Burrard-area bike lane construction is taking so long, a bike shop is suffering
Eight months ago, businesses on Burrard Street thought bike lane construction near the bridge would be finished.
Had it been completed by that time, people could have spent the summer coming over the bridge into downtown and finding themselves in front of Bicycle Sports Pacific at Burrard and Pacific Streets, and maybe bought a new tire, helmet or reflective jacket.
Instead, construction continues – and businesses located at the foot of the bridge are suffering.
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One of the problems? Parking, or a lack thereof.
“Everybody in this area is losing business because customers, even if they do get down here through the crazy traffic through all the construction, there’s nowhere for them to park,” Bob Gifford, manager at Bicycle Sports Pacific, told Global News.
Gifford has worked in the bike business for 25 years, and he’s never seen losses like the ones he’s seeing now.
“We’ve always seen a steady increase every year,” he said.
“This past year we dropped back half a million dollars in sales.”
Parking stalls in the area have been held for construction, leaving drivers with nowhere to leave their cars if they want to shop nearby.
“No parking on Pacific, no parking on Hornby,” said Carolyn Currie, who runs Swan Laundry Dry Cleaning.
“So you tell me how you’re going to run your business.”
The City of Vancouver, with a communication staff of over 30 people, said no one was available to go on camera.
But in an email, a spokesperson blamed last winter’s snow and ice for delays. Construction is expected to wrap up by February.
Even when it finishes, however, businesses in the area will still have to contend with tower construction.
Gifford stressed that he’s for bike lanes – “we’re a bike shop” – but he feels the city is “not listening to us, and that’s the frustrating thing.”
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