As Vancouver’s 2018 civic election gets closer (October 20), mayoral candidate Wai Young has sounded off with policy positions on a major city responsibility:  transportation.

And it’s drawn a few caustic responses.  Here’s one, from Charlie Smith in Vancouver’s Georgia Straight.

Memo to Wai Young: Bike lanes save lives—and crackpot transportation policies jeopardize the economy.

As more people make the same choice as I did—to cycle rather than drive—this facilitates the movement of goods and services around the city. It makes the roads less cluttered, which means less traffic congestion and less air pollution.

But there’s a new mayoral candidate who doesn’t like separated bike lanes.

Wai Young wants to stop developing new bike lanes so that people like me make the choice to drive rather than cycle. . .

She wants people like me in my car, where I will be more of a menace to pedestrians and other cyclists.

The upshot of this approach is a city with more emissions, slower-moving traffic, and more deaths on the roads.

That’s not going to help the economy.

I can hardly wait for Ms. Young’s upcoming housing policy, sure to be as clearly thought out. This from a mayoral candidate who told CBC’s Stephen Quinn this morning that bike lanes were the number one concern in Vancouver, according to her followers.


  1. Guessing Mrs. Young’s position on any relevant topic is not rocket science: ‘Everyone should always drive – because that’s what I do.’ ‘Housing affordability is not really a problem – because it’s not a problem for me.’ ‘Drug addiction is a law enforcement responsibility, not a social one – because I’m not an addict and have never had cause to distrust the police.’ And so on.

    1. But as it stands now the majority demographic in the City probably supports these conservative ideals. So much so that I would take Mrs. Young’s candidacy very seriously. Her contrarianism is exactly what people want to hear now as we live in a city where there is no will or capability to change anything.

      As far as bike lanes go those of us who can’t fathom paving additional space on the Arbutus Greenway or at Kits beach etc. will vote for her as well. All the recent immigrants will vote for her, as will seniors, property owners, anyone who doesn’t like David Eby and so on.

      Reading the comments on Price Tags remind me of Nate Silver or the Huffington Post ladies on November 7 2016. There is that same sort of disconnect…

      1. ” can’t fathom paving additional space on the Arbutus Greenway”

        Most people who participated in the very extensive consultations agreed that paved paths were best. This is a safety and an accessibility issue. If you don’t like pavement, why not advocate for converting streets to gravel?

        Why would seniors vote for her? I am a senior and will certainly not be voting for her. I can’t see why anyone would vote for her.

        1. I am certain that most HUB, BCCC members and Mobi employees are in favour of paving the green area. The majority of those local to the area are not.

          The space could be put to much better general use for kids and families instead of being fundamentally devoted to cycling. As population density increases the value of the space as general use becomes more apparent. Density is certainly increasing in Kits and most of of these kids don’t have the same access to yards as other more privileged posters on Price Tags. When the new building goes up at 4th and Cypress it will largely be families.

          I would say the various cycling associations have done a great job at creating the perception that “Most people who participated in the very extensive consultations agreed that paved paths were best” despite that not being true. I was with my kids at EVERY open house and the same greedy faces were always present.

          I wonder what the results of surveys might be if you canvassed adjacent residents door to door rather than just asking able bodied cyclists, those in transit, and tourists what the their opinion is?

          1. Depends on who this is for. Of course, some locals would like it for themselves, but I view it more as a regionally significant corridor – much like the Interurban line to Steveston was. Note also that the city purchased the corridor as a transportation corridor so their hands are somewhat tied – they even had to promise to build some sort of rail transport in the future.

            And it’s not a matter of being greedy, it’s what is in the best interests of everyone in the city. I am all for creating more parks, but we also need walking and cycling corridors and this is probably the best use for it. And why focus on cycling? – there are a lot of people happily walking, using wheelchairs, mobility scooters, running, dog walking etc. And I am sure that there are a lot of local people that are thoroughly enjoying this amazing amenity.

          2. “Density is certainly increasing in Kits and most of of these kids don’t have the same access to yards as other more privileged posters on Price Tags.”

            Sounds like we need safe routes to parks, so kids can ride their bikes to play areas. As we all did back in the day. Before kids were so fragile (not).

          3. Local here – asphalt all the way, please. Very few people (or dogs) use the woodchips, and gravel turns into wet cement during and after a rainstorm.

  2. Quote by the great, beloved by the people, Enrique Penalosa: “An advanced city is not one where poor people drive cars, but where rich people take public transportation.”

    When do you suppose the misinformed mayoral wannabe bike-lane-hater last take transit? She obviously doesn’t consider cycling to be a form of transportation. She clearly hasn’t done any research. The least she could do is read Janette Sadik-Khan – a great woman – an inspiration. New Yorkers should bless her – and Mayor Bloomberg – for doing what was right.

    Quote by the great big late and unlamented by cyclists Rob Ford: “What I compare bike lanes to is swimming with the sharks. Sooner or later you’re going to get bitten … Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks, (and Escalades), not for people on bikes. My heart bleeds for them when I hear someone gets killed, but it’s their own fault at the end of the day.”

    How does heartless bleed.

    1. Rob Ford in 2009 said that there should be a different place to cycle on separate from driving on. (He wasn’t that articulate but it’s what he seemed to say.) Potentially he could have been constructive since this is in line with modern thinking of separating the two infrastructures however later when he was Toronto mayor he had the Jervis street bike lane removed and replaced with a parking lane forcing people to cycle with the cars.

      What a hypocrite. He just wanted to drive his big truck around and not have to share the world with anyone else.

      So according to Ford and Young, (yes, I’m lumping them together) where is one supposed to cycle anyway? If they don’t you on the road and don’t want you on the sidewalk and don’t want you to have your own dedicated space, then where? Is this all just a big plot to sell cars?
      Ford was a straight white male so I don’t expect him to ever understand what it’s like to be disenfranchised but Young is an Asian female. Weren’t her people damned if you do and damned if you don’t too?

  3. I’d be interested to hear Ms. Young’s rationale for dismissing the half of Vancouver’s commuting citizens who choose to take transit, bike or walk to work and back.

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