VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Love ‘em or hate ‘em, downtown Vancouver’s separated bike lanes are here to stay.

The trial period is up and city council has voted unanimously to keep the lanes on Hornby, Burrard and Dunsmuir.

Council decided to leave the lanes essentially as they are. It’s a cost saver for taxpayers but a disappointment for Charles Gauthier with the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association. He had been hoping for a $2.5 million option that would open up some right turns for drivers, which have helped some struggling businesses.

“I think what we’re going to see is some businesses that aren’t able to adapt and as their leases expire, won’t renew the spaces,” believes Gauthier. “We’re not against the separated bike lanes. I think there was a viable option here that would have kept the lanes in place and actually satisfied the concerns of some of our members.”

Gauthier says businesses will have to grin and bear the decision, but adds his association will be calculating the impact.

“It’s becoming more and more of a challenging retail environment out there,” he feels. “We see that in our downtown and we see that in other areas of our city.”

Vision Councillor Geoff Meggs is firing back at the B.I.A.

“My only disappointment today was hearing the Downtown B.I.A., which I think is a very progressive organization, focus I think rather narrowly on one aspect of this, which is the impact on a handful of businesses, which I think we should try to mitigate,” states Meggs.

He says it’s more important to focus on pedestrian, cyclist, and transit infrastructure, rather than spending millions of dollars to rip it up.

“If that has some impact on certain businesses, there may have to be adjustments made there just as others have had to make adjustments over the years.”