One thing that irritates me immensely is when politicians are obstinate about implementing unpopular programs or initiatives because “they are better for everyone.” An example is Vancouver’s mayor, Gregor Robertson, and his zeal for cycling. Among cyclists, Vancouver is known as a cyclist-unfriendly city. Mayor Robertson is hell-bent on changing that. He has established numerous cycle paths in Vancouver, despite opposition from motorists and business owners.
Montreal, on the other hand, is known among cyclists as a cyclist-friendly city. Montreal has sacrificed parking spaces downtown for bicycle paths. This has created problems such as a shortage of parking and lower profits for businesses. Because parking spaces at the sides of streets are converted into bicycle lanes, there is less parking available which means less patrons for businesses.
The motivation of having a cyclist-friendly city is to reduce traffic, thereby reducing congestion, as well as pollution, and offering an alternate commute. Those are all noble causes, or whatever, but they should not be pursued at the expense of parking, which, especially in Vancouver, is a sparse commodity. Montreal is having problems, and Vancouver’s nascent bicycle lanes are already causing problems as well.
So, given that bicycle lanes cause problems, and given that there is much opposition to the establishment of bicycle lanes in downtown Vancouver, Mayor Robertson's obstinacy is quite irritating. Of course, given that he is a leftist, this is unsurprising. One of the central tenets of leftism (or liberalism, progressivism, socialism, social democracy, or whatever you want to call it) seems to be that (private) business can be sacrificed for anything else. I suppose this is logical, considering socialists treat the private sector like an ATM.