BG Urban Cafe Shows that Downtown Businesses can be Bike Lane Friendly

The mayor grabs a quick bike while promoting businesses along the Hornby street bike lane.

Credit: Lydia Millett

BG Urban Cafe celebrates its new restaurant on the Hornby bike lane with free treats and a visit from the Mayor and the VACC

Mayor Gregor Robertson and the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (VACC) were at the grand re-opening of the BG Urban café at their Hornby location bright and early this morning, chatting to cyclists and raising awareness for the protected bike lanes in the downtown core.


Protected bike lanes installed on Burrard Bridge, Dunsmuir and Hornby Streets are making it easier and more enjoyable for cyclists to get around the city. BG Urban Café is one of the businesses on the newly installed separated bike lanes, and while some businesses have voiced concerns, BG Urban Café is showing its support.


Have your cake and pedal too

Jeff Branton of the BG Urban Cafe gives out free treats to hungry cyclists on Hornby Street.


“We are excited at the launch of BG Urban Café and are committed through this event and future opportunities to develop unique ways to embrace the biking community,” says Jeff Branton, Vice President of Operations and General Manager of BG Urban Café brand.


To show their support, BG Urban Café set up a ‘pastry pit stop’ next to the Hornby Street bike lane and throughout the morning the smell of fresh baking tempted passing cyclists into stopping to grab a free cinnamon knot, check out cycling resources provided by VACC and chat with the mayor.


Mayor Robertson talks about the future of separate bike lanes

The Mayor and Jeff Branton discuss business along the bike lane.


The mayor congratulated BG Urban Café and the VACC on their work to encourage cyclists to utilize the new facilities. “We’re seeing a steady increase in riders and with the improving weather it’s only going to get better,” Robertson said.


The mayor has been instrumental in the installation of the protected bike lanes and when asked about more lanes of this nature, he said, “There are no plans for more dedicated bike routes downtown—it’s about testing how these go, testing the positive and negative impacts and making decisions based on that about any further separated bike lanes.”


New bike lanes: Not about reinventing the wheel

A number of models for bike lanes have already been successful in cities such as New York and Copenhagen, so Vancouver was able to learn from others about what works and why, and then apply this information to Vancouver’s specific case.


“It’s important to look at how other cities have done it,” said Robertson. “Vancouver looked at all the best practices of the cities around the world and chose separated bike lanes for downtown because of the density of cars and traffic.”


Mayor Robertson gives a wave as he rides down the Hornby bike lane.


The Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition encourages locals to discover downtown

The VACC is excited about the new protected bike lanes and has been busy developing resources to encourage Vancouverites to get around on two wheels.


In April, VACC launched Discover Downtown, a guide to exploring the city by bike.


Executive Director of VACC, Erin O’Melinn, told Granville Online they have developed, “Themed routes where people of any age can come and discover things like public art downtown, places to shop along safe bike routes, attractions, parks and recreation by bike.”