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

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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Comments (17) Add New Comment
RealityCheck
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?
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Migzy
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.
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Goofy Old Uncle
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.
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thanks
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.
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BobyOOOO
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?
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NDB
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.

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BikerCK
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.
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just do it
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!
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Noho Cycle Chic
Great idea!

nohocyclechic.blogspot.com
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rokr
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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IanS
"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."

Hey... a post from Mayor Robertson himself. ;)
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RealityCheck
And yet they the alternatives were completely rejected. City Engineers preferred the Granville Street option to Drake, as there is little traffic there already. However, these Civil servants who have worked their lives to make Vancouver one of the most liveable cities in the world were threatened, bullied and silenced by the new ideologues.

This is no longer about bike lanes. This is about whether we have a democracy or not.
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2020Vancouver
Havent seen the plans yet but it's good to see the mayor and council following through with election promises of better cycling facilities. Burrard is too scary esp if you have a baby on board. I just discovered the Dunsmuir viaduct. Fab! As someone who predominantly cycles and uses transit, less city centre traffic is a real incentive to go downtown.
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RealityCheck
Well, I didn't attend today because I didn't appreciate the way I was treated at the last one. One should be able to speak their mind at an open house. It was hardly demonstrative of something that should happen in a democracy.
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Hello
Have a video camera on Dunsmuir and spend alot of time around Hornby. There just aren't enough cyclists to justify it. It's great that you can galvanize yourself and are HOPING this will spur increased bike use but in reality, the bike lanes are more empty than not.
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cyclists R bullies
Cyclists are the minority but just because they appear to have a “green solution”, they have this self-righteousness which is extremely selfish, and I think that their bullying of everyone else, including the government, above the needs of other families, elderly, and businesses is wrong. Cycling is not an option for many people who have families with small children, people who are not physically fit, people who need to dress appropriately for where they are going (and not show up smelly and sweaty), elderly people, people who need to carry multiple packages, etc. The fact they get to take up precious space on downtown real estate is mind-boggling. But then again, this is a government that puts social housing in prime real estate and gives it to people who didn’t earn the privileges to be living next door to people who spend millions to be in the same neighbourhood. Wasteful, unfair, unequitable, and unconscionable.

What will happen –The downtown core is accessible on most sides by bridges, so people who live on the north shore will still have to go through downtown so that is core traffic you can’t get rid of. But with more bike lanes, that’s more gridlock which means more carbon dioxide is released by the cars sitting in traffic, so it doesn’t actually help the environment. Or else, they will have to take the long route around to the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge, which also doesn’t help the environment. If you know about the demographics of people who live in West Van, they are not going to be riding bikes or likely to take the Seabus. An increase in their commute time will likely also lower the property values of real estate on the north shore.

As the baby boomers age, they will mow over the cyclists in the bike lane, or they will be too impatient with the gridlock downtown, the businesses will fail and go further out of the downtown core. Real estate prices downtown will fall, and increase outside of the downtown core where people can drive and park. The only types of businesses that will remain downtown will be offices. There are many cities where their downtown area is business only and they become a ghost town after 6pm; this will happen to Vancouver.
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Natalia
THIS IS SHIIT! The traffic is already bad in downtown and they just made everything worse. They put up a whole bunch of no turning signs in the worst places. I'm going to dread coming home every day.
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