A cyclist rides into Victoria along the Pandora Avenue protected bike lanes. One reader argues that the rising cost of the city’s cycling network is out of control. Don Denton/Black Press

Former Victoria cycle commuter furious about bike lane cost increases

Resident upset that all taxpayers will cover cost of bike network in City

Re: Bike lanes to cost another $3 million (vicnews.com)

A $14.5-million price tag for a project initially tagged at $7.75 million? And Mayor Lisa Helps plays her semantic games by calling that number money originally allocated, not a budget. How on earth did council pass an expenditure like this without a budget? Sounds like fiscal gaming to me.

We are now looking at a project that is close to 100 per cent over “budget,” no matter what you choose to call it. And this is just Phase 1. How is it that projects like this, that will only be used by between 1.5 and five per cent of the population (depending on whose numbers you trust) are funded by 100 per cent of the taxpayers without being put to a referendum? But then our mayor is not a taxpayer, but a renter, and she cannot make the case that she effectively pays taxes via her rent, as her landlord expenses 100 per cent of his taxes against income, come tax time.

She enjoys 100 per cent of the usage of the Pandora protected bike lanes from her home in Fernwood to her office at City Hall, without paying a single cent directly towards it. Talk about a free ride.

The next day it comes to pass, that council okays an extra $3-million expenditure and Mayor Helps justifies it by saying it will come out of the Gas Tax allocation. An expenditure like that needs to be targeted at a more broad-based usage, such as transit or infrastructure maintenance, not towards a narrowly focused group like cyclists.

Clearly things are out of control and we need a new council that will re-discover common sense and a system of priorities. And by the way, I am also a cyclist who spent 25 years cycle commuting in Victoria, and didn’t need any protected bike lanes to survive.

Brian Kendrick

Victoria

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