Hornby bike lane will get more people “spending more money” downtown, VACC says

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      With a second open house on Wednesday (September 8) looming large, the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition has issued a feel-good news release congratulating the city on the proposed Hornby Street separated bike lane.

      The VACC is suggesting that the bike lane would come with economic benefits, whereas much of the public debate has so far focused more on safety and the inconvenience for downtown businesses.

      Its release declares that the bike lane will “increase cyclist traffic, bringing more people downtown spending more money, using less roadspace and parking space, and producing zero emissions”.

      “The Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition and city cyclists welcome the idea of a Hornby Street separated lane connector to complete a cross-downtown separated bike lane corridor as part of city efforts to achieve higher cycling mode shares,” VACC president Arno Schortinghuis said in the release. “Since cyclists use less road space than other modes, Vancouver should be breathing easier at the prospect of encouraging more cyclists.”

      The VACC does acknowledge the concerns raised by some downtown businesses, but argues the “opportunities and potential upside outweigh any potential risks”.

      In the release, the group puts forward the following points:

      Ӣ Studies have shown that pedestrians and cyclists stay longer and spend more money at local shops than drivers do.

      Ӣ According to a study by Mintel, regular cyclists - those who cycle at least once a week - are disproportionately likely to be well educated, have a household income of at least $75,000 per year.

      Ӣ One on-street car parking space can fit a dozen bicycles- consider the number of cycling customers who could park near a business.

      Ӣ Vancouver Bike to Work week statistics show over 7,000 cycling commuters with an average income of over $50,000 and 27% making over $75,000.

      On Wednesday, between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., city staff will be present in the rotunda of the Pacific Centre Mall—site of the first open house on August 11—to answer questions on the bike lane.

      Today (September 2), the city released a draft design for the bike lane.

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      RealityCheck

      Sep 2, 2010 at 4:10pm

      Is this going to be another open house where anyone who shows up to voice their very real concerns about the bike lanes will be shouted at and harassed by VACC members?

      Migzy

      Sep 2, 2010 at 4:59pm

      From looking at all the detailed planning specs, it looks like all the offloading zones and bus stops are maintained, with about 1/2 of the on-street parking being removed.

      It looks like to me that the CoV tried to accommodate both groups, neither getting all of what they wanted. The cyclists wanted a complete separate lane the whole way, but businesses wanted to maintain their loading zones so what the cyclists got is a mostly separate lane and businesses kept their loading zones. Businesses also only lost about 1/2 of the on-street parking on Hornby, not all of the spots as they had feared. Not to mention CoV is opening up a lot of spots on some other nearby streets. Both groups have an excuse to complain, sounds like a win-win to me.

      Goofy Old Uncle

      Sep 3, 2010 at 8:08am

      Congratulations to the City of Vancouver for continuing to provide, or at least to propose, safe and effective transportation infrastructure for all its citizens. And no matter what mode they choose to use.

      thanks

      Sep 3, 2010 at 7:06pm

      I cycle to work along Hornby and Dunsmuir. Thanks for doing what's right rather than what's politically expedient.

      Mayor Robertson will be looked upon fondly in the coming years for making Burrard Bridge safe and for going against the flow to promote a healthy lifestyle here. It will be up to the next Mayor to tackle the political hot potato of TransLink and its obscene diesel buses, in particular the B-Lines, invading our city and trolley bus routes.

      BobyOOOO

      Sep 3, 2010 at 10:43pm

      Too bad they'll be ignored by cyclists while they continue to ride illegally on sidewalks.

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/48331153@N08/

      Just print these out and take them to the "open house" and ask them if they'll finally let police enforce the use of the bike lanes.

      Maybe I'll walk in the bike lanes from now on, instead of the sidewalk, will that be ignored just as this is?

      NDB

      Sep 4, 2010 at 10:07am

      How much can a person riding a bike buy? I mean its not like there are going to buy a new TV, appliance, piece of art, furniture, etc etc etc

      The article is flawed. Making it easer to drive downtown and eliminating street parking fees will get more people downtown shopping.

      9 13Rating: -4

      BikerCK

      Sep 4, 2010 at 1:04pm

      Are there any appliance stores on Hornby? I can't recall any. How often do people buy a new TV or appliance. Every couple of years? Do they do so on impulse, or shop around first? Don't most of those stores offer delivery service?

      It's hard to argue that a safe space for cyclists should play second fiddle to the unlikely chance somebody will suddenly feel an urge to buy a washing machine, find a store selling appliances on Hornby with unoccupied parking right in front of their door, actually be driving a vehicle big enough to carry it, and then change their mind because they will have to park on the other side of the street.

      just do it

      Sep 4, 2010 at 1:44pm

      Most of the arguments against the bike lane on Hornby Street are irrational and stupid. Just do it and don't bother with the public consultations.

      Public consultations are typically mandated and rarely, if ever, reverse the stated objective. We elect you to take care of this trivial stuff because we don't have the time or interest to do it ourselves. Just do it!

      Noho Cycle Chic

      Sep 4, 2010 at 1:49pm

      Great idea!

      nohocyclechic.blogspot.com

      9 10Rating: -1

      rokr

      Sep 4, 2010 at 8:52pm

      This works because Hornby isn't a bus route; Burrard is too dangerous with the amount of traffic on it. Hopefully cyclists use it. There's always going to be NIMBYism, but dedicated lanes are the safest option.

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