Saturday, January 2, 2010

Passing Tax

Cambie Street all over again.

In his rush to win over the leather saddle crowd, the Green Mayor has basically destroyed a long-standing Vancouver business...ironically enough, a green business.

Wim Van der Zalm has been operating a very large and very good plant store on Hornby Street just below Pacific for a great many years now.

The store has done quite well thank you very much.

That is, until the famous Burrard Street Bike Lane Waste-of-Time-and-Money.

Now, you cannot make a right turn off Pacific and down the hill to Beach Avenue.

Which means that Wim's store no longer has traffic.

Which means he's going broke at this location and will probably have to close.

Did Gregor make allowances for this destruction of local business?

Is he compensating Van der Zalm?

Has he ever heard of the Law of Unintended Consequences?

No, no, and no.

One little mom-and-pop shop is merely collateral damage in the war of political correctness and pedal power.

Roll on, Big Wheel.


Anonymous said...

The mayor's support for the Cambie St. merchants is now being put to the test.

Unfortunately, it's the public's money that will used as the litmus paper.

There is a way out of this (Cambie St. blowback) without harming too many others.

The loss of parking could be considered a drop in value for the property, and hence, worthy of a reduction in civic taxes.

Anonymous said...

David, over the holiday season I crossed back and forth over the Burrard Bridge . I approached the bridge from both sides in various directions. A few things were obvious. There were NO ZERO NADDA ZILCH bikes using the bridge. The sidewalks are huge and simply relegating all cyclists to one side or the other would have solved the cycle problem. If indeed there ever was a problem. As we traveled North we wanted to see the trees decorated on Beach by Cardero so we were forced to drive past the obvious turn and go to the next block. So much for the business we missed .

My wife commented that those business owners should sue for lost income.

And this idiot mayor is the NDP answer to the Liberals. Good luck.

A small city sized sign stating all cyclists must dismount when approaching another cyclist would cost a few bucks. A VPD officer writing tickets for offenders until the cyclists learned some good behavior. A dash of common sense. Much cheaper than idiot mayors trial project.

I hope Mr Vander Zalm wins a huge settlement.
ps The Squamish bands sign is an eyesore.

Anonymous said...

Wim's store is an oasis of green, peacefulness and beauty. It used to be one of my favourite turn right onto the street where his store is, and if there was a parking spot, to do an impromptu stop and meander through the store, get a new idea for an arrangement of container plants, pick up something to lift my spirits on a rainy, gray day, or to share with someone else. How sad that this lovely store, and the conservatory at QE Park are both doomed.


Robyn McCorquodale said...

I have been to Copenhagen city many times and have admired the bike friendly city that it is, thinking Vancouver might do the same, also being a health conscious and environmentally friendly city. I’ve changed my mind, or at least, I’ve changed my mind if the Burrard Bridge model is any indication of what is to come.

David, you have commented in the past that the bike lane addition has made no difference either way. I’ll take it a step further and say I believe it has had an impact, and not for the good. As a resident of the West End, gone are the days of my guaranteed fast exit out of the downtown core at any time of day. What is frustrating is that while I sit and wait, sometimes a very long time, in backed up traffic slowly making my way along the one lane that now merges onto the bridge, or while I go around an extra block on my return home because I can’t drive past Vander Zalm’s lovely shop, I see NO bike traffic pass me. Nadda. Zip. Okay, perhaps the occasional one, but mostly, none and certainly not enough to warrant an entire precious lane. All this empty space not being utilized while automobiles sit in traffic.

Perhaps it takes time for the bike concept to catch on? Perhaps one day the bike lane on the bridge will be filled with bikes? Nothing would make me more pleased, and quite honestly, I’m surprised it’s not the case now. I’m happy to factor in additional commute time to the West Side if it served a useful purpose to do so.

For now, I’ll be patient and see what happens. Perhaps 2010 will bring out the bikers.

And what’s up with the neon at the South end of the bridge. Is this here to stay?

diverdarren said...

Get real David, Anyone going to that boutique plant store is not going to stop shopping there because they can't make a turn at Hornby. They would just turn right at Howe, right at Beach and right at Hornby putting the potential purchaser of potted plants directly in-front of the flower shoppe. Van der Zalm's fiscal problems are probably a direct result of a flawed business plan. A plan that requires customers to have enough disposable income to spend on plants from a nice flower shoppe instead of the local cheap box store. Instead of trying to scape-goat a bike lane for sinking revenue perhaps Mr. Van der Zalm should rethink his market, cut his costs where he can and hunker down for a long economic bad time.

David Berner said...

It's unfotunate, diverdarren, that you can't make an argument without a personal attack. "Get real David" doesn't help.

Van der Zalm has proven over many yeras that he is a most astute businessman in quite a few locations.

The Hornby Street store began losing money the day the new driving signs were put up by the city.

Simple, even if you don't personally like it.