Business group slams Hornby Street bike lane
Published Wednesday, September 8, 2010 5:39PM PDT
Business owners are worried that the City of Vancouver's proposals for a separated bike lane on Hornby Street will hurt business.
The proposed bike lane - protected from regular traffic by a concrete barrier - would provide a direct route from the Burrard Street Bridge to downtown. Although the city says around 700 cyclists already use Hornby Street every day, it hasn't projected how many people will actually use the lane.
Coun. Geoff Meggs thinks the bike lane would cause more people to bike downtown.
"If we see what we saw on Dunsmuir, it could go up to 3,000," he said.
Meggs says the bike lane could even increase business on the street.
"We just can't drive any more cars downtown. The number of cars is going down a little bit, but to really increase the economic activity in the city people have got to come in a more sustainable way."
If the city is successful, there will be no more parking on Hornby Street and this has shopkeepers worried about the survival of their businesses.
Jerry Dobrovolny, director of transportation for Vancouver, says that the city has dealt with the concerns of local businesses and will continue to address their issues.
But The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says the city's consultation with small businesses has all been for show.
In a press release CFIB's Vice-President of Western Canada, Laura Jones called it appalling.
"Mayor and council think losing customers is no big deal. It is a big deal when your customers keep your business viable and your business supports your family and your employees," she said.
To compensate for the loss in parking, the city plans to relocate all existing meter spaces to Howe and Seymour streets.
Dobrovolny also pointed out that there are many parking lots in the area.
"There's over 10,000 off-street parking lot spaces within a block of the Hornby corridor," he said.
In a press release, The Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition states that the "opportunities and potential upside outweigh any potential risks."
In a survey conducted by VACC, 70 per cent of those asked said they would bike downtown more frequently if a separate lane was built.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's St. John Alexander