From CBC News:

Vancouver mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe says his rival Gregor Robertson just doesn’t understand that some people have to use their cars to get around.
In a statement announcing his party’s traffic platform for the November civic election Tuesday, LaPointe promised to “ease our city’s gridlock and get back to allowing different types of transit to co-exist peacefully rather than be at war with each other.”

To do that an NPA government will introduce counterflow lanes (like those on the Lions Gate Bridge) for major arterial routes; build an “affordable”  Broadway subway; increase capacity immediately on the 99 B-line bus route; and promote safe bikeways “that have community backing”.

“Gregor Robertson has had six years to take action on the Broadway subway” said LaPointe in the statement. “His failure has allowed Surrey to become the number one rapid transit priority in Metro Vancouver.”

.

Given that bikeways will require “community backing,” what is:
(a) “community” (a block, a neighbourhood, the city, an interest group or local council?)
(b) “backing” (an indication, a majority, a consensus,  unanimity?)
and most important:
(c) will all other modes of transportation and related  infrastructure require “community backing” to the same standard?

Comments

  1. Mr. Lapointe doesn’t seem to realize what position he’s running for. I can’t think of many people eligible to vote in the City of Vancouver who want even more cars from the suburbs whizzing down our streets.

  2. Yes, it was very enlightening to read the NPA’s transit platform.
    Cars: We have extensive plans to get people driving more!
    Transit: We have some handwavy ideas!
    Bikes: Bikes are also a form of transportation that exist (ed. note: this is actually a major step forward in the NPA’s bike policy)
    Walking: ?????

  3. Finally a mayoral candidate that sort of gets it.
    Unfortunately he did not acknowledge we have a traffic problem and a city that is getting more and more unlivable if we do not claim back space for PEDESTRIANS.
    Counterflow lanes of course make good sense, say on Granville or Broadway or Commercial as does parking removal on said streets. It irks me to no avail that 4th, which becomes 6th, then 2nd, for example, allows parking, as does Granville. it is ridiculous. Those ought to be flowing traffic movers, not parking lots.
    Granville between 6th and 16th ought to be a tunnel and a pedestrian area above it.
    Of course, he also forgot to mention road tolling as road use is still far too cheap. The Tesla guy pays nothing, not even gasoline tax ? A trip from downtown to the airport needs to be $10 road toll minimum and $30 at rush hour: $3/$10 over Granville bridge, then $3/$10 using Granville over to Richmond, then another $4/10 entering the airport. Unless we charge cars this kind of fee we will never get less cars, even if there was a subway .. oh wait .. there is a subway already from downtown to the airport !
    We need arterial roads that flow AND we need more pedestrian zones, bikelanes and subways.It is indeed not either-or, it is both.
    Flow does not mean free .. in fact it should imply: fee, not free !
    But no candidate has the guts to say “car use is going to cost you more, FAR MORE .. otherwise Vancouver becomes unlivable” ???

  4. I think “community backing” is with reference to the complaint many have about Vision not properly consulting with the community, as regards, for instance, the attempt to pave part of Kits Beach Park while claiming, a) community was consulted. b) it was a “done deal”. NPA is trying to say they want to be more respectful of community views on these things (highrises at Commercial and Broadway and Main and Broadway…). Vision sometimes appears to have agendas, like the pro bike agenda, it wants to push through, no matter what. Bike advocacy group, HUB is even paid by Vision to work for the city. One can support bike lanes while also demanding that there is more consultation about where they go and how they will impact the environment, and I think that’s the point here and it seems a reasonable approach.

    1. The reality is the awesome Point Grey Cycleway and all its engineering complexities (Cornwall/Burrard intersection) would have never been built if we had more consultation. Eventually someone has to control the pen and get something built, you can’t rely on nimby residents to have the engineering knowledge of how a cycle lane as complex as Point Grey is to be designed. You want to see community consultation in action go to Auckland, nothing ever gets built, no cycle lanes, no infil in single family neighbourhoods, no priority for transit. You elect the right people to get stuff built.

      1. Well said. An NPA canvasser came to my door a few days ago and made the mistake of badmouthing the Point Grey cycleway, claiming that it pandered to the “1%”, and insisting that “more consultation” was needed. I guess he thinks that’s a surefire ploy here in southeast Vancouver, but boy was he wrong.

      2. It’s not about NIMBY. I support bike infrastructure, but sometimes a plan is inappropriate and the public should have an opportunity to make their case and be listened to. Yes, stuff has to get done, but there also has to be respect for the views of the people and that doesn’t seem to happen. Instead, we get a plan that Vision wants, they go through the motions and then do what they want anyway, UNLESS they get sued. Then they have to stop, but that’s what it takes.

        1. The public WAS consulted and listened to for the Point Grey bike route as well as for the downtown bike lanes. The city engineering department made numerous changes to their plans for all those bike routes based on that feedback.
          You (and a lot of others) seem to be confusing “consultation” with “getting agreement from EVERYONE”. That’s never going to happen, but it shouldn’t paralyze us to change.

        2. I support bike infrastructure too. Using York as an example, it wasn’t my first choice. I would have liked to have seen the route on Cornwall, as that was the road I already used. It is more direct between the Burrard Bridge and Point Grey Road. Less elevation gain. But the consultation led to putting a section of the new greenway (for commuters, not Kits park goers) on York. There was a chance to be heard, and I felt I was heard. But then a decision had to be made. Building a consensus requires give from all sides, and means that after participants have been heard, they respect the process, and get behind the consensus, supporting it. Not keep taking pot shots. So I ride York most of the time I take that route now. And it turns out to be not as bad as I thought it would be. I would still have voted for Cornwall myself, but I applaud the designers for what they came up with and the politicians for getting something done along that stretch.

        3. Like Jeff I had a look at the York Avenue proposal and immediately thought “unnecessary elevation change, forced crossings of Cornwall, bikes are being made third class citizens”. Then I realized that bike lanes on Cornwall would mess up bus service and decided that York wasn’t such a bad idea after all. I now use York exclusively in the eastbound direction and it’s great. I’ve tried it westbound, but the long hill tires me out and I have an even longer hill to climb before getting home so I want that part of the trip to be as easy as possible. Westbound Cornwall is the most direct and fastest, but it scares me to ride amongst so many motor vehicles and I genuinely don’t like being the slowpoke who’s holding up traffic so I usually take side streets through Kits Point and then follow the official Seaside route to Pt. Grey Road. It’s longer, but smoother and lower stress.
          The closed Point Grey Road is the safest part of my commute. Drivers appear paranoid of going too fast or turning too quickly and even pedestrians look both ways before stepping out. People travel by a wide variety of bikes, scooters, skateboards and wheelchairs, ride three abreast, pass each other without alerting anyone first, yet I’ve never seen any incident there. The fully separated Hornby bike path, by comparison, is a death trap. Cars turn across it without looking all the time and pedestrians seem to think it’s a sidewalk. Not a week goes by that I don’t experience or witness a near miss on Hornby.
          I think Point Grey Road had plenty of consultation, included community inspired revisions and ended up being the best it could be. There are other projects in the city where I think Vision closed their eyes and ears and tried to ram something through, but that wasn’t one of them.

    2. @David Fine In reference to your comment “Vision sometimes appears to have agendas, like the pro bike agenda, it wants to push through, no matter what.” Yes, they made this known in their campaign and the people voted for it. NPA is campaigning on a platform of making the city more car friendly, that’s their agenda and the people will vote on it accordingly.

      1. The thing to me is that it really shouldn’t be so black and white. One party hates cars and loves bikes and one is the other way around. It isn’t like that. I feel that Vision has an agenda about bikes and as you say, why not, but they still need to respect the community rather than taking the view that they got elected, so now they can do what they want. Firstly, Vision got elected on a very small voter turnout. Secondly, they did not campaign on that one single issue. I voted for them before because I admired their plan to end homelessness. Oh well. NPA are saying that they support bike paths and cycling infrastructure, but don’t want to ram stuff down people’s throats. I prefer that approach. Vision say, we will do what we want and pretend to consult.

        1. Good for you. You support NPA, thats your right. What are you looking for here? People voted for Christy Clark and she didn’t announce during her campaign that she was going to be jamming White Elephant bridges down our throats and forcing a referendum on Transit. Voter turnout? Now your clasping at straws, its low voter turnout for all elections (municipal, provincial, federal) If people are so under consulted as you mention why then is there such a low voter turnout? Wouldn’t there be a protest vote against Vision?

        2. Look, I was just responding to the earlier point you made that “the people voted for it”. I take issue with your catch all justification when, as we know, this is not actually true. Yes, it’s not Vision’s fault there was low voter turnout and I’m not using that card to support that view. Are you okay with pipelines and the oilsands and a huge increase in tanker traffic here? I wonder if you would say that we should accept all that because Harper got elected, or as you would say, “the people voted for it”. Wouldn’t you prefer that despite Harper’s majority, he still consulted us and took the responses seriously?

    3. It is my belief that HUB gets no funding at all from Vision, and never has. HUB’s sources of funding and support are clearly laid out in their annual reports, and do include many municipal governments, including the City of Vancouver and a broad range of businesses. In most cases, the money so received is earmarked for HUB’s increasingly broad programs which include safe cycling courses for school-age children and the upcoming Bike to Work Week.
      Such a blatant inaccuracy in your comment simply casts doubt on your motives and weakens the credibility of your other opinions.

      1. True, I spoke out of turn when I directly linked HUB to Vision, but Tanya Paz is known cycling advocate who supports HUB and I suspect works with them in some way and she is the chair of the cities Active Transportation Council. So you have a known cycling advocate chairing the cities policy council, so if not directly HUB, one degree of separation, but you are right to call me on the specific.

        1. Tanya Paz has no formal relationship with HUB. This is a slur on a very fine person. She does great work on the Active Transportation Policy Council and should be applauded by all for her volunteer efforts.

        2. My understanding is that the Active Transportation Policy Council is a volunteer group. It is one of many councils and groups designed to promote citizen involvement in local government. It is an advisory group on strategic priorities for active transportation. So, we have a person who may also support HUB (presumably as a dues paying member?), volunteering personal time to lead a committee which makes recommendations to council, some of whom are members of Vision. And you suggested that is like Vision paying HUB. That is a pretty convoluted trail. I can’t even get it down to one degree of separation.

        3. I agree with Arno that Ms. Paz is a hardworking volunteer, one of many, on an advisory body.
          If her interest in cycling, or her association with HUB is somehow nefarious, then I say let the witch hunt begin, and let loose the baying hounds of inquisition. And let it begin by expelling from any transportation-related body any person who is a member of BCAA or the CAA, lest their obvious biases lead to hanky panky.
          After all, for 17 years, city councils of all partisan stripes have reinforced these priorities for transportation in Vancouver: pedestrians first, then people on bikes, transit, delivery vehicles and lastly, private cars.

        4. Well, before we begin any witch hunts, let’s just clarify that being a member of the BCAA and being a politically active proponent of cycling issues are two extremely different things. Isn’t it like having Bob Rennie heading the cities council on condo development? Why yes, I think it is. So is that witch hunting? No, it’s just inappropriate for a person with a widely held, entrenched view on a subject like that to head a council examining these issues, or do you feel that someone like Bob Rennie would be just fine heading such a council? I doubt it, so why Tanya Paz heading a council related specifically to a subject she has a clear bias towards? And don’t get me wrong, she is fully entitled to her views and I mean no slur of any kind against her. My issue is with Vision asking her to act in that position, not her personally in any way.

        5. I looked up the specifics on the Active Transportation Policy Council (ATPC). Their purpose is to advise City Council on strategic priorities on active transportation (i.e. non-motorized transportation), among other things. There are 15 current members, and your objection is to the current chair having some sort of interest in and connection to the world of cycling.
          My take is that such an advisory council should most definitely consist of people who have an interest in and knowledge of the subject area. I would not like to see such councils (there are several others) consisting of people who are selected for their ignorance of the subject.
          I do not believe that Vision, the political party, appointed the current chair. In fact, the ATPC’s 15 volunteer members select their chair, and presumably vice-chair, at the first meeting of the current City Council term.
          I do strongly applaud all volunteers of this sort, who contribute their time, knowledge and effort to improving decisions made by City Council and staff.

        6. The CoV agrees with you, Ken. The published eligibility requirements for those applying for these volunteer community consultation positions says: “Applicants must be able to demonstrate relevant experience or knowledge, abilities, and skills related to the mandate of the civic agency, board, or committee”
          This started off with the claim that community consultation wasn’t done. It seems bizarre to suggest that a particular advisory body drawn from volunteer members of the community could be too informed.

    4. @ David Fine : “…Vision sometimes appears to have agendas…”
      Isn’t that sort of the point of political parties? Isn’t a political party really just a group of people setting a political agenda in order to accomplish their common goals?

      1. Yes, if you take the term literally, but in this case it refers to a preset agenda which is hardwired and not based on bringing all views into consideration. A more appropriate tact us to work towards your goals, but genuinely consult and listen at the same time. If people feel that isn’t happening, then their is discord. You can’t always make decisions based on every person’s view, but you can genuinely listen and respond. In the end, government has to govern, but we all would like to think they are listening as well. Vision has been accused of appearing to listen, but really, ignoring the views expressed. Certainly when Aaron Jasper of the Park Board said that the Kits Beach bike path was a “done deal” before hearing any substantive views, it sure gave me that impression in that case.

        1. But isn’t Vision’s cycling agenda informed by the demands of the community? Grassroots support and activism for safer, AAA cycling facilities existed for years before Vision was even formed as a party. City transportation planning policy has explicitly placed priority on non-motorised transportation for quite some time now. The cycle tracks installed under the Vision administration DO have a great deal of community backing and have come as a result of years of input from the community. I see them as the next step in actually doing something after years of discussion and planning. Hopefully, there’ll be more community discussion and implementation to come!

        2. Matthew, I get the distinct feeling that many, like me, support safe cycling and building for that, but feel that Vision has a disproportionate obsession with it and that the public are not fully behind it to the extent that you suggest. Neither of us have numbers to back it up, but it’s what I sense. Burrard Bridge is great. Many other moves are great, but Kits Beach was crazy and many are really against Point Grey Road, which is now barely used now that summer is over, but remains a nice quiet enclave for the wealthy who live there. It also puts more traffic elsewhere, which is not necessarily a good thing.

        3. Well, we’ll have to agree to disagree. Because for the most part, I get the distinct feeling that not as many people are as rankled by it to the extent that you (or media such as the Province, for that matter) describe. At worst, most people seem indifferent.
          Myself, I don’t think that Vision has a disproportionate obsession with cycling. In fact, I think that they could be doing WAY more. There are so many arterials in the city that could use cycle tracks, and so many remaining gaps in the cycling network. Baby steps, I suppose.
          And as for Pt. Grey Road… I’m not going to deny the seasonality of it’s use now that it’s traffic calmed (not “closed” as some would say), but the invocation of class-war by the upper middle-class of the Westside is perhaps the most infuriating thing about this discussion. “It’s for the 1%!…A gated community for Chip and his buddies!”…etc. To me, Pt. Grey Road is now more democratic than ever. The Seaside Greenway is nearly complete, and there is actually now a direct AAA cycling route from the DTES and Strathcona to the ocean beaches on the Westside.
          Well, it’s actually not entirely complete. There’s just that little section past Kits Beach that still needs to be worked out 🙂

        4. Vision’s obsession with cycling, hah! You think its bad here, those losers in New York City have jammed hundreds of miles of cyclelanes down their residents throats and all it did was lower pedestrian and vehicle fatalities, increase business revenue, reduce congestion and boost tourism. Lets learn from NYC and do the opposite.

        5. Whenever I see these rants about Vision’s nefarious cycling agenda my only thought is: I WISH.
          London, Paris and New York are aggressively expanding their bike networks. Madrid is banning private cars from their city centre. And in Vancouver you can’t put a bike lane on a 30 km/h residential street (or god forbid, in a park) without the peanut gallery calling you corrupt.
          If Vision were half as committed to cycling expansion as their critics think they are, I’d be campaigning for them door-to-door right now.

    5. Your misinformation is rather tiresome. The attack ad you created against a family friendly bike path was inexcusable and much of what it contained was very misleading. It is tough enough having reasonable debate without such pieces. Not everthing is a political campaign.
      The path is still dangerous for people walking and cycling. How about trying to find solutions instead of dividing people through misinformation.

      1. Nope, the film was entirely fact based, unlike your agenda which is to support any and all bike path, no matter how anyone else may feel about it and to promote misinformation about supposed dangers in a place where an entirely safe and beautiful designated bike route already exists mere feet from where the path would have been paved through the park. Can you not stop and appreciate that there other other users of the park with valid concerns about how a 12′ wide strip of paving will impact on the green space? And this, coming from a party which claims to have a green agenda.

  5. I don’t understand. People like you, Gordon, obsess over “community engagement” in regard to every other possible planning project. But when it comes to bike infrastructure? Oh no, we need to let the experts decide what’s right. Can’t involve the community in that, otherwise the bike mafia wouldn’t get its way.

    1. “Bike mafia” is too kind. These people are way worse than the mafia. I mean, the worst things the mafia ever did was torture and kill people.
      The bike people want us to separate the bicycles from the cars, for crying out loud. That’s just inhumane.

      1. I see you’ve honed in on my colourful hyperbole rather than addressing my argument. Why should bike lane projects, which benefit a very small percentage of the population, be free from public scrutiny? Everyone who uses tranist understands how vastly helpful a Broadway subway would be, but no one expects that to get built without extensive public consultation.
        Granted, a subway project is far more disruptive to the surrounding community than construction of a new bike lane. Still, bike projects cost money, and the public deserves as much a say in how that money gets spent as they do for any other project.

        1. Bike lane projects get way more public consultation than roadway projects. How much say did we have over the $3 billion PMH1 project? How much say to we have in a $3 million left turn bay project on Knight Street? By contrast, the Hornby Street Bike lane had multiple open houses and online feedback. The business community was extensively surveyed and plans were updated to address concerns. Council went into big overtime to listen to all the people who attended the council meetings on the issue. If anything, way too much consultation was done. Certainly much more than for any similarly sized projects in the city.

        2. To add to what arnoschort already said: the benefits of bike lanes are a little more than you suggest: fewer emergency room visits benefit everybody who pays for healthcare, as does increased physical exercise. More people biking benefits drivers who then have less traffic, as cars take up vastly more space on our roads, and separated bike lanes get bikes out of car lanes and clarify the rules for all users. And the amount of changes made to all of these projects based on community consultation have been numerous and greatly improved the end result in many cases.
          On the other hand, where is the consultation for road projects? Or for that matter any number of other projects the city undertakes? People are consulted on bike projects more than almost any other thing the city does: the problem is opponents feel they should be able to block bike lanes unless they get unanimous approval. That’s never going to work for anything.
          In the end, all this talk from the NPA about more “consultation” is code for something else: no new bike lanes in any instance where any single person in the neighbourhood is in opposition. Of course, I doubt he’ll apply the same policy to his proposal for counter flow lanes.

        3. “I see you’ve honed in on my colourful hyperbole rather than addressing my argument.”
          Yup. If you want to have a serious conversation, don’t go around preposterously accusing people of belonging to a mafia. It reeks of hypocrisy, especially as you are lamenting that some people are being flippantly dismissed because of their views on bicycling infrastructure.
          As for your argument: as others have pointed out, it’s nothing but straw men.

    2. A touch balancing act between various, often competing interests, especially in tight space where every cm more for bikes will be a cm less for cars or peds ..
      btw: why do we allow bikes on busy throughfares like Broadway or 4th if there is a bike lane a block further north or south ?
      Why do we require bike helmets but not lights or racks to put your backpack (as the gravity is far too high with a backpack on riding a bike) ?

      1. How far away from a bike route does a street have to be before you’d allow bikes on it? What about cross streets? Should we ban cars from 8th or 10th Avenue because they are bike routes and cars can use Broadway instead?
        Lights ARE required if you ride between dusk and dawn.
        Your comment about backpacks is nonsensical. Backpacks are a fraction of the weight of the people who wear them, and most of their mass is well above the bike – backpack or not. The backpack only changes their centre of gravity by an inch or two. Perhaps you’re in favour of imposing a maximum weight limit for cyclists?

      2. Perhaps the people on the bikes would like to frequent the shops and restaurants on those streets. Perhaps the business owners would like that as well. Often there is lots of room for bike parking there too, compared to car parking spaces.
        As noted above, we do require lights, front and rear. How about a ticketing campaign for no lights at night?
        Now it gets absurd. Why do we allow roof racks on cars? And why do we allow 4wd trucks when cars have a lower centre of gravity and are thus safer in that respect?

      3. “why do we allow bikes on busy throughfares like Broadway or 4th if there is a bike lane a block further north or south ?”
        There are no bike lanes on 8th or 10th.
        There are “local street bikeways” or whatever they’re called. Cars and bikes share the same space on these streets. On many sections there’s parking on both sides and there isn’t room for an oncoming car to safely pass a cyclist.

  6. Gordon, regarding the fact that City work crews started working on Cornwall the day following the vote on the Point Grey bike lane.
    “It was a case where the city’s efficiency really hurt them,” said Gordon Price,
    Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/Metro+Vancouver+voters+ready+change+poll+finds/10315633/story.html#ixzz3GvJjIBqz
    Gordon; are you really of the belief that it wasn’t all worked out and planned way before the bothersome vote?
    Are we to imagine that City Hall votes one day, then that night the city goes to work on design, finishes that, then requisitions all the equipment, and supplies and the required crews, which just happen to be doing nothing else the following day, then sends out the instructions so everyone arrives the next morning to start breaking up the road?
    They couldn’t have been there faster if a 50′ sink hole had happened on Broadway.

    1. Of course it was worked out before the vote. How can people expect to vote on something if they don’t know what it is? The design was shown to the public and then they got to comment on it. This happened several times in the process and the design changed several times based on community input.
      They had time to prepare crews and set aside the things they needed to get started in case the vote was yes. Should they artificially put in a delay to prevent this type of criticism?
      I find it absurd after all the extensive consultation that anyone could still accuse them of not enough. Of course we all want more but they have to set limits. They should listen to everyone but not everyone’s idea can be included. Some ideas are just not workable on an engineering level or would cause other problems so cannot be done.
      Some of my ideas that I put in at their open houses didn’t end up in the plan and my opposition to some stuff didn’t end up in it not being included but the final proposal explained how some other options were not used and the reasons why. I accept that. The result is a design that was different than I had imagined should have been done but I see now is actually better than what I would have designed and it still provids the usage that was needed.

    2. “regarding the fact that City work crews started working on Cornwall the day following the vote on the Point Grey bike lane”
      Actually, Council approved the Seaside (Point Grey) Greenway work on July 27, 2013 after 5 days of public hearings and 200 speakers. CBC News reported that the road was closed to arterial motor vehicle traffic on the weekend of Jan 18, 2014. Doesn’t seem like the next day.
      Seems you may be confusing this with approval of the Hornby bike lane in October 2010. We know from the project documents for that separated lane that it was considered essential to complete the construction work prior to the Christmas shopping season, so as not to impact local businesses any more than necessary. That was part of the implementation plan, and was from the consultation phase. So in that case, starting the next day was very much planned for, and was discussed in the council meeting.

  7. As a user of the Point Grey Road bikeway, along with my 5 year old and 7 year old every day to and from school, my family is very interested in what the NPA’s SPECIFIC plans are with respect to Point Grey Road. I have put this question directly to Kirk Lapointe on twitter, and received no response.
    George Affleck’s last stated position was that he would rip up the bike lane and re-open it to cars. I like what Lapointe has to say about his vision for the city in general, but when I ask him is he going to (1) get rid of the bikeway (2) put plans to complete the bikeway on hold or (3) complete the bikeway as currently scheduled, all I hear is crickets. The silence of a clearly articulated policy here is deafening. Either (1) they know that the bike lane is the right policy and can’t admit it because it is not politically helpful to them, or (2) they plan to reverse the bike lane and don’t want to lose pro-bike voters like me who want to give the NPA a chance. I don’t know which. But being risk-averse, I’m going to assume the worst and vote Vision because at least I know where they stand on this most salient issue for my family.

    1. Richard, Kirk L has stated that he would like to look into community views on the road and respond to that based though, on the merits of any expenditure which would be required to make any changes. In other words, it would cost a lot to revert it and so it is unlikely to be reverted for that reason. Better to use those same funds towards other things. That’s what he has said, so I think you can safely vote for him, if that’s your concern.

      1. If it was “safe” in that sense then Kirk L would say “I’m disappointed in the way this was implemented but its done now and it doesn’t make sense to remove it. However we will be more inclusive in future planning.”
        But that’s not what he’s saying.

      2. David, that may well be true, but why doesn’t he just come out and clearly articulate a position on this rather than say ‘more consultation…we’ll listen to the neighbourhood…we’ll weigh the pros vs the cons and implement a policy that makes sense…’ That’s not a position, that’s just waffling. I completely agree with Sean Nelson’s comment.
        Moreover, for me it’s not just a question of remove/don’t remove; there remains the question of completion of the plan (i.e. Phase III of the plan between MacDonald and Alma, which is supposed to go ahead in the 2015 Capital budget). At least I can be pretty certain that Vision will complete this work as planned. As we live near that stretch, it would be good to know what the NPA’s plan is for that.

        1. For someone with a background in communications, he certainly doesn’t appear to be communicating that very well, if that in fact is what he is trying to say about the issue.

        2. Richard W, I suppose I don’t see the promise to consult and listen as waffling. He has clearly stated his support for bike infrastructure, but does not want to push through specific plans under the objections of the community. Just like his position on homelessness. It’s a priority, but you have Vision promising to end it, and failing. Would you rather have that specific promise to avoid waffling and then not doing it? The bike path through point grey was clearly a big issue and I don’t think that Vision listened to legitimate opposition, just as they didn’t with Kits Beach. I was involved in the Kits Beach issue and I know first hand that they really, truly were not interested in listening at all. I saw that first hand.

    2. The current council seems to have a good understanding of transportation issues in Vancouver. They realize that given the fixed amount of road space, that the only way to improve mobility is by improving walking/cycling/transit. By improving cycling, more people will cycle and this will mean less motor vehicle congestion and less crowding on transit. Also, cycling is the least expensive way of providing mobility. Unfortunately, they do not explain this very well to the general public, hence the unwarranted negative reactions against most cycling projects.
      I don’t see the current NPA folks having a similar understanding of transportation issues. Mr. LaPointe seems to have a strong focus on the motor vehicle travel and does not seem to appreciate how improved cycling infrastructure is one of the best and most cost effective ways of improving conditions for drivers. I would not vote for him until he displays a clear understanding of this concept.

  8. There are a lot of parallels in the NPA’s response to biking (“yes, BUT only if the community supports it”) and the BC Liberals’ response to transit (“yes, BUT only if it passes a referendum”). Both of them are more than happy to fund auto infrastructure without the same hoops to jump through (PMH1, Massey Tunnel, counter-flow lanes, free parking, etc). They don’t want to be seen as opposed to biking/transit, they just don’t want to have to deal with it.

    1. Yeah, it’s similar. It looks like they just want to get elected no matter what.
      I’m politically neutral and go more for policies and not party loyalty therefore I’m seeing what all the candidates saying. So far it seems the the NPA and the Green Party are acting like opportunists who will go whatever way the wind is blowing just to get votes. Vision and the Cedar Party look to me to be staying to their principals and then letting the electorate choose what they will. Just my impressions so far.
      It’s complicated but a bit of a better situation than provincially or nationally. At least municipally you can have a mix of parties represented in Council and stuff can still get done. It does mean of course that we have to look into each candidate and see what they say then after that try to deduce what their real motive is and predict what they actually might do after they’re in. As they say in Cantonese… Aiyah!

  9. I think there needs to be some perspective here. When we talk about priorities and focus, we need to remember that although building bike infrastructure is important, only about 1.8% of people commute to work. So when we look at party policy and how things get funded and why, shouldn’t we appreciate that biking is still very much a minority activity? Is it fair to compare comments about bike lane policy to policy relating to projects that the other 98% use to get around? When you say, “By improving cycling, more people will cycle and this will mean less motor vehicle congestion”, do you realise how much of a massive leap from 1.8% you need to go to make even a tiny dent on motor vehicle traffic? Even if that figure doubled, it would still represent a very, very tiny proportion of commuters, but figures do not suggest a trend towards doubling anyway.

    1. 1) We dont build bridges based on how many people are swimming across the river.
      2) most of this bike infrastructure is for those not cycling, but would if it was safer.
      3) bike lanes improve safety for all non-motorized modes -see Point Grey route

      1. 1) No, we don’t build them for swimmers, we build them for all the people going over the river on the bridge. I didn’t realise that was even a question.
        2) That’s a bit strange. Bike lanes are not mainly for cyclists? I doubt it.
        3) How do you know this? Did you consider the redirection of traffic and how this impacts safety in other areas? The cars don’t vanish, they are forced to go other places.

        1. 1) He’s saying that you don’t plan new bridges according to how many people are currently swimming across the river. It’s an analogy saying that we shouldn’t build bicycle infrastructure according to how many people are biking today. In other words, infrastructure begets users. (This is true for any mode of transportation, by the way. Walking, biking, bus, etc.)
          2) He’s saying that it’s not (just) for the benefit of those already biking. Study after study, around the world, has shown that many more people would bike if there were better infrastructure. The improved infrastructure is for those people as well as the people already biking.
          3) This is a lengthier one to discuss, but in fact, the car trips do vanish. (Not entirely, but very significantly.) People become more efficient with their driving trips, they use other modes of transportation, etc., and car traffic does go down. One case, very well documented on this blog, is that of driving volumes in the downtown peninsula. Car trips are way down, all other modes are up; population, jobs, and business are all also up in the last few decades.

        2. Agustin, I’ll stick with the nicely organized numbering system:
          1) An analogy referring to people swimming under the thing you are building is a bit dopey, but let’s instead go with your point. I don’t agree that infrastructure is built purely in anticipation of potential need or to grow a need. It us more typically built because there is a need there now. Case in point, all this talk about a Broadway subway. Is it because everything is just dandy now, but it won’t be later? No, it’s because there is a need right now and so they want to address that need. This makes sense. On the other hand, you can build a Mirabel airport in anticipation of population growth projections that are wrong and then that huge, expensive expenditure turns out to be a huge waste. Building bike lanes will no doubt attract more cyclists, but as per my previous point, even substantial increases still amount to a tiny proportion of the population. Cycle advocates like to believe that all kinds of people commute to work in February, but it just isn’t true. Look at Point Grey now even. It’s like a ghost town during even the busiest commuter times because it’s no longer the height of summer.
          2) Sorry, you are right, he says “but would if it was safer”. I missed that in my excitement to respond! See above. Many more is still a tiny amount of people.
          3) You can’t take incidental information to build a case. With specific reference to Point Grey, no one diverted from there makes more efficient journeys, they just take another route, likely up McDonald, past a school zone, which many have pointed out as a more dangerous place for more cars to go. Downtown driving habits are also impacted by a number of factors. Better public transport, lack or cost of parking… To assume that a drop in cars is directly related to a bike path is quite a stretch.

      2. 1. A bridge is built for people who will cross the river after it is built, using the bridge. Before it is built, almost no one crosses the river, except for swimmers (and boaters). Building a bridge is a leap of faith, and its purpose is to enable people to cross the river. Likewise, cycling infrastructure is built to encourage people to ride bikes. The bridge thing is an analogy, and as such is imperfect, but it creates a vivid picture.
        2. Bike infrastructure is built to encourage people who do not currently ride bikes to do so. Around 40-60% of the population are interested in riding their bikes more often, but are fearful. This one is really easy to understand.

        1. Bike infrastructure has its place. So do subways, bridges or counterflow lanes. A wholistic approach must be taken.

    2. The 1.8% bike mode share number is for the entirety Metro Vancouver. It’s pushing 4% within the City of Vancouver itself. It’s around 15% in neighbourhoods like Grandview-Woodlands, Kits, Strathcona, and Mount Pleasant.
      Get your facts straight.

      1. I would love to get my facts straight. Do you have any links to info which supports these numbers? I would be very surprised to find that as many as 15% of Kits residents use bikes as a means of transport rather than cars, so I would appreciate some more info on this. Thanks.

        1. As Jeff mentions below, these are the numbers from the 2011 NHS. They are searchable on the Stats Can website. The area in Kits north of Broadway, between Alma and Mcdonald is 10-12% (in 2011)
          And of course these are simply the mode share numbers for people commuting to work by bike. It doesn’t capture people who, like yourself, get to work by other means but utilise a bike for errands.

        2. David F: Good, I am glad to read that “[you] would love to get your facts straight.” Please do so before posting any more grossly opinionated and unsubstantiated comments. You appear foolish.

        3. Matthew, all I could find was maps that referred to total numbers commuting by means other than car, which included bike, walking and bus. If you have a link to a bike only map, I would be interested. The NHS site does specifically say 1.8% for Vancouver, so I think we can accept that this figure is true, even if there is question about Kits in particular.
          Susan Smith, I’m sorry that you feel the need to respond so aggressively when someone doesn’t agree with your own views. I suppose your views are totally balanced and fact based and you have nothing whatsoever to learn from discussion with others. That’s too bad for you.

        4. David, The cycling mode share in Vancouver is probably over 4%. Here is a statement from a 2011 Viaducts Study :
          http://vancouver.ca/docs/eastern-core/viaducts-study-summary.pdf
          “Although cycling makes up only a small percentage of total trips
          (about 4% City-wide and about 10% in some neighbourhoods), the number of people choosing to bike is growing fast.”
          The TransLink 2011 Trip Diary Survey found that 1.9% of trips in Metro Vancouver were made by bike while 4.1% of trips in Vancouver/UEL were by bike.
          http://buzzer.translink.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/2012.10.29-Cycling-Backgrounder_FINAL.pdf
          A map on page 4 shows that the areas surrounding downtown Vancouver have cycling modes of between 6% and 11%
          Publicly available Statistics Canada commute mode statistics only show Metro Vancouver data, which is 1.8% of trips in the 2011 census data. You will have to take my word for it, but I have seen a map which displayed finer grained data for Vancouver and it showed that commute mode by bike was over 10% in neighbourhoods surrounding the downtown core (Pt. Grey, Kits, Fairview, Strathcona).
          Imagine what would happen if bike infrastructure were ripped out and all these trips were made by car. Also imagine the congestion reduction if cycling facilities were improved so that 20% of trips near the downtown core were by bike. This is certainly doable and cost effective and will be particularly beneficial to those who choose to drive for some of their trips.
          Arno

        5. David, Canadianveggie has posted the link for the Stats Can search page below.
          Keep in mind: Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area = Metro Vancouver. Vancouver Census Subdivision = City of Vancouver.

    3. Exactly.
      The 2011 Household Survey had a specific census tract that includes Point Grey Road between MacDonald and Alma, the area under discussion. In 2011, that stretch had 10% mode share for commuting to work, and the adjoining tract to the south was at 12%. In that time, Burrard Bridge monthly cycling counts (useful as a proxy for year over year changes) have gone up 20%, (6 month averages, Jan-Jun 2011 vs Jan-Jun 2014) while motor vehicle volumes dropped.
      There are also more people who cycle than those who cycle to work.

      1. I think you are at risk of twisting numbers to support your views. I cycle around Kits to get stuff, but I don’t commute to work on my bike, so am I now supporting your figures re cycling numbers? That doesn’t make sense. Can you provide a link to this information?

        1. Since David F can’t seem to figure out how to use the Stats Canada website and won’t believe the statistics others have presented:
          http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/dp-pd/prof/index.cfm?Lang=E – search by postal code or census tract number and then scroll down to the Mode of Transportation section.
          Or you can see 2006 data on maps created by Vancouver Sun:
          http://www.vancouversun.com/news/vanmap/6236501/story.html
          The area around West Point Grey has commuting mode shares ~ 10%, as others have noted.

      2. Of course there are links. Look up the Statistics Canada tables and maps, for the 2011 household survey . Or, if you just want a quick map view go to the City of Vancouver staff report for the Seaside Greenway. Page 14. link follows. But we knew all this from the months of consultation prior to the public hearings, where this data was presented.
        http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/seaside-greenway-completion-york-bikeway-2013-jul.pdf
        So, now you can see that 10-12% of residents near Point Grey Road reported commuting to work by bicycle.
        You would not be included in that figure if you did not commute by bicycle. But there are lots of people who do ride just like you. Including me. So, it is easy to figure out that the % of people getting around on bike (your phrase) is greater than the commuting number.
        Next, the survey was last done in 2011. And since that time, bicycle trips over the Burrard Bridge have increased for weekday trips (ie commuters). Check out CoV counters, all published. At the same time, car trips haven’t increased. So the bicycle mode share may be up, but we can only guess at how much.

        1. Thanks for the info. Spent quite some time searching Stats Can and could not find anything that disputes the 1.8% figure quoted here: http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/as-sa/99-012-x/2011003/tbl/tbl1a-eng.cfm
          The map on the link you gave me is a CoV document and it’s not clear if those numbers are desired projections or not, since the headline on that page 14 is “increasing cycling mode share”. I would just like to see some detail as to how those numbers are derived, if they are even meant to be 2011 numbers. Vancouver is stated at 1.8% bike use and the map graphic suggests mostly mid green, so mostly around 6%, just based on the visual, So something doesn’t add up here.
          If you can find a link to info that supports those high numbers somewhere on the Stats Can website, I would be very interested to read about it.
          I agree cycling is up and that’s great, but I maintain that 12% cycling to work is surprising to me, so I would be interested to see more detailed evidence.

        2. There is nothing wrong with the 1.8% figure, it is just not the area we are talking about.
          Following up on the details and link provided by canadianveggie, try a postal code search and find the relevant census tract number. I used 9330045.01 and .02 They run from Trafalgar to Alma. The first is from English Bay to 4th, the second one is the adjacent tract to the south.
          Entering those census tracts in the link provided, the exact figures are 9.6% commuting by bicycle, and 11.9 %.
          So no, those figures are not desired projections. They represent historical data. From three years ago.
          Now, to get a figure for how many people in that area get around on bicycle, just add in all those who ride a bike but don’t commute to work. I have no idea how many that is, but I suggest that it is significant. Now, estimate what has happened since 2011. The counter on the Burrard Bridge has shown a 20% increase in mid week trips (primarily commuters). So, we are at 10%, with an increase since 2011, plus all those who ride but don’t commute to work.
          If you just want Vancouver City, it is easy to look up as well. 4.3% bicycle commuters in 2011. Arno suggested above that it would be over 4%; that turns out to be an accurate call.
          The Vancouver CMA is the Census Metropolitan Area. It runs out to Abbotsford according to the map.
          I don’t think the 1.8% figure should keep being repeated Not when we have real data that is much more specific to the neighbourhood under discussion.

        3. Wow, I don’t know how an average person is supposed to find this stuff because yeah, now I see the numbers, and thank you for helping, but I have never heard of tract numbers before and the numbers are way, way down the page. I never did find the map, but yes, you are right that almost 10% use bikes in point grey, but just as the 1.8% for all of greater Vancouver is inappropriate, we also shouldn’t cherry pick one or two high bike use areas. Even the 10% could otherwise be phrased as 90% do not cycle. Just a few blocks away, that 10% number drops to around 4%. Far more areas are in the lower single digits than the 10% in Point Grey, so which number is a more accurate representation?
          My point being that cycling is important, but it needs to be viewed in proportion and not as a mode of transportation that is ever going to reduce car use by substantive amounts. We may disagree on that (well, I’m sure we will), but there are still far more people not cycling, so we need to plan given that reality, which includes appropriate support from cycling. People like me who have issues with some cycling infrastructure are cyclists too and support safe cycling.

        4. David F – you’re still misinterpreting the data. It does not mean that 90% do not bike (I’m starting to wonder if your dense or purposely manipulating the numbers). The statistics are from the National Household Survey which asks “How did this person usually get to work?” (their emphasis, not mine).
          Think about all the people who bike for recreation, ride to work a few days a week, only in the summer, or when its not raining. Many of them would have chosen a different answer other than cycling for that question. And yet 10% of the respondents in the Point Grey neighbourhood, and many other neighbourhoods in Vancouver, say a Bicycle is their usual means of commuting.

        5. “Wow, I don’t know how an average person is supposed to find this stuff…”
          In the case of the Seaside Greenway, one solution would have been to attend one of the six public open houses, read one of several staff reports that were published to the project web site over several months, or attend the public hearing. The open houses had staff in attendance to answer questions.
          This illustrates a challenge with public consultation. How much more should have been done to ensure people knew how many in the neighbourhood were already using bicycles so much?

  10. Counterflow lanes are highway infrastructure. The NPA is bringing highway conditions to the city if elected. Its that simple. After years of everyone claiming not buliding highways has led to the great quality of life this city enjoys, a party is actually running on a highway agenda. My question is where are the pro-community health people in the NPA? Where are you Peter Ladner et al?
    Secondly, in policy terms this is a mobilty solution and not an access solution. It promises easier/faster travel. So more cars can get places faster? Without mobilty pricing this is guaranteed to have an Induced demand effect. And that is if it will actually work. Many of these arterials are busy in both directions. This doesn’t even consider the discrimination of the policy. Anyone at any age and income can use a bicycle (there options for those with extra physical mobility needs).
    I can’t get passed this policy. Sorry NPA. As long as this on your platform i will spend every opportunity to dissuade family and friends from voting for you. This party is lost. Running on “Bikelash” is ford-esque.

    1. I couldn’t agree with this more. I am blown away that the NPA has gone from supporting the streetcar, a policy I agreed with, to favouring out-of-town commuters over local residents and access to local shops on local streets. The counterflow lane policy proposal would never work on most streets and is purely political bait for anti-bike lane folks.

    2. Not everyone likes to ride a bike, especially uphill, in the winter or in the rain.
      We need to increase traffic flow AND livability in this city (aka pedestrian zones and more bike lanes and more subways and more traffic calmed areas)
      The pricing of roads has to be increased until it flows. Until that is implemented in earnest every other measure, such as counter-flow lanes, has to be evaluated, too. This is what the NPA is suggesting, not just mere traffic blocking with no alternatives like Vancouver “Vision”.

  11. Interesting that we have no answer at all to the original questions. And no attempt to answer it.
    We certainly have a lot of ill-informed and clearly partisan chatter, which in my mind amounts to deflection. But no answer to the question as to why Mr. LaPointe will subject only one transportation mode to vague and amorphous approval conditions.

    1. For the same reason Clark subjects only one transportation mode to bizarre conditions. They don’t want it. They can’t just say that, but they do everything they can to dissuade it and make it difficult to achieve.

      1. Bus riders are 70%+ NDP voters .. that’s why.
        With subways though that would change.
        Riding a bus a social stigma whereas riding a subway or SkyTrain does not.

      1. Because he is a realist and knows that only a small % of folks bike regularly in this hilly city. You cannot extrapolate behavior of a 25 year old fit young person in Kits to the rest of society across 2.5M people !
        Riding from Kits or the West-End to downtown is an option as it is short and fairly flat; riding from Burnaby to Richmond, Coquitlam to SFU or N-Van to UBC is not a classic bike route except the sub 1% of society (aka bike fanatics).
        Bikes have their place, but so do trucks, buses, subways .. and cars.

        1. We do have transit for longer trips. Note that 1/2 of all trips in Metro Vancouver are less than 8 km which is a super easy cycling distance. With safe and convenient cycling infrastructure in place, we could easily have up to 40% of all trips being made by bike – as is currently done in Copenhagen. Imagine how that would improve motor vehicle congestion. I am over 65 years old and cycle everywhere in Metro Vancouver. There is no reason that younger people cannot do an 8 km trip by bike.

  12. David F: Regarding your comment “Look at Point Grey now even. It’s like a ghost town during even the busiest commuter times because it’s no longer the height of summer”; you are spouting utter nonsense! The fact is that 4 cyclists per minute on average are commuting on traffic-calmed Point Grey Road this October, even in the most inclement Fall weather, which is 240 cyclists per hour — that’s hardly “a ghost town” — it’s more like a thoroughfare. And, those numbers do not include the pedestrians, skate-boarders, local motorists, wheelchair and walker users, etc., who are using the road daily. Get your facts straight, or keep your ill-informed comments to yourself. Clearly, you don’t live on the road, never use the road, and resent those who do; your prejudice is overt.

    1. Susan, as above, too bad you feel the need to express yourself with such vitriol. You make totally unsubstantiated presumptions about me and what I have seen first hand. I would ask you where you get your numbers, but honestly, there is no point discussing this with someone like you, so don’t bother. Just go back to your echo chamber.

    2. Prior to its closure to motor vehicles, Pt Grey Road had 10K cars/day. So did MacDonald st.. But, with the same number of vehicles per day, MacDonald had 6 times the number of cyclist accidents and 7 times the number of vehicle accidents Point Grey Road had. This has been true for the past 5 years and City Council and the mayor were well aware of this. I know this because I obtained these stats from ICBC and sent them to the mayor and council prior to the public hearings on the closure of Point Grey Road. I also spoke at the public hearings on this closure, bringing up these statistics as well as the fact that MacDonald street, unlike Point Grey Road, is a street crossed by hundreds of kids in Kitsilano twice a day, during rush hour, like my own 2 children did, to get to two elementary schools (General Gordon and Carnarvon) and one high school ( Kitsilano) The closure of Point Grey Road shifted the traffic previously on Point Grey Road to MacDonald street, doubling it to a road City council and the Mayor both knew was already 7 times more dangerous than Pt Grey Road and which is crossed by hundreds of of Kitsilano kids each day to get to and from school.. Closing Point Grey Road was clearly, as anyone with two eyes and a pulse can see, not in the public interest. Mayor Gregor Robertson bought a home one block from Point Grey Road, on the coincidently approved York st bike route-which itself displaced 252 street parking spots from a parking congested rental area in Kits- 5 months before the supposed “public consultation” as to whether Point Grey Road should be closed. That is a conflict of interest and unethical. As Vision have themselves confirmed 70% of those appearing at the Public Consultation were against the closure of Point Grey Road, as were editorials in the Vancouver Province ,Globe and Mail and Vancouver Sun. Every online poll conducted by the media at the time also confirmed that the majority of Vancouverites were against closure. Yet Vancouver’s Vision Council voted to close the road, fully aware that Vancouver already had the second highest traffic congestion in North America and, specific to Point Grey Road, that the effect of its closure would double traffic on MacDonald street, a street 7 times more dangerous and densely populated with pedestrian school children during rush hour. The closure greatly increased property values for those on and near Point Grey Road. But when the personal real estate interests of the few outweigh the traffic safety concerns of the many, placing school kids in risk it is time to change municipal governments
      The net effect of the closure of Point Grey Road, as reported in the Vancouver Province, has been to increase daily summer cyclist traffic from 600/day to 1500/day.Bike usage on the road is seasonal-as the photos below show. But 10,000 cars are being displaced every day from Point Grey Road , rain or shine throughout the year to a road that is more dangerous to motorists,cyclists and schoolchildren. That trade off, again, is not in the public interest. There were many other ways to accommodate cyclists on Point Grey Road.Simply eliminating parking on the north side of the street, as it already had been done for the western half of Point Grey would have been the easiest thing to do. Complementary usual traffic calming measures, never introduced on Point Grey Road, like stop signs and speed bumps, would have done the trick.
      But it never really was about cyclists, As the co founder of the movement to close Point Grey Road admitted at the public hearing. He mentioned that when he first proposed it to the Point Grey Rate payers association they said they weren’t much interested in bikes being on the road either. His response recorded at the public hearing was” Wouldn’t you rather back your car out and hit a bike, instead of a car?” The closure of Point Grey Road had nothing to do with bikes. It had everything to do with dedicating a public road to private use,commensurate with a rise in personal real estate values for the few, at the expense of the many.
      I have never been interested in politics before, but the sheer injustice of what was done here to westside residents in general and Kitsilano school kids in particular was for me the tipping point. Don’t let Vision Vancouver and their favoured few get away with this. Vote these Vision bastards out Nov 15. Vote NPA.

  13. I’m still wondering and waiting for an answer to the original questions. Why does one mode of transportation require a vague and amorphous approval process for its projects?
    Does anyone think we’ll get an answer, here or anywhere else?

  14. Ken, the name of the game with Lapointe is to keep his platform fluidly vague in the hopes of being elected without having committed to anything, but to everyone.
    “Community backing”: In the case of the Point Grey Road traffic-calming consultations under Vision, the project was first championed by the NPA in 1995 as their Seaside Greenway. Numerous reports have been commissioned and reviewed. Under Vision, thousands of residents signed petitions in favour of the calming measures, thousands more expressed their support in the City’s questionnaires and surveys (hard copy and online), hundreds attended well-advertised public and private meetings and the City’s Open Houses and workshops to provide input and help design the calming measures together with the City, and more residents gave supportive presentations at City Hall for five days leading up to the City’s Vote on the matter in July 2013. In implementing the plan, individual residents who were uniquely impacted met with the City and succeeded in tweaking the plan to address property constraints and concerns. Since implementation this past January 18th, the City has consistently been monitoring the changes, asking residents for input by letter and making alterations as the new traffic patterns have required. It was precisely because of the consistently high level of community backing that the project was ultimately approved. Yet, it was a very lengthy and costly process, taking 20 years to see fruition. We simply cannot afford to engage in these epic public consultation marathons for every proposed bike route or road change, and if Lapointe advocates an on-going “community backing” process that is even more extensive than what transpired for Point Grey Road, his intention is to bankrupt Vancouver and stymie progress.

    1. Prior to its closure to motor vehicles, Pt Grey Road had 10K cars/day. So did MacDonald st.. But, with the same number of vehicles per day, MacDonald had 6 times the number of cyclist accidents and 7 times the number of vehicle accidents Point Grey Road had. This has been true for the past 5 years and City Council and the mayor were well aware of this. I know this because I obtained these stats from ICBC and sent them to the mayor and council prior to the public hearings on the closure of Point Grey Road. I also spoke at the public hearings on this closure, bringing up these statistics as well as the fact that MacDonald street, unlike Point Grey Road, is a street crossed by hundreds of kids in Kitsilano twice a day, during rush hour, like my own 2 children did, to get to two elementary schools (General Gordon and Carnarvon) and one high school ( Kitsilano) The closure of Point Grey Road shifted the traffic previously on Point Grey Road to MacDonald street, doubling it to a road City council and the Mayor both knew was already 7 times more dangerous than Pt Grey Road and which is crossed by hundreds of of Kitsilano kids each day to get to and from school.. Closing Point Grey Road was clearly, as anyone with two eyes and a pulse can see, not in the public interest. Mayor Gregor Robertson bought a home one block from Point Grey Road, on the coincidently approved York st bike route-which itself displaced 252 street parking spots from a parking congested rental area in Kits- 5 months before the supposed “public consultation” as to whether Point Grey Road should be closed. That is a conflict of interest and unethical. As Vision have themselves confirmed 70% of those appearing at the Public Consultation were against the closure of Point Grey Road, as were editorials in the Vancouver Province ,Globe and Mail and Vancouver Sun. Every online poll conducted by the media at the time also confirmed that the majority of Vancouverites were against closure. Yet Vancouver’s Vision Council voted to close the road, fully aware that Vancouver already had the second highest traffic congestion in North America and, specific to Point Grey Road, that the effect of its closure would double traffic on MacDonald street, a street 7 times more dangerous and densely populated with pedestrian school children during rush hour. The closure greatly increased property values for those on and near Point Grey Road. But when the personal real estate interests of the few outweigh the traffic safety concerns of the many, placing school kids in risk it is time to change municipal governments
      The net effect of the closure of Point Grey Road, as reported in the Vancouver Province, has been to increase daily summer cyclist traffic from 600/day to 1500/day.Bike usage on the road is seasonal-as the photos below show. But 10,000 cars are being displaced every day from Point Grey Road , rain or shine throughout the year to a road that is more dangerous to motorists,cyclists and schoolchildren. That trade off, again, is not in the public interest. There were many other ways to accommodate cyclists on Point Grey Road.Simply eliminating parking on the north side of the street, as it already had been done for the western half of Point Grey would have been the easiest thing to do. Complementary usual traffic calming measures, never introduced on Point Grey Road, like stop signs and speed bumps, would have done the trick.
      But it never really was about cyclists, As the co founder of the movement to close Point Grey Road admitted at the public hearing. He mentioned that when he first proposed it to the Point Grey Rate payers association they said they weren’t much interested in bikes being on the road either. His response recorded at the public hearing was” Wouldn’t you rather back your car out and hit a bike, instead of a car?” The closure of Point Grey Road had nothing to do with bikes. It had everything to do with dedicating a public road to private use,commensurate with a rise in personal real estate values for the few, at the expense of the many.
      I have never been interested in politics before, but the sheer injustice of what was done here to westside residents in general and Kitsilano school kids in particular was for me the tipping point. Don’t let Vision Vancouver and their favoured few get away with this. Vote these Vision bastards out Nov 15. Vote NPA.

  15. Thank you to those who patiently provided information and sources to back them up. Also, thank you for the gallantry and facts around my volunteer work. I did just pay $40 to renew my HUB membership dues (and get a BCCC membership with that – what a deal!). I can confirm that neither HUB nor Vision has ever given me money – yet it certainly would be ok to work for them and volunteer with the City. If 4.3-over12% of Vancouverites commute by bike and we are planning for the future (not the present) and 1% of our lanes are separated for bicycles, we have a lot more work to do!

    1. Final word from me on this thread because clearly, this is essentially a partisan place and fighting that battle on my own is a little exhausting. Cherry picking stats about bike use to support your position is, at best, either totally misleading or worst, straight out manipulation. If anyone here wants to continue propagating the “fact” that 12% of Vancouverites commute by bike, then enjoy yourself. There are a very few select regions of Vancouver with higher bike use, but somehow that gets extrapolated to all Vancouver being 12% when, in fact, that same research states in plain writing that many urban areas of Vancouver are more like 4% and for all Vancouver, it is 1.8%. So which is it? Truth is, 1.8 and 12 both misrepresent the facts of bike use in urban Vancouver, but you do your cause no favour by propagating this misrepresentation.
      Further, where are the details for those existing numbers? You only have to look at the roads and cycle routes on any rainy day to see that the numbers are way, way lower throughout a great part of our year here in Vancouver where, of course, we get a fair bit of rain and cold weather.
      This is why there is so much perceived opposition to bike paths, because there is an almost evangelical fervour around their implementation. People like me, who like to cycle and who enjoy cycle paths, are somehow now an enemy of cycling because I don’t accept this kind of manipulation of numbers. I believe there are a far greater number of people like me, who are not at war with the bicycle, but support a balanced approach with community consultation and respect for all users. We have some great cycle routes in this city, but it would help your cause to sometimes come out and say that paving green space in Kits or destroying the foreshore west of Kits may not be the best option. I don’t think I have ever heard one cycle activist come out and say anything which challenges any proposed cycle route. That’s what I mean by “evangelical”. It seems to be more about fighting for the cause than a community based approach.

  16. David F,
    By your own admission, you do not know the stats, do not understand the stats that have been provided by others in this forum to you, and reject those stats because you do not like what they indicate. You would prefer to “not accept the numbers,” deny them as “manipulation” and simply FEEL that there are not as many cyclists in Vancouver as there are. Well, ignorance may be bliss, but it is also self-deceiving.

    1. Complete and utter nonsense, Susan, but you’ll believe what you like. I can read the stats and I can see that what is claimed here, right above by Tanya Paz, is pure fiction. If you can’t see that, you are just not reading what is there in plain English, or you are choosing so selectively as to amount to the same thing.

    2. Prior to its closure to motor vehicles, Pt Grey Road had 10K cars/day. So did MacDonald st.. But, with the same number of vehicles per day, MacDonald had 6 times the number of cyclist accidents and 7 times the number of vehicle accidents Point Grey Road had. This has been true for the past 5 years and City Council and the mayor were well aware of this. I know this because I obtained these stats from ICBC and sent them to the mayor and council prior to the public hearings on the closure of Point Grey Road. I also spoke at the public hearings on this closure, bringing up these statistics as well as the fact that MacDonald street, unlike Point Grey Road, is a street crossed by hundreds of kids in Kitsilano twice a day, during rush hour, like my own 2 children did, to get to two elementary schools (General Gordon and Carnarvon) and one high school ( Kitsilano) The closure of Point Grey Road shifted the traffic previously on Point Grey Road to MacDonald street, doubling it to a road City council and the Mayor both knew was already 7 times more dangerous than Pt Grey Road and which is crossed by hundreds of of Kitsilano kids each day to get to and from school.. Closing Point Grey Road was clearly, as anyone with two eyes and a pulse can see, not in the public interest. Mayor Gregor Robertson bought a home one block from Point Grey Road, on the coincidently approved York st bike route-which itself displaced 252 street parking spots from a parking congested rental area in Kits- 5 months before the supposed “public consultation” as to whether Point Grey Road should be closed. That is a conflict of interest and unethical. As Vision have themselves confirmed 70% of those appearing at the Public Consultation were against the closure of Point Grey Road, as were editorials in the Vancouver Province ,Globe and Mail and Vancouver Sun. Every online poll conducted by the media at the time also confirmed that the majority of Vancouverites were against closure. Yet Vancouver’s Vision Council voted to close the road, fully aware that Vancouver already had the second highest traffic congestion in North America and, specific to Point Grey Road, that the effect of its closure would double traffic on MacDonald street, a street 7 times more dangerous and densely populated with pedestrian school children during rush hour. The closure greatly increased property values for those on and near Point Grey Road. But when the personal real estate interests of the few outweigh the traffic safety concerns of the many, placing school kids in risk it is time to change municipal governments
      The net effect of the closure of Point Grey Road, as reported in the Vancouver Province, has been to increase daily summer cyclist traffic from 600/day to 1500/day.Bike usage on the road is seasonal-as the photos below show. But 10,000 cars are being displaced every day from Point Grey Road , rain or shine throughout the year to a road that is more dangerous to motorists,cyclists and schoolchildren. That trade off, again, is not in the public interest. There were many other ways to accommodate cyclists on Point Grey Road.Simply eliminating parking on the north side of the street, as it already had been done for the western half of Point Grey would have been the easiest thing to do. Complementary usual traffic calming measures, never introduced on Point Grey Road, like stop signs and speed bumps, would have done the trick.
      But it never really was about cyclists, As the co founder of the movement to close Point Grey Road admitted at the public hearing. He mentioned that when he first proposed it to the Point Grey Rate payers association they said they weren’t much interested in bikes being on the road either. His response recorded at the public hearing was” Wouldn’t you rather back your car out and hit a bike, instead of a car?” The closure of Point Grey Road had nothing to do with bikes. It had everything to do with dedicating a public road to private use,commensurate with a rise in personal real estate values for the few, at the expense of the many.
      I have never been interested in politics before, but the sheer injustice of what was done here to westside residents in general and Kitsilano school kids in particular was for me the tipping point. Don’t let Vision Vancouver and their favoured few get away with this. Vote these Vision bastards out Nov 15. Vote NPA.

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