Heads up: Write Council NOW about VGH bike lane and bypassing council to delegate authority to City Engineer

City HallCity Council resumes at 12:45 pm today to discuss agenda items. We are seeing considerable concern about two items in particular (#6 – Complete Streets Policy Framework and Related By-law Changes, and #7 -10th Avenue Health Precinct Street Improvements):

Item #7 is slated to start at 2 pm. Follow progress of the meeting on Twitter via @vancityclerk.

To write Mayor and Council:

clrcarr@vancouver.ca, clraffleck@vancouver.ca, clrball@vancouver.ca, clrdeal@vancouver.ca, clrjang@vancouver.ca, clrlouie@vancouver.ca, clrmeggs@vancouver.ca, clrreimer@vancouver.ca, clrstevenson@vancouver.ca, CLRdegenova@vancouver.ca

In brief:

Item 6:  Vancouver Charter change:  Removing public consultations & Council’s authority  – for input & decisions on street use
– If passed – The City Engineer will have exclusive authority, bypassing Council.  This applies for transit, road use including main & side streets, bikelanes and more.
See an article in the Vancouver Sun by Councillor George Affleck:  http://vancouversun.com/opinion/op-ed/opinion-keep-city-councillors-accountable-to-vancouverites
Item 7: Approving VGH West 10th Avenue bike lanes – This includes removal of 75 street parking spaces (leaving only 2 metered parking spaces). Over 3800 people per day visit Vancouver General Hospital and other facilities.   Only 11 disabled spots will remain, plus limited “drop off spots” with a 3-minute time limit.
We have received comments from readers that the material and survey results used by the City are skewed, prioritizing cyclists over patients. Only approx 1,800 respondents were surveyed while hundreds of thousands visit and use the area annually. The target survey group was supposedly seniors and the general population but the respondent demographic is reportedly mostly 30-39 year old cyclists, and over 46% of respondents do not use medical facilities in the area.
We are aware of other aspects of incomplete and flawed notification to affected parties. Will report more on that in the future.

Other recent coverage:
Final designs for 10th Avenue to be presented to council
Route adjacent to Vancouver General Hospital one of busiest in the city for cyclists, drivers, pedestrians, CBC News May 16, 2017
Pedestrians and cyclists central to 10th Avenue “Health Precinct” redesign. News Talk 980 CKNW, Simon Little, May 16, 2017
Separated bike lanes to replace metered parking behind Vancouver General Hospital
by Carlito Pablo on May 15th, 2017.
City council to vote on $3M 10th Avenue plan. A staff report recommends taking away street parking and raising bike lanes in the ‘Health Precinct’

3 thoughts on “Heads up: Write Council NOW about VGH bike lane and bypassing council to delegate authority to City Engineer

  1. Yet another wasteful and disrespectful decision out of City Hall – in this case prioritizing bikers above all other people including elderly, patients, visitors to those who are ill. Consultation is a total sham – the majority members on Council were barely listening while proceedings progressed as they had made up their minds before anybody spoke anyways. Biking is an excellent way to get around but it is one way of getting around, not the only way. Even if all the cars in the city where electric, we would need sufficient space on our roads for automobiles, which is the motive transportation required by a vast majority of people in the city. In this case, severely restricted speeding signage and speed humps would have dealt with this multiple needs use Road adequately – good grief

  2. Pingback: Controversial 105 Keefer (Chinatown) rezoning goes to public hearing tonight (Tues, May 23): Beedie Group, 12-storeys | CityHallWatch: Tools to engage in Vancouver city decisions

  3. The decision to allow the City Engineer do press forward with decisions in the absence of councils approval and the normal openness and accountability of public input is a major blow to our ability to direct our city.

    Moving decision making out of the hands of Council and into the hands of the bureaucrats is ripe for abuse. Just look at the legal contortionist act needed by this bylaw to make it compliant with the City Charter.

    The City Charter says it can delegate decisions to committees made up of councilors or city employees is allowable. But, to make this work the City Engineer needed to be deemed a committee! Two issues jump immediately to mind. the normal definition of a committee is not generally a single person. And, what are the “terms of reference” of this so-called committee? Where and how will the public input be allowed. Will the committee meet in open? Are the Committee’s decisions review-able by council?

    Why should the City Engineer Committee have powers greater than the in place standing committees; like the committee on City Finance and Services?

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