Despite claiming to support climate and active transportation policy, ABC Vancouver kills critical piece of infrastructure
VANCOUVER (Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Territories) - Despite claiming to support cycling and active transportation infrastructure, today Mayor Ken Sim and ABC Vancouver voted to kill active transportation lanes on Broadway.
The lane, which would have provided protected infrastructure for commuters and couriers along a vital commercial corridor, will now not be implemented during the rebuild of Broadway. Bicycle and scooter users will continue to use Broadway to do their jobs and to access shops and services, but will now face much more danger doing so.
The move is a reversal of incumbent ABC councillors’ support for the project last term, and a breach of the campaign promise made by Mayor Ken Sim, Cllr. Mike Klassen and Cllr. Peter Meiszner to expand protected bike lane infrastructure on commercial streets.
“Today’s vote is a failure for road safety in Vancouver, and for everyone who uses our streets to get around,” said Christine Boyle, City Councillor, OneCity Vancouver. “Broadway is a major employment area. Whether or not there’s a safe infrastructure in place, workers will use bikes and scooters to get to their jobs - and in the case of couriers, to do their jobs. We had an opportunity to help active transport users get where they are going safely. Instead ABC voted to prioritize cars.”
The Broadway active mobility lanes, if implemented, would have represented a significant step forward for safe cycling infrastructure in the Broadway Plan area. According to ICBC data, under the status quo, a cyclist is hit every two days between 4th and 16th. Thanks to today’s vote by ABC, that status quo will continue.
These active mobility lanes would have also created safe space for the growing number of e-scooter users, keeping scooter users safe, and keeping scooters off of the sidewalk, which makes pedestrians safer too. Instead, thanks to ABC, our sidewalks and streets will be more chaotic and less safe for everyone.
“ABC talks a big game on climate and transportation - but so far they have only moved us backwards,” continues Boyle. “They started their term in government by voting to rip out safe cycling infrastructure in Stanley Park. Today, they have continued that record by refusing to implement it on Broadway. ABC did not run on making cyclists’ lives more dangerous. But that is exactly what Vancouver voters are getting.”
When implemented in peer cities like Toronto, Portland and New York, active transportation infrastructure has bolstered local business’ bottom line. A recent Toronto complete streets pilot found that local businesses saw 10% more business after the pilot was implemented.
The Downtown Vancouver BIA, after initially opposing bike lanes, now fully support them and are advocates for cycling safety - because active transportation is good for business. Businesses along the Broadway Corridor would have benefited from more people stopping and shopping on scooters and bikes.
Today’s decision by Mayor Sim and the ABC majority on Council is a broken promise on active transportation, and a failure for road safety, for local businesses, local workers and local residents.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
OneCity Vancouver communications committee