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Local businesses livid over proposed Hornby bike lane


Public consultation City of Vancouver is conducting over the proposed Hornby Street bike lane amounts to little more than a charade, according to an established businessman.

Swimwear storeowner Bob Curell was just one in a loud chorus of people who crashed a media briefing at Pacific Centre Wednesday claiming the trial is a done deal that will be bad for businesses along the route.

"The city's made up its mind," said the veteran cyclist. "Gregor's got a two-year term and what Gregor says, Gregor does, the city does."

He added cyclists don't shop for more than a bottle of water because they're not able to lug away big purchases.

The city plans to construct a separated bike lane along Hornby Street to connect already-secured lanes at Burrard Bridge and along Dunsmuir Street to the viaduct.

Hotel owner Nelson Skalbania expressed vehement concern over losing a lane for parking to accommodate cyclists.

"We pay $400,000 in property taxes at the Wedgewood hotel and they have no parking planned," he said. "Cyclists pay no tax, no license fee like a car does, no gasoline tax to support our highways and our roads. They do nothing."

Even Geoff Gillis, a downtown bicycle courier, described the proposal as "garbage" because separated lanes don't offer any "real protection".

"There's big signs that say cars can't turn right but they still turn right," he said of Dunsmuir Street.

"Loading trucks coming out of alleys don't care. Pedestrians just think they can jaywalk because the road is narrower.

"It's segregation. Anytime you're in their space when drivers see you've already got your little kennel-spot they flip out."