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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Alberta & British Columbia > SSP: Local Vancouver > Transportation & Infrastructure

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  #2041  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2011, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by LeftCoaster View Post

in my opinoin if you are that close to going under anyway its quite likely either you dont know how to run your business or your business is fundamentally unsound...

If these truly were ventures worth caring about their bottom line would be large enough to handle the paltry distortion brought about by a change in the usage of two lanes...

Feel free to disagree but I think we have both made our points.
Well, I will just leave you with one last thing then:

The kind of small business that you describe (and deride)--i.e., the one that operates under a razor-thin margin and can be adversely affected by very small changes in government regulation--is the very archetype of the creative, hard-working small business. Most small businesses, when they are not operating at a loss during slow months, often generate just enough revenue to cover expenses and make payroll. Yet such small businesses are the primary source of employment and the very foundation of our economy.

Thus, there is no economic entity worth caring more about than these kinds of ventures.

Last edited by Prometheus; Jul 23, 2011 at 8:26 AM.
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  #2042  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2011, 11:44 PM
racc racc is offline
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Sure, fine. Let's put someone into bankruptcy and ruin their life so you can enforce your right to ride on them.
There is no evidence that anyone is going bankrupt.

The street is public property not the property of the private businesses along Hornby and the people of the city and the council have the right to use it for public benefit. The majority of people in Vancouver support the bike lanes.
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  #2043  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2011, 1:37 AM
aberdeen5698 aberdeen5698 is offline
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The 10% figure quoted in the report is pretty suspect from what I can see. The figure is based on a voluntary survey that had only about a 1/3 response rate. Businesses that are opposed to the bike line are obviously a lot more likely to respond, and it's probable that they would err on the side of overstating their losses rather than understating them. In fact the four businesses that reported hard dollar figures indicated greater losses on their surveys than were substantiated by dollar figures they provided.

In other words, it seems to me that the figure is based on self-reporting by businesses that are likely to be biased. Not exactly the best data on which to base public policy. Hopefully the other parts of the report that deal with objective information will be more useful.
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  #2044  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2011, 2:46 AM
Zassk Zassk is offline
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I'm not much of a fan of the way the bike lanes were brought in, but I will agree with one thing - businesses have no right to rely on street-side parking. And if we are going to set aside more right-of-way space for bikes (or pedestrians, for that matter), then I would choose to convert the space currently used for parking before any other options.

I think street-side parking is ugly, and expensive to society, and is generally more intrusive to foot/cycle traffic than moving vehicles. I think it's greatly presumptuous for anyone to demand precious street space be constructed and maintained just for them to park on - whether for residents or business. Street side parking is a waste of infrastructure, and probably encourages car ownership more than the travel lanes themselves do.
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  #2045  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2011, 5:45 AM
deasine deasine is online now
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Originally Posted by BCPhil View Post
I don't think Prometheus was arguing against bikes in those terms. He was debating the financial impacts that bike lanes (that seem to cater more to tourists and leisure riders) do to businesses in the heart of the downtown business core.

Attacking him based on his like or dislike of bikes (and even other things) is just ad hominem and poisoning the well and avoiding the issues he raised about business being down over 10% year over year on Hornby street. Some did debate him on the financial and moral issues to which he had well reasoned responses, but others tried to deflect the debate by directly attacking Prometheus and making it seem like a bike vs car debate.

If well reasoned arguments concerning the validity of the impact on business in the downtown core that bike lanes cause isn't allowed in a thread about bike lanes and only positive reinforcing comments are allowed, then perhaps it is THIS thread that should be renamed to reflect its apparent circle jerk status.
First of all, I did not mention any names and was not pointing at anyone directly. Right before my warning, there were quite a few other members involved in discussion. I'm standing firm on my warning earlier, and will remind once again that if members participate in any sort of discussion that could be considered as a X vs. Y argument not only in this forum topic, but any other topics on SSP, your membership will be suspended or revoked depending on the circumstance. I welcome insightful debates. Please, share your views and positions on a topic of discussion. But if you realize your point isn't getting across, then it's a sign to stop posting before it becomes an argument. As a member, you are required to respect the opinions of others. All members are entitled to their opinion, no matter how "incorrect" you think their position is.

And just to clarify in case this isn't clear enough, when moderators use the word "you," it generally refers to all members and not necessarily as you, the particular member.

Last edited by deasine; Jul 23, 2011 at 6:08 AM.
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  #2046  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2011, 6:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Zassk View Post

businesses have no right to rely on street-side parking.
No? But it's perfectly okay for the city to rely on businesses for 50% of the city's total tax levy even though businesses comprise only 24% of the city's assessment base? In 2010, Vancouver had a commercial to residential property tax ratio of 4.42 to 1, the most inequitable in Canada. Businesses in Vancouver shoulder a tax burden far in excess of all the city services they receive in return, including the provision of street-side parking outside their premises, for which the city often charges users through parking meters anyway. When things are put in their proper context, therefore, it becomes clear that street-side parking is the least that businesses are entitled to. They are footing the bill for it and a lot, lot more.

Last edited by Prometheus; Jul 23, 2011 at 8:50 PM.
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  #2047  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2011, 2:56 PM
WarrenC12 WarrenC12 is offline
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Originally Posted by Prometheus View Post
No? But it's perfectly okay for the city to rely on businesses for 50% of the city's total tax levy even though businesses comprise only 24% of the city's assessment base? In 2010, Vancouver had a commercial to residential property tax ratio of 4.42 to 1, the most inequitable in Canada. Businesses in Vancouver are forced to shoulder tax burdens far in excess of any city services they receive in return, including the provision of street-side parking outside their premises, for which the city often charges users through parking meters anyway. When things are put in their proper context, therefore, it becomes clear that street-side parking is the least that businesses are entitled to.
Adapt or fail, welcome to capitalism. Businesses are free to move out of Vancouver, as we know, many have. However space in the core still rents for a huge premium, and there aren't blocks full of storefronts with "for lease" signs on them, so something must be working.

I am a cyclist but hardly ever on the separated lanes. When I have had the opportunity to use them, they are fantastic.
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  #2048  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2011, 7:25 PM
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Adapt or fail, welcome to capitalism. Businesses are free to move out of Vancouver...
As was already pointed out, the establishment of the bike lanes are not the result of marketplace innovation, but government policy. Nor is the retort "Too bad, love it or leave it" a compelling argument that demonstrates any confidence in the intellectual merit of that policy. If the next city council votes to remove one or more of the bike lanes (as Toronto's new city council has just done) and justified its decision with "Too bad, love it or leave it", I suspect the more thoughtful advocates of bike lanes would not be too impressed.

Good policy is rational policy; and rational policy is the policy supported by the strongest intellectual argument.

Now, if you were suggesting that imposing high taxes on business is an example of the free market at work, well, that makes no sense either.

Last edited by Prometheus; Jul 23, 2011 at 8:39 PM.
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  #2049  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2011, 8:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Prometheus View Post
If the next city council votes to remove the bike lanes (as Toronto's new city council has just done) and justified its decision with "Too bad, love it or leave it", I suspect the more thoughtful advocates of bike lanes would not be too impressed.
TO didn't only remove the painted jarvis bike lane. It will be replaced by the Sherbourne bike route a few blocks east.

If anything, the jervis street vote also co-incided with a vote to establish a new network of separated bike lanes. And this is in Rob Ford's toronto.

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Almost lost in the hubbub over Jarvis was the fact that council also voted to push ahead with Toronto’s first network of separated bike lanes. That means cyclists will be able to travel on lanes that are not just painted lines on the asphalt, like those on Jarvis, but fully separated from car traffic.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle2096686/
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  #2050  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2011, 8:36 PM
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TO didn't only remove the painted jarvis bike lane. It will be replaced by the Sherbourne bike route a few blocks east.

If anything, the jervis street vote also co-incided with a vote to establish a new network of separated bike lanes. And this is in Rob Ford's toronto.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle2096686/
That's quite humourous. The hysterical outcry from some of the bike lane advocates (and the uncritical media that reported on it) made it sound as if Rob Ford was waging a war on all bicycle infrastructure in Toronto.

Last edited by Prometheus; Jul 23, 2011 at 8:53 PM.
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  #2051  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2011, 9:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Prometheus View Post
That's quite humourous. The hysterical outcry from some of the bike lane advocates (and the uncritical media that reported on it) made it sound as if Rob Ford was waging a war on all bicycle infrastructure in Toronto.
Gee, where would people get the idea that Rob Ford is a giant asshole who hates bike lanes.

"I can't support bike lanes. Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks. My heart bleeds when someone gets killed, but it's their own fault at the end of the day." - Rob Ford

As a downtown car driver I'm all for more bike lanes. I'm tired of idiot drivers swerving into oncoming traffic because they don't know where the edge of their giant SUV is in relation to the bicyclist they're passing. It happens several times to me every day.

There are two things preventing me from selling my car and riding a bike full time. 1) Terrible Vancouver drivers and 2) Terrible Vancouver weather. Bike lanes eliminate 50% of the problem. Maybe we can get covered bike lanes?

I'm glad some people can put up with that and allow for fewer cars on the road.
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  #2052  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2011, 9:58 PM
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^ right on. and thus we come to the crux of the issue: separated bike lanes in the core is pretty good public policy. and not to get into a conversation on the legitimacy of certain forms of market constraint, but arguing that roadway subsidies, because they pre-existed bikeway subsidies, represent a greater or lesser government action - qua action - against a "free market", that's totally strange and obviously incorrect. even serious clint eastwood-type automobile radicals will concede something so obvious. it's not about yes vs. no, it's about the form and function.

vancouver is hardly alone in either the policy or the backlash from business owners and motorists (who very frequently don't even live in the areas concerned, as in toronto, which was very unfortunately subjected to an absurd agglomeration). people were accustomed to a certain way of things, and when it changes, a certain percentage will oppose that. you can debate the desirability of the policy, but there's no reasonable market-oriented argument to be made there, it just doesn't come into it - unless we're talking about effects, which forms only part of a much larger transportation, livability, neighborhood-rights and environmental equation, the resolution of which is the reason for which we have elective government and political parties that present their visions and platforms.
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  #2053  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2011, 10:07 PM
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Taking this away from the topic at hand. I'm a big fan of the new policy of marked parking for motorcycles on many of the block ends. They are not taking away any parking for cars but instead using the edges where motorcycles being smaller/shorter don't impede the sightlines. These new spaces allow 3-4 motorcycles per block, and best of all they are free. I've never seen as many motorcycles d/t as I have this year thanks to this new policy. What it's done is for households that have a motorcycle and car, if you had to pay for parking either way you would drive, now if you have free parking for your motorcycle you will ride more often, this reduces pollution and frees up existing road space. This was accomplished w/o punishing one form of transportation either.

Last edited by jlousa; Jul 24, 2011 at 4:46 AM. Reason: fixing spelling and missing words
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  #2054  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2011, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by flight_from_kamakura View Post

and thus we come to the crux of the issue: separated bike lanes in the core is pretty good public policy.
No, the crux of the issue is: are separated bike lanes in the core good policy? That's the issue.
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  #2055  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2011, 2:30 AM
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Taking this away from the topic at hand. I'm a big fan of the new policy of marked parking for motorcycles on many of the block ends. They are not taking away any parking for cars but instead using the edges where motorcycles being smaller/shorter don't impede the sightlines. These new spaces allow 3-4 motorcycles per block, and best of all they are free. I've never seen as many motorcycles d/t as I have this year thanks to this new policy. What it's done is for households that have a motorcycle and , if you had to pay for parking either way you would drive, now if you have free parking for your motorcycle you will ride more often, this reduces pollution and frees up exisiting road space. This was accomplished w/o punishing one form of transportation either.
Agreed.

That's one lesson we really should take from some European cities.
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  #2056  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2011, 2:58 AM
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No? But it's perfectly okay for the city to rely on businesses for 50% of the city's total tax levy even though businesses comprise only 24% of the city's assessment base? In 2010, Vancouver had a commercial to residential property tax ratio of 4.42 to 1, the most inequitable in Canada. Businesses in Vancouver shoulder a tax burden far in excess of all the city services they receive in return, including the provision of street-side parking outside their premises, for which the city often charges users through parking meters anyway. When things are put in their proper context, therefore, it becomes clear that street-side parking is the least that businesses are entitled to. They are footing the bill for it and a lot, lot more.
Many businesses in the region do not have on-street parking for their customers and have to provide, at great expense, off-street parking. They even have to pay property tax on this parking space. Why should a few businesses expect that the city should always provide public space for parking. In a sense, the city is providing these businesses with a subsidy that other businesses do not get. Now that the businesses themselves have provided the city with the value of that space, maybe the city should start charging them for the on-street parking in front of their businesses. Then, if the city decides to use that space for something else, the businesses would not have to pay anymore.
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  #2057  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2011, 3:53 AM
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Many businesses in the region do not have on-street parking for their customers and have to provide, at great expense, off-street parking. They even have to pay property tax on this parking space. Why should a few businesses expect that the city should always provide public space for parking. In a sense, the city is providing these businesses with a subsidy that other businesses do not get. Now that the businesses themselves have provided the city with the value of that space, maybe the city should start charging them for the on-street parking in front of their businesses. Then, if the city decides to use that space for something else, the businesses would not have to pay anymore.
Huh?

The city is not subsidizing business for thing. It's the other way around. Vancouver has a commercial to residential property tax ratio of 4.42 to 1. Despite comprising less than 25% of the city's assessment base, business shoulders 50% of the city's total tax levy. Thus, it is business that is subsidizing residential property owners (and renters) for the public services they recieve. In other words, not only are businesses already paying for parking outside of their own premises, they are paying for parking outside of residential homes as well. If some businesses receive street-side parking while other businesses do not, that just means the former are getting slightly less hosed than the latter, not that the city is subsidizing them.

But maybe I missed your point.

Last edited by Prometheus; Jul 24, 2011 at 4:25 AM.
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  #2058  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2011, 4:23 AM
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Huh?

The city is not subsidizing business for thing. It's the other way around. Vancouver has a commercial to residential property tax ratio of 4.42 to 1. Despite comprising less than 25% of the city's assessment base, business shoulders 50% of the city's total tax levy. Thus, it is business that is subsidizing residential property owners (and renters) for the public services they recieve. In other words, not only are businesses already paying for parking outside of their own premises, they are paying for parking outside of residential homes as well. If some businesses receive street-side parking while other businesses do not, that just means the former are getting slightly less hosed than the latter.

But maybe I missed your point.
The point is that many businesses do not have on-street parking for their customers and are forced to build parking on their property at their expense and then get taxed on this property that is used for parking. They do not benefit at all from on-street parking and yet still pay the same levels of tax or likely more due to property tax on the portion of their property that is used for tax than the businesses that have access to city providing on-street parking. So essentially, the city provides a benefit to some businesses and does not provide it to others.
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  #2059  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2011, 5:11 AM
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The point is that many businesses do not have on-street parking for their customers and are forced to build parking on their property at their expense and then get taxed on this property that is used for parking. They do not benefit at all from on-street parking and yet still pay the same levels of tax or likely more due to property tax on the portion of their property that is used for tax than the businesses that have access to city providing on-street parking..
This part is correct.

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So essentially, the city provides a benefit to some businesses and does not provide it to others.
This part is not correct.

It's not correct because the street-side parking that some businesses receive cannot rationally be construed as a "benefit." Why? Because the commercial property taxes such businesses pay to the city are far in excess of the cost of their portion of all the public services they receive in return, including street-side parking. Simply put, the street-side parking businesses receive is fully paid for by the businesses themselves, not by the city or anyone else. Thus, businesses are no more receiving a "benefit" than a person who receives an item for which he himself has paid the full purchase price.

Properly understood, therefore, the only persons to whom street-side parking can possibly be construed as a "benefit" are residential property owners and renters, who pay only a fraction of the taxes paid by commercial property owners.

Last edited by Prometheus; Jul 24, 2011 at 6:13 AM.
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  #2060  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2011, 10:57 AM
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This part is correct.



This part is not correct.

It's not correct because the street-side parking that some businesses receive cannot rationally be construed as a "benefit." Why? Because the commercial property taxes such businesses pay to the city are far in excess of the cost of their portion of all the public services they receive in return, including street-side parking. Simply put, the street-side parking businesses receive is fully paid for by the businesses themselves, not by the city or anyone else. Thus, businesses are no more receiving a "benefit" than a person who receives an item for which he himself has paid the full purchase price.

Properly understood, therefore, the only persons to whom street-side parking can possibly be construed as a "benefit" are residential property owners and renters, who pay only a fraction of the taxes paid by commercial property owners.
But it is then also paid for by other businesses that don't have it in front of their stores. Why is it fair that some businesses get on street parking while others don't. Shouldn't the ones that get on-street parking have to pay more to the city? That would more fair. What ever you call it, some businesses get it and it according to the study, it has economic value to them. The ones that don't, don't get that economic value.
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