May 22, 2018

(Permanent) Progress along Vancouver's Hospital Precinct

As of last week, this is what Vancouver’s upgraded 10th Avenue Bikeway looked like in the hospital precinct near Oak Street — still incomplete, but already being used.

This is the one that prospective NPA mayoral candidate Glen Chernen promised to take out with heavy equipment if elected.
Whether 10th Ave, Point Grey Road, Hornby Street, or any other piece of the network, it’s not going to happen — for at least four reasons.
(1)  Once complete it will prove to be a satisfactory outcome for the various users, as with all the other separated routes.  No ‘Mageddons will occur.  And almost no one will want to go back to the previous arrangement.
(2) It will cost a significant chunk of change to return the street to its previous condition — and waste all the money that was used to construct the improved route.  What a great way to brand the beginning of your term: ‘Wasting taxpayers’ money in pointless exercises of revenge!’
(3) It will mobilize opposition with a dramatic act — literally allowing defenders of active and safe transport to lie down in front of bulldozers. Cue the cute kids and seniors on bikes.
(4) The rest of council will probably vote against him, having realized that a 10th Avenue Bike Lane Removal Project is lose-lose-lose all the way around.
It’s an empty promise, thereby demonstrating that, as mayoral candidate, he has a big mouth, but it’s toothless.

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  1. For the reasons stated above it is ridiculous to even consider it, cost being one of the biggest ones. It is a sure way to show poor fiscal management to spend money ripping out something that will surely be proven successful

  2. Well, you know in politics anything can happen. This does remind me of when Rob Ford became mayor of Toronto. He had the Jarvis Street bike lane removed based on a similar kind of car-centric motive. The claim was that the width was needed for motorists (who lives are somehow more important) for traffic flow. Ironically it was replaced with a parking lane not a travel lane.
    The 10th avenue health precinct project has too many stakeholders that support it and the only ones against it are the NPA and their gullible followers.

  3. Should the NPA pull off a miracle and win a majority on council, I anticipate Melissa De Genova issuing another War On The Car missive to the media before the bulldozers appear on 10th. But somehow I can’t envision her having the courage to make a photo-op out of facing down 300 angry cyclists of all ages on the site.

    1. Note: Bike to Work Week starts next week. Annual participation is usually in excess of 15,000; even fall Bike to Work Week attracts over 5,000 riders. The photo op would be restricted to 300 only if the photog didn’t have a wide-angle lens, or if everyone forgot their iPhone.

    2. It wouldn’t just be the people cycling she would have to face. Add in the seniors groups, the persons with disabilities council, the administration of the hospital and the cancer clinic who came out on support of the improvements, and so on. Those bulldozers Mr Chernen wants to see rip things out would take out the new level crosswalks, the curb bulges, the expanded drop off and Handy DART zones, the new trees, and all the other improvements implemented to make the street work better for all users. That would be some photo op.

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