Vancouver, BC Residents Start Rebellion Against Multi-million Dollar Bike Lanes!

September 1st, 2017 – Since Roman Emperor Nero burned Rome in 64 AD to build a better city to his liking, no peacetime Western city has been messed up so much as Vancouver, British Columbia into a dysfunctional metropolis. Core of the issue is the construction of concrete bike lanes and other structures at the expense of motor lanes, which were already inadequate to accommodate the growing city population of about 3 million. Stuck between the mountains and the U.S. border with little room to expand, Greater Vancouver is Canada’s most desirable city for those who want to live in a mild climate. It was called North America’s most congested city before the construction began. To make things worse, the city has cancelled hundreds of street parking spaces to install a bike rental business, and is now desperately converting free space to paid parking to cover its losses and wasteful spending.

With concrete bike lanes and obstructions constructed in key traffic areas of Downtown Vancouver, residents are complaining of the constant traffic gridlock that cripples motorists’ mobility. City of Vancouver, one of the several municipalities in the region, is the main business hub where many Metro residents go to work or conduct their business. As Canada’s western port and second largest city, and the expanding Asia trade, Metro Vancouver had been gaining importance that may be lost if businesses start moving out due to the constant and irresolvable traffic gridlock. As a port Vancouver had already been losing business to Seattle over the past decade. The historic Burrard Bridge, one of the main arteries into and out Central Vancouver, has now been crippled after the City built a 1-kilometer pair of concrete bike lanes at a reported cost of $35 million. According to Statistics Canada cyclists make up about 2-percent of commuters in the city.

The City Council has voted to spread the bike lanes around Vancouver General Hospital, the biggest health facility, which threatens to impair health care services offered to patients in and around the hospital, not to mention mobility of emergency vehicles.

Residents are also upset with the air pollution that has increased many times with cars idling at gridlocked areas, and the lack of regulation of cyclists who are not subject to any rules of the road who make driving in Vancouver a safety hazard. Increased pollution due to this ill-advised project implemented without a referendum is a fatal contradiction to the City’s purported objective of building “A Greener Vancouver.”

Residents who are fed up with a city government that ignores or disdains the majority of residents have started many protest groups. One of these is “Restore Vancouver” which promises to be a political movement. Their petition to the City has already collected over 3000 signatures. With over 3 million motorists in British Columbia, 350,000 of whom live in the City of Vancouver, the group is confident that it can reverse this ill-advised project before or after next year’s general elections.

Restore Vancouver is led by an entrepreneur and long-time resident of Vancouver who is drawing attention from the local news media.

AB Newswire

CBC Vancouver News:

Petition calls on Vancouver to rip out Burrard Bridge bike lanes

About 10 per cent of Vancouverites commute by bike; the bridge saw 157,000 cycling trips in June

CBC News Posted: Aug 23, 2017 9:30 AM PT Last Updated: Aug 23, 2017 9:30 AM PT

Eight years and millions of bike rides after separated cycling lanes were introduced on the Burrard Bridge, a Vancouver man is petitioning the city to eliminate them entirely.

Steffan Ileman’s online petition describes the bike lanes as a “travesty” and argues that they don’t attract enough cyclists to justify their impact on motor vehicle traffic. By early Wednesday morning, it had garnered more than 2,200 signatures.

“We’d like the construction to be stopped forthwith, and secondly, tear down all those concrete obstructions,” Ileman said in an interview Tuesday.

The West End resident has lived in Vancouver for 40 years, and said he’s never had a problem sharing the road with cyclists.

“They should have built just reasonable curb lanes instead with reasonable width and that would have satisfied everybody,” he said.

Burrard Bridge construction

A sign outlines upgrades to the Burrard Corridor in Vancouver. (David Horemans/CBC)

But Vancouver’s director of transportation, Lon LaClaire, said that the protection of concrete barriers attracts new cyclists who otherwise wouldn’t feel safe on the road.

“The main reason that people choose not to bike is because they can’t picture themselves out there cycling in traffic, so the separated bike facilities we’re constructing are really to appeal to that market,” he said.

About 10 per cent of Vancouverites commute by bike, and it’s typical to see up to 7,000 bike trips across the bridge every day during warmer months, LaClaire added.

According to data collected by the city, cyclists took 157,000 trips across the bridge in June. Even in December, there were 25,000 bike trips — more than 800 per day.

‘It gets a little bit worse before it gets better’

LaClaire acknowledged that traffic has been moving slowly along Pacific Street and the Burrard Bridge in recent months, but that is largely because of construction on the bridge. That work includes widening the north end of the bridge to allow dedicated vehicle turn lanes, and reintroducing a sidewalk on the east side of the bridge.

The next few weekends could see serious congestion as the intersection of Pacific and Burrard is repaved, LaClaire added..

“Unfortunately, it gets a little bit worse before it gets better, but then I think people will be really pleased with the final product,” he said.

But Ileman is skeptical, and said he’d like to see a political movement to rid the city of separated bike lanes. He suggested his citizen’s group, Restore Vancouver, might field candidates in the next civic election.

With files from Natasha Frakes

Global TV Vancouver News