Cities and real estate developers are all peddling bike lanes
In Vancouver, Cadillac Fairview is building lots of bike storage, change rooms and showers into their buildings, and not just to chalk up the famous bike rack LEED points. According to Josh O'Kane in the Globe and Mail, it is a big perq.
Safe bike parking, alongside lockers, showers and other “end-of-trip” amenities, is “a key feature for us to attract clients to the buildings,” says Ultan Kampff, general manager of the Pacific Centre, which is owned and managed by Cadillac Fairview. “It helps clients attract staff who want to join their organizations. It’s a key selling feature for them when people consider where they should work.”
Millennials joining the work force are particularly interested in this. According to cycling activist Erin O’Melinn,
“It’s hard to find a space to park, hard to afford a car, gas, parking, insurance,” she says. “Whereas if they’re already in an urban area, cycling is a great opportunity not only to save money, but to feel good and healthy.”
More in the Globe and Mail.
Bike lanes double in US Cities' bid for youth
In Bloomberg, Mark Niquette writes that U.S. cities trying to attract young residents and the businesses that hire them are increasingly finding magic in the bike lane. The Mayor of Memphis says that a few years ago, cyclists were considered hippies or weirdos. (Many still do). While some complain that they are losing street lanes or parking, in most progressive cities the politicians recognize the importance.
“It’s not because they’re passionate about bikes,” said Roskowsk [of People for Bikes] “It’s because they’re seeing that bikes are a tool for helping make their cities work better.”
Meanwhile, back in Toronto...Rob Ford complaining about Eglinton Avenue/Screen capture
Mayor Rob Ford , fresh out of rehab, is on Eglinton Avenue, where they are building a new underground LRT line, trying to cancel an approved and funded project to turn it into a complete street with four traffic lanes, sidewalks and bike lanes. Even though it has been discussed since 2012, Rob says he wasn't informed, saying:
A lot of the councillors weren’t even aware of it yesterday and we looked at it. Cause when I got briefed from the city manager, I wasn’t told they were reducing lanes of traffic.
John Tory, trying to be the responsible sober adult Rob Ford, is trying to outdo the master in trashing bike lanes, saying "Any proposal that will add to road congestion by reducing lanes of traffic is a non-starter in my books."
In Toronto, they haven't got the memo yet.