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Letter to Mayor Robertson - re: Proposed Separated Bicycle Lanes for Hornby Street

September 23, 2010

Mayor Gregor Robertson and Council
City of Vancouver
3rd Floor
453 12th Avenue West
Vancouver, BC, V5Y 1V4

Via Email:   mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca

Dear Mayor and Council

Re:   Proposed Separated Bicycle Lanes for Hornby Street

The Vancouver Board of Trade has long been a supporter of road sharing in downtown Vancouver. We were, in fact, one of the first business organizations to champion bicycle lanes as part of the major review of downtown transportation conducted in 2002/2003. Sharing the road then, has always been top of mind when examining the use of Vancouver’s road network, especially when it comes to the downtown peninsula.

It was therefore with great concern that we became aware of the proposed separated bicycle lane along Hornby Street — a proposal being made in isolation of the overall transportation schematic in the area. While we acknowledge that certain safety and convenience benefits for cyclists can be derived from lane separation, such benefits must be considered in the overall context of transportation alternatives. In short, these benefits must have a demonstrable net positive impact on the system.

Response to Proposal

The proposed separated bike lane on Hornby Street raises several issues which are of concern to The Vancouver Board of Trade. These issues include:

  • The lack of a proper full cost evaluation of the economic, environmental, and social impacts of the proposed separated bike lane on local businesses, both on Hornby Street and on those commuters/goods and services vehicles using this route;
  • The lack of evaluation of alternative routes apart from the three routes considered;
  • The lack of analysis of the separated bike lane proposal within the larger context of the city’s overall transportation plan;
  • The lack of proper consultation with the extended community in addition to consultation with the businesses located on Hornby Street; and
  • The revenue shortfall to the city caused by the removal of parking on Hornby Street.

Based on concerns stemming from these issues, The Vancouver Board of Trade cannot support separated bicycle lanes on Hornby Street at this time.



Jason McLean
Chairman and Chief Elected Officer


cc:   Jerry Dobrovolny, City of Vancouver, Engineering
Lon LaClaire, City of Vancouver, Engineering

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