New Vancouver civic party vows fewer bike lanes, more democracy

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      A new civic party has come out of the woodwork.

      Called the Vancouver Cedar Party, it describes itself on its website as “rooted in democracy”. It also commits to “standing tall” for citizens, not property developers.

      “We’re a party made up for people that have hope, that are dreaming of a city that actually listens to the people,” its leader and declared mayoral candidate, Glen Chernen, told the Straight in a phone interview.

      According to the 43-year-old Dunbar resident, the party will owe no one any special favours because it has set a cap on donations. And it isn’t so enamoured of dedicated bike lanes, either.

      Drawing a contrast to the huge amounts being received from developers by both the ruling Vision Vancouver and its main competitor, the Non-Partisan Association, Chernen said that the Cedar party is limiting annual contributions to $2,400 per donor.

      The financial analyst and father of two young children also said that the Cedar party plans to create an independent anticorruption office if it succeeds in next year’s municipal election.

      “We think there’s far too much secrecy at city hall with contracts, and we want that to end,” Chernen said. “We want to open up city hall.”

      The Vancouver-born man also said that his party will keep the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts. “They’d like to have more condominiums built there,” Chernen said of the Vision Vancouver council’s plan to tear down the viaducts.

      Chernen likewise said that the building of dedicated bike lanes in the city has “gotten a little bit out of control”.

      “We think that there should be some more common sense to determine where the bike lanes are going,” he said.

      Chernen stressed that he and the members of his party’s board are cyclists. However, according to him, they don’t think that closing one kilometre of Point Grey Road west of Macdonald Street to cars is the right thing to do.

      “It wouldn’t be a moratorium,” Chernen said when asked if the Cedar party would stop the addition of more bike lanes. “We would reverse some of the bike lanes.”




      Sep 25, 2013 at 10:42am

      Well, I sure won't be voting for you.


      Sep 25, 2013 at 11:14am

      No. But good photo. You can see that he has a Dodge Challenger. Because he's a challenger, amirite? Like, symbolism!


      Thomas Folkestone

      Sep 25, 2013 at 11:18am

      Hmm.... NPA, Vision, or the anti-bike-lane-on-Point-Grey-Road party of Dunbar (aka The New NPA?).

      Thanks, it'll be either Vision or COPE for me!


      Sep 25, 2013 at 11:48am

      An alternate party is needed, but anyone who starts a campaign with a position against bike lanes is a fool. The NPA learned that lesson in spades in 2011. What's next dressing someone up in a chicken suit and complaining about the "catastophe" of backyard hens? The objective for more democracy sounds great, but cut the hyperbole, OK? We have enough of that at City Hall already.


      Sep 25, 2013 at 12:01pm

      I like that they have a donation limit (though that is easily circumvented), but being anti-development and anti-bike is certainly not getting my vote. This sounds like they are just jumping on the hot-button issues.

      S .Kimo

      Sep 25, 2013 at 12:10pm

      As long As cedar consults neighbourhoods that'll be nice ...


      Sep 25, 2013 at 12:40pm

      I read the article. I took a look at their website. I suggest doing the same before reacting to the title of an article. It seems to me "common sense" is the underlying theme throughout this new party. Along with knowing where the money is coming from. How are these bad things? And the actual bike routes that have existed in Vancouver FOR YEARS have worked great. Add some common sense along with balanced community input and we could continue finding excellent ways of integrating cyclists, pedestrians AND motorized vehicles, rather than being force-fed non-community based options. However, the bike lane discussion is a sliver of the issues being confronted by all of us, and these guys seem to be willing to deal with a lot more than bikes.


      Sep 25, 2013 at 1:12pm

      “We think that there should be some more common sense to determine where the bike lanes are going,” he said. Indeed. Is there not a better way for getting cyclists across the Burrard Bridge than closing down an entire lane?

      Collarbone O'Hare

      Sep 25, 2013 at 1:48pm

      Tea Party-er if there ever was one. Half-baked libertarian ideas don't fool too many Canadians. I see there is one sympathetic reader. Corruption? Philip Owen was one of he most astute and cultivated mayors Vancouver ever had. Larry Campbell was an ex-cop. Gregor corrupt?
      Why doesn't Chernen run as Mr. Peanut. At least he made sense.

      Richard Campbell

      Sep 25, 2013 at 2:00pm

      The bike lanes are hardly "out of control". Only 1 out of 14 roads downtown has separated bike lanes and Dunsmuir only goes west to Hornby. Any more in control and there would be no bike lanes at all.

      The 2001 study of the False Creek Bridges recommended bike improvements for all three bridges. 12 years later, only Burrard has been improved. The 1997 Transportation Plan included bike lanes on Kingway, Commercial, Victoria, Burrard from 1st to 16th, Smithe, Nelson, Cornwall and several other streets. 16 years later, none of those streets have bike lanes.

      If anything, it is time to speed up implementing these plans.