It's important to remember that the city, like the rest of us, has to pay interest on debt in addition to repaying the principal. With more money going to service past debt (interest plus principal), less is available for important municipal services such as garbage collection and policing. That means Vancouverites also "pay" for debt indirectly through reduced services.
I felt compelled to see these protestors in person. A younger, more angsty self would have wanted to mock and troll them, literally ride circles around them and ring my bell. But I'm older and more chill now, and really I just wanted to see if they were real, if their hearts were in it or if they were just NPA hacks, and if they were as homogeneously old, white, and wealthy as they appeared in pictures.
There's too much pitting of self-described "drivers" and "cyclists" against each other. Most North American families are actually multi-modal - they drive, walk, and probably take transit and bike in at least certain circumstances, if not routinely. Certainly many who cycle, also drive, and visa versa. We need a more sophisticated discussion about how we get around in cities, and it starts with this -- it's not about loving your bike. It's about loving what biking does for cities.