Stop Vision Party's $250,000 Tax Payer Funded Bike Ride & tell MEC not to sponsor it
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Dear City of Vancouver, Vision Party, Park Board and MEC, in just a couple of short days close to 100 people signed this petition, and that was without promoting it in anyway, We do not want our tax dollars spent, to the tune of $250,000 in salaries, labour, supplies and money or our bridges and streets closed for this bicycle/no-fun city promotion.
The City of Vancouver is throwing $250,000 at a couple of bike events. MEC is a title sponsor of the evening bike ride, on a busy September Saturday night, closing bridges and main roads, making it even more unsafe for pedestrians than usual and cutting off businesses, all designed to make us look cool. It’s not a fundraiser, it’s not an awareness event even, the Vision party says it’s to change people’s impression we are a no fun city. And my guess is that $250.000 won't even begin to cover the extra police, security, or garbage pickup. The City of Vancouver decided this in one closed door council meeting. Local feedback (other than Hub, a bike coalition they fund) was nowhere to be seen, nor were we invited. Where was the NPA on this? Where were the local business associations, the police board even? Why did we not hear about it until it was announced in the media. MEC, how would you feel if West Broadway was completely shut down for an event, that will simply pass you by, on one of your busiest days. That's how the businesses affected by this will feel.
The City of Vancouver already sanctions a monthly bike ride right in the middle of a busy Friday rush hour that shuts downs streets, disrupts lives as they block roads to ferries and hospitals, and damages/vandalizes cars in their way. And each June during "Bike Month", this ride swells into the thousands. This "critical mass" demonstration is ongoing despite the millions of dollars of bike infrastructure long provided by the city. That group already does any evening bike ride, lights and reflectors shining, around the parks, which the public can join.
I use the entire length of the seawall walking parts of it 1 to 3 times day to work, on my bike, to go grocery shopping at Granville Island and walking the dog. I have been doing this for 17 years. Not once have a seen bike safety people or by-law officers addressing the speed of cyclists, lack of helmets, bells and lights, or where they take shortcuts along sidewalks and through gardens injuring people and property. .Not once have a seen a sign sharing rules of use, safety tips or responsible sharing practices aimed at the cyclists. And we asked!
A couple of years ago Vison, whose politics are very much in opposition to the provincial Liberals, all but shot down a yoga session Christy Clark, very misguidedly, wanted to do on the Burrard Street Bridge and charge them and their sponsors $150,000 to shut down the bridge, while being concerned Vancouverites, who spend much of their daily lives stuck in gridlock, were apparently quite "miffed at the idea of shutting down one of Vancouver’s busiest bridges on Father’s Day”, which falls on a much quieter Sunday morning, yet they are perfectly willing to miff a much larger crowd and cover the costs of a major bridge closure on a busy Saturday night for their pet project, and Gregor's personal legacy - bicycles!
We don’t agree with the city spending this much on an event simply to show we are cool. And we sure don’t agree with doing it on a busy Saturday night, closing a major bridge and main arteries through the city, disrupting businesses and people attending events, shows and concerts. For a city that didn’t have enough funds to pay for decent snow removal or garbage pickup this past year; is unable to get any control over homelessness and the drug issue despite taking an extra ,5% of our taxes for it, has raw sewage flowing straight into False Creek and is letting the parks fall into disrepair, it seems utterly irresponsible to spend it on this type of event. This government, Vision, and its mayor, Gregor Robertson, are simply out of control and I urge you to sign this petition and let them and MEC know.
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