NPA councillor George Affleck brings forward motion for 1,000 new bicycle parking spots downtown

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      During the 2014 Vancouver election, Mayor Gregor Robertson tried to portray his NPA opponents as friends of Big Oil.

      This week, NPA councillor George Affleck put a more friendly environmental face on his party by unveiling a motion calling for 1,000 new bike parking spots downtown. These would include "secure locking and storage".

      The next council meeting is June 9.

      The preamble to Affleck's motion points out that the city's parking-sites reserve has $52.2 million.

      He wants council to instruct staff to report back on options for the installation of the new spaces, as well as defining where bicycle parking is most in demand and where new spaces are most achievable.

      The motion also asks staff to report back on "other opportunities", such as showering facilities and bike-repair centres, which "could be co-located with new bicycle parking spaces". In addition, Afflect wants staff to examine options for partnerships that the city could pursue in securing all of this.

      In 2013, Affleck upset some cycling advocates by voting against a staff recommendation for a separated cycling lane along Point Grey Road. He and fellow NPA councillor Elizabeth Ball wanted the matter referred back for more community consultation.



      out at night

      May 31, 2015 at 4:49pm

      Imagine a modular, mobile bike box set-up that could be assembled on Library Square and/or Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza, CBC Plaza, Robson Square, Nelson Park, Cathedral Square, Burrard Station, etc., each housing anywhere from 25 to 100 bikes. Two or more of the installations could have a cafe attached (Queen Elizabeth Theatre's shuttered restaurant springs to mind!), a few could have a little repair concern, some could have showers. The safe, dry, secure parking must be married to something fun and sexy like a cool cafe or else it will fail to attract real business. Parking could be 50 cents an hour and people would still pay. You get your bike back, all safe, sound, dry and no lugging your gear everywhere, and you only owe $2.50 after parking at 8:30 pm and picking it up at 1:30 am? Day rates could be cheaper. The money isn't in the parking, it's in the cappuccinos and tune-ups. It's also in the increase in parking capacity and what that means for cash registers in restaurants, theatres, bars and so on. Every driver who switches to bike parking leaves vacant a parking spot for someone who can't or won't ride a bike. Bike parking can be much denser than auto and so you can cram more of us into the downtown for a good old hoedown. We don't want to remain mind numbingly boring forever, do we?

      I often see bikes bristling along fences, poles, and bike racks full to overflowing at certain cultural events in Vancouver. Someone can capitalize on this but it won't come from the private sector entirely (despite years of city staff fervently praying that would happen - it didn't). City money has been needed from the get go and finally now maybe they realize this needs to happen. No end of trip facilities (that are economically sustainable and will actually still be here in a decade) will mean those nice new bike lanes will also be gone in that time-frame. You need somewhere to park if these bike lanes are to make sense and remain in place for future generations.

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      Sgt. Transom

      May 31, 2015 at 4:56pm

      Okay so what's going on here? Is this the real Affleck, who's tired of playing Tea Party Politics and just opposing anything that Vision proposes? Did he have a change of heart about climate change and sees the reality of increasing bike traffic? Hmmmmm. Oh wait, it was Bike to Work Week. Lol. It was just politics after all.

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      Kingsway, Victoria & other streets need bike racks

      May 31, 2015 at 6:15pm

      The shortage of bike racks is not only an issue in the Downtown core. While certain parts of the City have adequate bike racks (Commercial Drive, Main, Broadway, West 4th Avenue), other streets certainly need more. So please also look at Kingsway, Victoria, Dunbar, Nanaimo, Granville and Fraser (Street) to name a few.

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      Vancouver Watcher

      May 31, 2015 at 6:38pm

      I hope that the bike parking spaces will be just like the parking spaces for cars. Metered with charges as much as the parking around them. After all, shouldn't cyclists contribute to the infrastructure of the city or will Bobblehead Moonbeam give them a free ride, as the spoiled brats will demand?

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      Greg Robinson

      May 31, 2015 at 11:17pm

      @Vancouver Watcher

      Hoo-boy, okay, so if bike parking were to be charged at the same rates as car parking, and you can fit about 20 bikes into a single car space then if a car space costs $5 an hour a bike space should cost 25 cents an hour. Hmmm, seems a bit low to me.

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      20 bikes? Hoo boy.

      Jun 1, 2015 at 6:44am

      20 bikes in the space a car takes up? not really, if you want to be able to retrieve your bike anytime after you leave it there. If you want it stacked inaccessably, well ok then 20 bikes.

      Of course, just because you COULD park some bikes somewhere doesnt mean there will be bikes in use to park there. Judging by the winter traffic in just about any of our wonderful bike lanes I'd say their sole function, so far, is to obstruct auto traffic and that doesn't fill parking spaces....but bike racks do.

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      Jun 1, 2015 at 9:16am

      "I hope that the bike parking spaces will be just like the parking spaces for cars."

      In my neighbourhood there is (conservatively) hundreds of free parking spots for cars and underused pay lots because hey, there's free parking everywhere. In contrast, there's only a few bike lockers at VCC Skytrain station, which require payment and a monthly commitment. Motorists who demand equitable treatment for all when it comes to the storage of private property on public space might want to be careful what they wish for. Economics would not be on their side.

      Greg Robinson

      Jun 1, 2015 at 1:24pm

      @ 20 bikes? Hoo boy

      You're forgetting that bikes can be parked in a 2-tier configuration aren't you? It's done all over the world. 10 bikes on top of 10 bikes, all in nice little metal boxes to prevent tampering and theft, and nice and dry when you go to retrieve them, and all in the 8' x 16' parking space you can fit exactly one car in. And don't worry about winter cycling - it's growing in leaps and bounds and we have the stats to prove it. I know facts don't buy me any breaks from determined anti-bike zealots, so just forget it.

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      Vancovuer Watcher

      Jun 1, 2015 at 6:20pm

      @Greg Robinson: Facts? Like the made up number of cycle trips made up from thin air by the traffic department of the City of Vancouver? If you want special treatment, pay for it. but I realize as a pampered and spoiled brat generation you want what you want now and you don't care who pays for it or who it may affect.

      As a pedestrian, I see the majority of cyclists without helmets; ignoring stop signs; riding on sidewalks; going through red lights and charging within inches of pedestrians in a crosswalk; no light on the bikes at night; moving dangerously between moving cars; passing cars; on their right hand sides, as they are making right hand turns. I have never seen a biker give the right of way to anyone else at a traffic circle. No more privileges for cyclists until they are licensed as competient to operate a cycle, have insurance and stiff financial penalties for any infractions.

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      S Manning

      Jun 2, 2015 at 9:34am

      I don't know how much they cost, but this is what downtown Vancouver needs for commuters. Ten of them (strategically placed please) would handle 2000 bikes. Sensors for ease of payment.

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