Markers (lower left) were in place before council's decision. Contractors already working – click for larger & see slideshow
Just when you thought the debate on the Hornby Street bike lane was over, we received a news release this evening from NPA councillor Suzanne Anton. She is fuming mad that City work crews were out at the crack of dawn this morning beginning to construct the bike lane which only received approval from council late on Tuesday evening. According to Anton, she discovered this afternoon that work on the controversial bike lane actually started before council even approved it and she's demanding answers. Here is her release in its entirety below.
See also the memo circulated to neighbours first thing Wednesday morning after the vote. Was this written, printed and organized over night? What about the permit for the Sunday morning noise waiver – did that too happen after midnight? We've learned that the noise waiver permit was applied for on this project September 23rd.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 6, 2010
STATEMENT FROM NPA CITY COUNCILLOR SUZANNE ANTON
“No one who spoke to council on Tuesday expected to be a part of a Kangeroo council,” says Coun. Anton
“On Tuesday night at 11:38pm city council once again held a vote at the end of a marathon meeting that suited the agenda of the Mayor and his caucus more than it did Vancouver citizens, small business owners, or City staff.
“When the meeting concluded I was satisfied that two of my biggest concerns about the Hornby Street bike lane project were met. First, I was assured by the City's Engineering Department that the design of the separated bike lane was the absolute best of all available options for Downtown Vancouver. Second, thanks to my amendment of the motion I understood that every best effort would be taken by the City to mitigate the impacts of this development upon Hornby Street residents, businesses and their customers.
“However, earlier today I discovered that a critical requirement of my support has not been met. I've learned that at 7:30am on the morning after council's decision, crews and equipment began immediate work on the new Hornby Street bike lane. It's clear to me from prepared signage and work plans that logistics for this project were not done overnight, and that staff was given direction to undertake this work weeks ago. Furthermore, I've learned that the road had already been marked in preparation for the work as early as Monday, a full day before the public meeting took place.
“Regardless of your views on the Hornby Street separated bike lane, no one who spoke to council on Tuesday expected to be a part of a Kangeroo council. It is a fundamental trust between citizens and their elected representatives that when we meet in council chambers that we are there to listen, deliberate and debate, and finally decide based upon the inputs we have received.
“It is crystal clear to me now that Tuesday's council meeting was a mere formality, and pure political theatre. Businesses on Hornby Street cannot have faith that their concerns will be properly considered, nor can they have faith that this is a 'trial' project.
“I am therefore submitting a motion to rescind to the City Clerk, and withdrawing my support of this project. I will also request a full report from staff that explains how these preparations had been completed in time to stage work the morning after our vote.
“Thanks to the STIR projects, HEAT Shelters, and now this bike lane, Mayor Robertson and his colleagues have a well-earned reputation for being autocratic. With my decision I am hoping to send a clear message to council that we must listen to the people who elected us.”
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Media inquiries to Suzanne Anton
Note to readers: The smaller inset photo was sent to us by a Vancouver resident prior to the council vote on Tuesday evening. Although it is difficult to see, the smaller photo appears to have new markings painted on it in preparation for the new bike lane. It has also been widely reported in the mainstream media that work on the project began only hours after the vote.