“Yes” vote in transit referendum would boost bike lanes, HUB Cycling says

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      Although the upcoming vote on a 0.5-percent sales-tax increase to fund TransLink projects is often referred to as a “transit referendum”, bike lanes are on the ballot too.

      According to HUB Cycling, the tax would provide $131 million in regional cycling funding over 10 years—a tenfold increase.

      “It is a really small piece of the financial pie,” Erin O’Melinn, HUB executive director, told the Straight by phone from her office. “It’s only 1.3 percent of the total. But for those people that do cycle, it’s really important. It’s a rare opportunity to be able to connect the cycling network in the region, which currently has a number of gaps.”

      The nonprofit HUB (formerly known as the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition) is a member of the Better Transit and Transportation Coalition and, accordingly, is supporting a “yes” vote in the plebiscite taking place March 16 to May 29.

      The plan laid out by the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation prioritizes a 2,700-kilometre expansion of Metro Vancouver’s bikeways, including 300 kilometres of separated bike routes.

      On its website, HUB says a “yes” win would likely result in the completion of the Evergreen Line bikeway and North Shore Spirit Trail, upgrades to the B.C. Parkway and Central Valley Greenway, improved cycling access to transit stations, and separated bike paths on a new Pattullo Bridge.

      O’Melinn noted municipalities building bike routes would benefit from more TransLink cost-sharing opportunities. 

      But O’Melinn said she’s concerned there’s not enough time to inform the public about what the plebiscite means for cycling.

      “I do worry that we won’t be able to get adequate information out to people to really understand what they’re voting on,” O’Melinn said.

      Richard Truscott, vice president for B.C. and Alberta at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, told the Straight a triumph for the “no” side wouldn’t necessarily be the “end of the story” for projects in the mayors’ plan.

      “Improving the cycling routes is probably one of the lower-cost items on the list,” Truscott said by phone from his Vancouver office. “So perhaps that is a good example of some projects we can accomplish through the existing spending envelopes and not having to ask for new revenue.”

      Comments

      28 Comments

      Oh

      Feb 25, 2015 at 10:32am

      Ok, then no.

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      More cycle spending?

      Feb 25, 2015 at 10:48am

      More cycle spending? Now I KNOW I'm voting NO.

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      Roads are for goods movement

      Feb 25, 2015 at 12:19pm

      So, all the new bikeways will be tolled, right?

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      Ken Ohrn

      Feb 25, 2015 at 12:47pm

      A YES vote is a vote for health for all, reduced transportation cost for all, more transportation choice for all (including riding a bike), and a liveable future for all in the region. A NO vote helps only big oil and car dealers.

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      Oh goody!

      Feb 25, 2015 at 1:26pm

      Queue the digital influencers.
      Make sure you upbote every 'pro' comment, and downvote every comment that does not immediately buy into the meme.
      How boringly predictable!

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      Finbarr Saunders

      Feb 25, 2015 at 2:59pm

      Hilarious that the biking lobby and the YES lobby thought this article would increase support. The handful of people that ride bikes were always going to vote yes. The rest have just been given another reason to vote no.

      I thought the Yes coalition had hired the best of the best to run this campaign. It's almost farcical how many missteps they've made.

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      HUB are useful up idiots

      Feb 25, 2015 at 3:10pm

      HUN were used by Vison to get support for privatizing point grey road for some of Vision's biggest supporters and didn't get their path through Hadden Park. Pathetic. HUB is a perfect example of how intelligent folks on the right can use the naive single issue drones from the left to enrich themselves. The increased property values along Point Grey Road would cover a compete city-wide cycling network and finally get a bike program in service. Kudos HUB for being mouthpieces for a segment of the 1%.

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      @ Ken Ohrn

      Feb 25, 2015 at 3:14pm

      Your mind has been so thoroughly conditioned it is astounding. There are more reason for voting "no" than oil and car dealers and your ridiculous claims just shows you are spewing stimulus response rather than something backed by rational thought. Translink is an incompetent company that has failed to use their current budget wisely and yet you claim that giving them more money is a good thing. Absurd. You don't give drug addicts bundles of cash and you don't give bureaucrats access to more money for the same reasons: they make poor spending decisions that are selfish and end up forcing responsible people to bail them out or watch them wither. Let Translink wither: transit is t going to disappear with a "no" vote but spending decisions will have to be made more rationally.

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      Arno S

      Feb 25, 2015 at 4:49pm

      I am looking forward to more safe and convenient cycling infrastructure as this will encourage many more people to ride bikes for transportation.
      - Those who prefer to drive should like this since more people riding bikes means less traffic congestion.
      - Those who prefer taking transit should like this since more people riding bikes means less crowding on transit.
      - Business owners should like this since more employees riding bikes means healthier, happier and more productive employees who take less sick days.
      - Health authorities should like this, since more people riding bikes means a healthier population.
      Taxpayers should like this since providing cycling infrastructure is the least expensive way to provide urban mobility.
      Also, less pollution and a more vibrant and livable region. What's not to like? I'm voting YES!

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      Louise Felt

      Feb 26, 2015 at 7:56am

      This is a historic opportunity to make our region better for everyone. It would be a shame to miss it because a few people are bitter about cyclists.

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