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New study on Vancouver's separated bike lanes

Consultants to determine how businesses along the paths have been affected, how negative impacts can be mitigated.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The Vancouver Economic Development Commission (VEDC), on behalf of a partnership that also includes the City of Vancouver, the Downtown Vancouver Association, the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA) and the Vancouver Board of Trade, has engaged Stantec Consulting Ltd to conduct a study of the effect on businesses of the introduction of separated bike lanes along Dunsmuir and Hornby Streets in downtown Vancouver. Stantec will be assisted by Site Economics Ltd and Mustel Group Market Research.

The study will focus on the short and longer term effects of the new separated bike lanes on street level businesses, as well as on commercial property owners and on businesses located in the upper floors of commercial buildings. It will also make recommendations on ways to mitigate any negative economic impacts on businesses as a result of the introduction of the separated bike lanes. The study will also include an analysis of best practices in other cities that have reduced lanes available to vehicular traffic in order to accommodate separated bike lanes.

The study will include multiple opportunities for affected businesses, their employees and their customers to provide input on their experiences as a result of the new separated bike lanes. Surveys of street level and upper floor businesses will be conducted, as well as of commercial property owners. Similar surveys will be conducted on Howe and Georgia Streets for comparison purposes. There will be consultation workshops with a sample of businesses, intercept interviews of customers and a sample survey of Metro Vancouver residents.

Businesses and individuals can provide input by contacting [email protected] or calling 604-696-8052. All information provided to the study on individual businesses will be held in the strictest confidence by the consultants; only aggregated data will be provided to VEDC and its partners.

The study findings, conclusions and recommendations will be reported to City Council and made public in July, 2011. The consultants will continue to monitor the effect of the separated bike lanes on businesses through 2012.

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