Vancouver – Hornby St. gets a Bike Lane
On Tuesday, October 6th Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vancouver city councillors voted in favour of a separated bike lane trial on Hornby Street in downtown Vancouver. The Hornby St. bike lane will connect with the bike lanes on the Burrard Street Bridge, and the Dunsmuir Street Viaduct.
The Hornby St. bike lane is expected to be finished by the end of November. It will cost taxpayers $3.2 million, four times the cost of the Dunsmuir bike lane, and twice the cost of the Burrard bike lane.
Vision Vancouver city councillor Geoff Meggs voted in favour of the Hornby St. bike lane despite the fact the city does not having a projection showing how the new bike lane will do. When asked why he supports the new bike lane Meggs had this to say.
“It gives people going downtown more choices for travelling. It’s also good for the environment and gets more people outdoors.”
The bike lane trial on Dunsmuir St. has yet to be completed, and construction on the Hornby St. bike lane started the morning after the vote was passed. That’s one of the reasons why NPA Councillor Suzanne Anton changed her vote for the new bike lane after initially voting in favour of the bike lane. Anton thinks the council vote was just a formality for the new bike lane.
“I’m concerned because they didn’t listen to the public, and Hornby Street businesses. They’re not interested in having a discussion.”
With the business on Hornby St. left to bare the construction chaos and then a new bike lane Anton fears potential losses for Hornby St. business owners.
“That’s the million dollar question. When businesses lose parking spaces, they lose customers and then they lose their business.”
It remains to be seen how much use the new bike lane will get and how businesses will respond to the changes, but one thing is certain bike lanes are here to stay in downtown Vancouver whether you like it or not.