Many people were horrified when they first learned that the proposed Hornby Bike Lane would cost $3,2 million. I was impressed: that’s more money than I can even imagine.
Since then, I’ve gained a bit more perspective. Readers have kindly shared with me some Vancouver City Council Minutes, and I have discovered that $3.2 million is neither that horrifying nor that impressive. Let’s look at a comparison between amounts recently spent (or about to be spent) on Knight Street, and the amount spent on the entire Hornby Bike Lane.
|Left turn lanes, Knight @ 49th||3,000,000|
|Left turn lanes, Knight @ 41st||3,200,000|
|Left turn lanes, Knight @ 57th||6,200,000|
|Left turn lanes, Knight @ 33rd||3,400,000|
|Total for left turns on Knight||15,800,000|
|Bike Lane on Hornby||3,200,000|
As is apparent from the above, the amount spent on improvements to just one road (admittedy an important road, but still just one road) amounts to five times the cost of the Hornby Bike Lane!
Yet I have not heard so much as a whimper of complaint at this reckless use of taxpayers’ money. Surely those who don’t drive should be out in droves, complaining bitterly that THEIR money should be spent on libraries, or art galleries, or bowling greens, or whatever it is that THEY happen to find important?
Apparently, if money is spent on roads, no one gives a damn – but if money is spent on a bike lane, then it could suddenly become the most personal and important $3,2 million ever spent in the history of Vancouver. Am I the only one who finds this odd?