British Columbia

Neighbours take issue with new East Vancouver bike share docking station

Some residents in the area around 10th Avenue and Woodland Drive in Vancouver are complaining about a new Mobi public bike share docking station being installed at the intersection.

Some residents say the new station going in at 10th Avenue and Woodland Drive is in the wrong spot

Mobi docking stations like this are springing up all over the city, but some residents in East Vancouver aren't too happy losing parking spaces to the one proposed at 10th Avenue and Woodland Drive. (Christer Waara )

As Vancouver's public bike share system Mobi expands into East Vancouver, crews have been staking out spots where the docking stations will be installed, and residents in the area around 10th Avenue and Woodland Drive are complaining about the choice to place a station at that intersection.

Even though Perry Boeker is a cyclist who says he commutes on his bike rain or shine, he's one of the neighbours who's taking the lead against the new station.

"It's just a highly congested area with lots of bike traffic that goes both this way and that way," said Boeker of the intersection along the popular 10th Avenue bike route.

He suggested that Mobi should concentrate its stations a block east near the SkyTrain station, and he also criticizes what he perceives as a lack of consultation from Mobi and city officials.

Boeker's neighbour, Robin Wong, shares his opposition to the docking station placement.

"It takes away much needed parking spaces for the residents in the area," said Wong.

A cyclist rides past the spot where Mobi crews plan to install a new public bike share docking station at 10th Avenue and Woodland Drive in East Vancouver. (Daniel Beauparlant/CBC)

Major system expansion

According to Bike Share Vancouver general manager Mia Kohout, there are more than 130 bike docking stations in the city, and in the coming months, that number will rise to 200.

"I think we're expanding sooner than we were anticipating," said Kohout, pointing out the biggest challenge is just keeping up with demand.

"People's number one complaint or apprehension is the loss of physical car parking spaces, but, in most instances — the city will have more stats on this — there is ample parking in the neighbourhoods," she said, noting that for every two car parking spots that are lost, the company fits 12 bike parking spots into the same space.

"People are scared of change ... we have received very little, [to] no complaints after the station goes in," said Kohout, saying Mobi works very closely with the city and involves third-party engineers before locations are selected. In 2016, shortly after the system launched, West End residents opposing a station were able to get the attention of city officials, who promised further consultation.

Neighbourhood support for Mobi

But not all of Boeker's neighbours near 10th Avenue and Woodland Drive are against the dock — some see it as a welcome growth in the bike share system.

Kerry Friesen is a cyclist who doesn't use the Mobi system, but he supports its expansion.

"I think it's good overall. It's good for the city," said Friesen, who expressed understanding that some people may miss the parking spaces.

Lindsay Symonds brushed off concerns over the parking spots. 

"No matter where it goes, it's going to take up parking spaces, and people are going to be upset about that," said Symonds. "I'm for it, so I don't listen to any negative talk about it."

"I think the bike share is great for our city," said Marnie Goldenberg, who was riding by the intersection on Wednesday. "I wonder if there's any NIMBYism with any challenges people have with [a station] being at this particular location."

According to Kohout, the system now has about 1,400 bikes on the street and just under 60,000 people have taken them for a ride.

Officials from the City of Vancouver weren't available for comment by deadline.

With files from Pierre Martineau

Follow Rafferty Baker on Twitter: @raffertybaker