQ. You're just up the street from me.

Daniel,
years ago the folks at Pepsi had a problem. 40% of the market was Coca Cola's. Most people liked Coke or really didn't care for cola one way or the other. Very few liked Pepsi. So they came up with an idea - if most people don't like colas at all we add our measly number of Pepsi lovers to the mix and VIOLA! One of the most clever ad campaigns of all time - the Pepsi challenge - boldly claiming that the majority of people liked Pepsi (or found no difference). A statement that while true says as much about Coke as it does about Pepsi.
Statistics are like bikinis - what they reveal is interesting - what they conceal is vital!
Give our boy a shirt - as long as he rides his bike across the bridge while wearing it...

Chris: newspapers..... don't have 'TV crews' for journalists to jump in with.

You wanted an example - it was provided.

And I see you are keeping the fight of cars vs bikes going - kind of like Stevenson keeping the renters vs owners fight going with the WEN people.

Again, this is about public consultation and in-put - or lack thereof.

The Mayor nor any of the City Councilors could be bothered to show up to address public concerns ....again, a pattern, and their lack of interest speaks volumes.

Max:

You've provided zero proof CanWest print journalists use their own vehicles. I'm asking you to back up your assertion with some proof. I can find out for myself with a phone call, but I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming you already have some evidence that this is the case. If so, then great. As I said, I'm not sure. But you seem positive. So, by my count, you must have a way to prove it.

Further, I asked you to provide some rough estimate of exactly how many downtown workers without commercial plates are required to have a car. Still waiting. Everyone keeps saying good numbers are crucial to intelligent traffic planning decisions. It's not unreasonable to suggest you put some numbers up for debate.

"Again, this is about public consultation and in-put - or lack thereof."

Fair enough. Are you for, against, or undecided on the issue?

Are you saying you don't have a problem with separated bike lanes downtown provided there is public consultation?

Do you think the residents and businesses on a street should have final say yeah or nay?

Should the needs of all who travel downtown have to be considered?

These are important questions and I think it's important to know what your position is on them -- to better understand your seeming objections to the idea before it has had a chance to be implemented as a trial.

@ Sparks. Thank you for factual info.

A large part of these issues is mis- or incorrect info. It creates fear. & that's one of the downfalls of the Vision attempt to mollify the population. Guess what, it's backfiring, big time.

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