All of Commercial For Everyone

The City of Vancouver is working on plans to help make Commercial Drive safer for people cycling, walking and using public transit. Commercial Drive has been on the City's cycling network plans since 2012. It is good to see this project moving forward. Unfortunately, in spite of evidence from around North America that bike lanes are good for business and support from several businesses, the Commercial Drive BIA has come out against protected bike lanes.

{{show_more?On the wide section between 14th and Gravely, the City states there is an opportunity to reallocate one lane of traffic to make space for protected bike lanes. However, so far, the City has not mentioned the opportunity protected bike lanes to other sections of Commercial Drive. Bike lanes on the Drive from Powell to Victoria would help more customers arrive to businesses by bike.

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Gravely to Adanac

Between Gravely and Adanac, the street is narrower and no opportunity to create protected bike lanes is mentioned in the display boards presented at the open houses. We are concerned as Commercial from Adanac to 12th had the second highest cycling collisions/km according City of Vancouver's Cycling Safety Study

One option would be to remove parking on one side of the street  and have parking on the other to create space for protected bike lanes. This would require the parking to be full time on that side of the street so it would not be stripped during peak periods as currently is the case. Here is what it might look like.

While on-street parking is often perceived as to being very important for businesses, that may not be the case on Commercial. The City's intercept survey found that only 17% of people arrived on the Drive via motor vehicle. Of those, 33% used the parking on the Drive meaning that only 5.6% of people arriving on the Drive use the on-street parking. So, if parking is removed on one-side, that would probably only affect less than 3% of those arriving on the Drive.

Already, 11% arrive by bicycle and that would increase dramatically if protected bike lanes are added. On Bloor Street in Toronto, a similar option to create bike lanes was just implemented that dramatically increased cycling (75% to 300%). Given that on-street parking can make streets less safe for people walking, cycling and driving, reallocating parking on one side is worth exploring.

Please let the City know if you would like them to consider this option.

14th to Sainsbury Ave/Commercial Street

South of 14th, Commercial Drive still has two lanes of traffic in both directions. One lane could be reallocated to create protected bike lanes to connect with Commercial Street, a good potential bike route, and the BC Parkway at Sainsbury Ave. This would be a great local and regional connection enabling more people to cycle on the other sections of Commercial Drive. Good for business, people cycling and the community.}}

Take Action

Write Mayor and Council

{{mailer?headline=Write Mayor Robertson and Council&introduction=Let them know what safer protected bike lanes on Commercial would mean for your family and friends.&subpage=streets_for_everyone_letters&to=represent.opennorth.ca.representatives.district_name:[email protected]_office:Mayor,represent.opennorth.ca.representatives.district_name:[email protected]_office:Councillor&cc=bccc.org.everyone,bccc.org.hub,bccc&button_yes=Yes, I want to help make Commercial Drive safer for cycling!&placeholder=Your%20message%20*}}

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More Info

Commercial Drive Proposal | Streets For Everyone

Commercial Drive Complete Street | City of Vancouver


Showing 4 reactions

  • Saurabh Bhardwaj
    commented 2016-11-10 13:21:02 -0800
    It’s one thing if they don’t have the valid facts you’d accept as proper, or if they’ve structured their communications in one way or the other – but then it’s another thing for an entity such as yourself to TARGET the BIA in particular. You really need to get a grip on the fact that the BIA is not an individual or a small group of people who are voicing their own opinions – they represent the how much ever (600 or so) businesses with their area/catchment.
    There’s campaigns that can get nasty and aggressive, and then there’s those who have the ability to remain diplomatic and focus on the key principles of issues in discussion.
    I would encourage you to stop targeting and naming groups you may have a personal grudge against, and keep focusing on the principles and key subject of discussion.
  • Saurabh Bhardwaj
    commented 2016-11-10 13:16:52 -0800
    Richard,
    All studies currently point to the fact that majority of the people either take Transit, or walk, or drive to Commercial Drive. There’s a lot of people coming to a central area like Commercial Drive from other destinations. They can not all possibly start biking to Commercial Drive because of the huge impact these lanes will have on the roads. What do you say to those people? Versus those who are just passing through the Commercial Drive area on their bikes?
    You don’t need studies to find out that those people who bicycle their way through Commercial Drive are here to shop or work. Those who actually contribute to the society are here by other means as a majority.

    Sure the street may be unsafe for bicyclists, but seriously? Bicyclists can’t ride their bike 600M from a safer route on the side? What you’re saying is bicyclists are in quantity as large of a group as motorists? Streets for everyone shouldn’t imply Streets for bicyclists.
    The City should work on improving the Transit infrastructure around Commercial Drive (which they’ve initiated, koodos), and then they need to pay attention to the safety of pedestrians.
    Bicyclists are not held accountable for the damage and disruption they case, or for the disregard they exude on others on the road. It’s one thing to stand up for your right, and it’s another to just be a bully about it. You can’t have best of both worlds without any compromise.

    But yeah, if you want to talk about facts then you need to show how many people (bicyclists, for this discussion) actually contribute to the community. You can’t take away resources for those who ACTUALLY shop/work/live here, and make way for those who just ride by.. And if you’d tell me that in any paradigm bicyclists can/will/do shop more that those visitors who drive/walk/transit their way on to Commercial Drive, then it’s unfortunate how blinded you are.
  • Richard Campbell
    commented 2016-11-10 12:28:16 -0800
    It makes no sense to divert people on bikes that want to shop and visit businesses on the Drive over to Victoria. It is 600m back and forth. According to the City of Vancouver, already 11% of people access Commercial by bike and even the BIA’s survey has 7% arriving by bike. Plus, the City has identified Commercial as being one of the least safe streets in the city for cycling. Clearly improvements are needed.

    Streets For Everyone has engaged many in the community and found broad support for the bike lane. Plus it was included in the recommendations by the Citizens Assembly.

    The BIA petition and survey contains a lot of misinformation regarding the bike lane. For one, it is not a bicycle highway, it is a local route to access local businesses. And what the City mentioned in at the open houses, is reallocating a lane of traffic, that would have little impact on parking. It does no one, including the business any good to spread misinformation. Please write the BIA and encourage them to just stick to the facts.
  • Saurabh Bhardwaj
    commented 2016-11-10 09:30:37 -0800
    1) Why are you targeting the BIA in that manner? They’re a not-for-profit organization that just represents the businesses and residents on Commercial Drive (between 12th and Adanac).. THOSE people do not want the separated bike lanes.. That’s why the BIA has gotten 5,000 signatures and counting.

    Part of the supporters who’ve signed the petition include avid bicyclists who work and live and shop on commercial drive..
    You have to really be engaged on the drive to really understand the culture, the transportation atmosphere, etc. to be able to use your common sense and understand that despite all the benefits of bicycling, a main street such a commercial drive is just not practical.

    You bicyclists want “safe routes” and access, and all that, then why on earth would you not go for bike lanes on Victoria drive or other side streets that are already bike-friendly? Why on earth would you want one, separated at that, ON commercial drive, IN the busiest part of it all? If bicyclists want the main roads, and want a way paved for them, then there needs to be regulations accounting them responsible for their actions such as not abiding by common safety rules on the road, which are applied upon other vehicle users.

    2) I love how easily you stated “One option would be to remove parking on one side of the street and have parking on the other to create space for protected bike lanes.”
    (sarcasm) Yeah, why not just shut down one side of the road, for bicycles? That’s not enough. Lets make Commercial Drive a bicycle highway, who needs cars anyways right?

    At least you’re close to admitting that from Gravely to Adanac the road is too narrow – and to clarify this to other reads, “too narrow” means it’s only a 1 lane road, each way. With just enough space to park. Even those parked cars work as a safety net for all the jay-walkers and pedestrians on the side of the road.

    South of Gravely, it’s just so darn busy, one who uses Commercial Drive on the regular just can not see the justification behind a) taking out a lane of driving/parking b) spend all the resources required when installing a SEPARATED bike lane c) expect already-struggling businesses to continue on while (and after) the construction in engaged.

    It’s one thing to get rights, and safety nets integrated into the city’s transportation infrastructure so we can accommodate those who use arguably a more economical means of transportation, but then it’s another to pursue such large changes at the cost of such major disruption.
    People on Commercial Drive don’t want the bicycle lane, so if that means you don’t want to come to Commercial Drive, then so be it. Did I mention that local residents, who ride bicycles regularly, even they can see how pointless this pursuit of adding a AAA separated bike lane really is. The money and resources are better to be spent somewhere else, or improving the existing bicycle routes.

    Or.. The city could hire more by-law officers? Just a thought. There’s a prominent shortage of by-law officers, as admitted buy the city – maybe they can hire someone to enforce basic by-laws and laws in public areas such as Grandview Park, or the Transit hubs? Just parking your Transit Police car in front of the skytrain station isn’t enough, let’s face it.

    Or.. The city could hire more by-law officers? Just a thought. There’s a prominent shortage of by-law officers, as admitted buy the city – maybe they can hire someone to enforce basic by-laws and laws in public areas such as Grandview Park, or the Transit hubs? Just parking your Transit Police car in front of the skytrain station isn’t enough, let’s face it.I’m all for bicycling but I do not appreciate how you’ve targeted the BIA in such a catty manner – that’s uncalled for. Someone’s actually resisting your pursuit with valid backing and a strong response from the members of the community where you’re trying to cause major disruption, and you come out with this? Get bicycle lanes on streets with less traffic.
    What’s next, separated bicycle lanes on Main Street? Kingsway? Knight? Get a grip.

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