At issue is the MacArthur Blvd Safety Project, which would have put MacArthur Blvd on a “road diet,” reducing the existing four standard vehicle lanes to two and replacing them with on-street parking, a wider median and wider bike lanes. Last month, the City decided to not move forward with those plans. Instead, they plan to remove existing bike lane symbols and add sharrows instead.
The move upset some people in the community who care about cycling conditions.
This morning, The Columbian newspaper reported on how the situation came up at a Vancouver City Council meeting earlier this week. Below is an excerpt from their story which refers to Councilor Jeanne Stewart’s comments:
“Because bicycles don’t pay gas tax or license fees, Councilor Jeanne Stewart said she was uncomfortable giving lanes for vehicles to bikes.
“We’re reallocating that surface for someone who isn’t paying anything to anybody” she said.”
In response, Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt reportedly countered Stewart’s comment:
Leavitt countered that he has a car and he also rides his bike.
Stewart’s comments are unfortunate because as many of you already now, the idea that a person riding a bike doesn’t pay for roads is just blatantly false. Seems like Ms. Stewart could use a basic lesson in road funding.
Stewart has been on City Council since 2001 and her term expires in 2013.