Here it comes, Hornby Street, like it or not
Another exhausting late night council meeting that have become a trademark of Gregor Robertson's Vision council, with the final vote to approve the Hornby bike lane trial happening just before midnight. The whole day was an interesting one where Mayor Gregor got what he wanted, but who really won the day for Vision? Robertson will get the credit, but the person who did the political heavy lifting on this file was clearly Coun. Geoff Meggs.
Meggs has become the point man on every single controversy this council has faced, with a minor exception of Coun. Deal who was fed to the wolves on the food cart flop and the Burrard bike lane. In the end the most persuasive voice in favour of the separated bike lane was former NPA city councillor Gord Price. Price referred to the creation of this separated bike lane – which on paper had been decided years ago – as a "click moment" for Vancouver, not unlike the completion of the Stanley Park seawall in the 1970s, and the False Creek seawall completion in the nineties.
Meggs may have done all the work on this file – even canvassing all businesses on Hornby Street – but his Vision colleagues showed their snippy side during the day's proceedings. Councillors Jang, Louie, Stevenson and Reimer all couldn't help themselves from making condescending remarks either about lane opponents, or even Coun. Anton's reflective remarks about her recent cycling experiences in Europe. You could cut the arrogance with a knife.
In the end how council made this decision happen will likely be forgotten by most. It may have illustrated some of Vision Vancouver's methods, but in the end history will note that it was during this term of government that downtown was linked from end to end by a separated bike lane. That same "history" will show that meanwhile the City struggled with debt, the Burrard Bridge was crumbling and in need of repair, and the Stanley Park Petting Zoo was closed.
More on this topic later today. For now, we turn the matter over to our readers for their insights.
- post by Mike