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New bike-only lanes in Vancouver’s already congested city-scape has had citizens up in arms for nearly a year. While budget commuters are riding safer and greener than ever, the city’s motorists are insisting these barrier-separated portions of major streets are causing traffic-movement problems and a higher chance of car accidents due to changes in the infrastructure. And not only motorists may suffer, but small business owners as well, due to loss of parking spaces. Laura Jones, VP of the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses in Western Canada stated in a press release “mayor and council think losing customers is no big deal. It is a big deal when your customers keep your business viable and your business supports your family and your employees.” [See link]. While this is an argument worth considering, Yvonne Bambrick a Toronto activist and avid bicycle commuter in a city that already benefits from existing bike lanes, points out as a guest poster on the Canadian blog Enviro Boys; “more people on bicycles means fewer people taking up precious road space in cars… Bike lanes add a greater level of predictability to our roads by showing more clearly where we can expect each transportation mode to be travelling.” [See link]. Regardless of the controversy, the mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson is still moving ahead with plans to develop the greenest city in the world by 2020. “This plan is not just about having a healthy environment that keeps us all alive, it’s about the economy and the community. It’s about keeping things in balance,” he said during a presentation at the Gaining Ground-Resilient Cities conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre. [See link]. So while small-business owners and motor-commuters may suffer temporarily, a quick enquiry on the internet, or on the street, will go to show that the majority of people support the bike-lanes – and because of these lanes, more people are already cycling. With so many positives and a few temporary negatives, it is clear that bike lanes are the avenue to a greener future and a healthier lifestyle.
By: ctvbc.ca [author name N/A]. September 8, 2010. Retrieved December 3, 2010. http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100908/bc_hornby_bike_lane_100908?hub=BritishColumbiaHome
By: Yvonne Bambrick. May 21, 2010. Retrieved December 3, 2010. http://www.enviroboys.com/2010/05/guest-entry-bike-lanes-serve-all.html
By:Gerry Bellett. October 20th 2009. Retrieved December 3, 2010. http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Mayor+releases+plan+make+Vancouver+world+greenest+city+2020/2124455/story.html