Vancouver's bike lanes finally accepted by downtown business group
'Times have changed...and they're here to stay,' says Downtown Vancouver BIA president
After years spent fighting the separated bike lanes on Hornby and Dunsmuir streets, the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA) has softened its stance.
The organization had criticized Vancouver city council for a lack of public consultation, spoke out at public meetings and even commissioned studies to show the lanes' negative impacts on business.
But now, nearly five years since the bikeways were approved, the DVBIA is now accepting them, as it sponsors Bike to Work Week.
"It is a mode of transportation that people are using to come here and we don't want to deny anyone access to the downtown, including cyclists."
10,000 expected to bike to work
The DVBIA has been a sponsor of Bike to Work Week since 2008, before its opposition of the bike lanes. Gauthier says the bike lanes have affected businesses, some for better and some for worse.
"Originally there was an impact to a number of street-level businesses along the bike lanes," he said.
"I think over time, many of them have adapted and come to accept them. Others, as their leases have expired, have decided not to stay along the corridors and have moved elsewhere and others have moved in."
Bike to Work Week runs May 25 until May 31, and organizing group HUB expects 10,000 people to take part this year.
With files from Margaret Gallagher