Monday’s North Vancouver City Council meeting saw one of Mayor Darrell Mussatto’s pet projects put on the table for discussion. Presented with a Staff Report on the possibility of building a bike lift in Lower Lonsdale, Council was asked to approve funding for a feasibility study to be done by the manufacturer that may cost up to $60,000.
During questioning, several members expressed concerns about the money that would be used for the plan as well as the priority of building a bike lift. Councillor Back stated, “I feel we are a little bit premature on going ahead with a study…I’d rather see the money slated for other recreation”. Councillor Bookham referred to the proposal as “a kind of novelty transit option”.
Councillor Clark was the most vehemently opposed to the project, stating, “This is a hobby horse of one member of council and as such they are quite capable of pushing it…Until we have addressed Harry Jerome and a number of other very major recreation capital expenditures which we have on our horizon, I will not support this kind of lunacy.”
Undaunted, Mayor Mussatto, explained that his vision “is to show that the city cares about all members of our community…this is what leadership’s about”. He added, “It is very effective in Trondheim (Norway), not just for cyclists commuting to go to school and work and such, but for tourists as well”.
Councillor Keating supported taking the proposal to at least the next step saying, “I think at the end of the day by not supporting a feasibility study at this stage, we’re really kicking the can down the road.”
In the end, the motion to progress with a feasability study was carried by a vote of 4 to 3. Councillors Clark, Bookham and Bell opposed and the Mayor and Councillors Buchanan, Keating and Back in favour. Councillor Back appeared to cast the deciding vote as she had shown earlier concern for the proposal before being convinced otherwise when the vote was taken.
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