The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses has been getting a lot of press lately with inflammatory, and in some cases, inaccurate remarks about the proposed Hornby Street protected bike lanes. In response, a number of progressive businesses in the city have fired back, issuing a press release lauding the decision, supporting City Hall’s work in creating safe cycling amenities in the downtown core, and signing a petition to show their support. And, while much of the media coverage tends to focus on the negative, or divisive, some journalists are actually working to help the public better understand the issues and realities of the debate. It will be particularly interesting to see the response to Vancouver Sun columnist Don Cayo’s Saturday column (preview in second link), where he is promising to explain why it’s bicycle users, not motorists, who are getting a raw deal when it comes to tax dollars spent on roads.
Here’s the press release’s full text:
Contact: Rob Baxter, firstname.lastname@example.org, 778.869.8333
Business Owners Initiate Petition in Support of Hornby Bike Lane
Local business owners have started a petition in favour of the proposed separated bike lane on Hornby
Street. â€œWe wanted to show that there are many businesses in Vancouver who support the proposal,â€
said Rob Baxter who initiated the petition, and is a Vancouver business owner himself. â€œWe don’t want
Vancouver to fall even further behind other cities that are investing more in cycling infrastructure.â€
One of the petition signers, Ken Simpson said, â€œI own a software company downtown and I strongly
support separated bike lanes as a way of encouraging people to get out of their cars and ride bikes
downtown – reducing congestion and leading to an improve quality of life for everyone.â€
A recent study in Norway found the urban cycling infrastructure is the most cost effective policy to
address climate change, and in Australia, a cost analysis showed for every $1 spent on cycleways, the
benefit to the economy is approximately $4, compared with an average of $2 for motorways.
The petition organizers also point to cities world wide that have many more separated cycling routes and
thriving businesses along those routes.
This petition highlights the strong business support for cycling as evidenced by events like Bike to Work
The petition is available on line at: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/vanbizforbikelanes/
For more info contact:
Co-owner, Vancouver Renewable Energy (VREC); Owner, EpiLogic Consulting
Below are selected comments from a petition by business owners who support expanding bike lanes in Vancouver
including the proposed Hornby separated lane.
â€œCyclists make for friendly and frequent customers. Bike lanes also make for safer streets and add street life in front of
The Wilder Snail Neighbourhood Grocery & Cafe
â€œAlong with several coworkers at MetroQuest, I bike everyday and make full use of the city’s bike routes. The expanded bike
lanes into downtown are critical for so many reasons. In many ways they are inevitable given our growing awareness of the
necessity of providing attractive alternatives to the automobile. Besides, it’s increasingly a critical part of our identity,
Vancouver. Let’s celebrate it!!!!â€