Shopkeepers in Exchange claim lack of parking and accessibility harming businesses https://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/shopkeepers-in-exchange-claim- lack-of-parking-and-accessibility-harming-businesses-1.4060718
Businesses in the Exchange say they are taking a hit to their bottom line amidst new developments in the area.
Exchange area store owner, Lennard Taylor said business has recently dropped off as much as 30 percent.
"We're significantly down, this month and the month before," said Taylor.
The culprit, Taylor said is a bike lane built in front of his store that has wiped away parking spots, driving away frustrated customers.
“All the parking spots we lost in front of our business were crucial to the businesses in the neighbourhood," said Taylor.
CTV News spoke to other businesses with similar concern, as well as drivers, too.
Nikolina Mandusic found a spot on the street right away this time, but she said that’s not typical.
"Usually it's pretty awful, especially with the bike lanes it takes a few circles around," said Mandusic.
She said the lack of parking is a roadblock for shoppers.
"I have friends who hate having to find parking and will actually not come," said Mandusic.
City Councillor Mike Pagtakan says the problem has been addressed.
More angled parking is being added around the exchange following a successful pilot project. The city says 170 new spaces are in place in two Exchange hubs.
“While some people have lost parking in front of their establishments there is an overall net gain of parking within the Exchange District, it's a modest gain, not a lot. I think between 45 and 59 spots,” said Pagtakhan.
The Exchange District Biz also said it's working with the city on educating drivers on how to find the new spots, including when the snow falls.
“If we're asking people to park further away, then we need to get the sidewalks clear, we've purchased equipment, the city has helped us fund that.” said Biz Executive Director, David Pensato.
Lennard Taylor believes the bike lanes will bring more business once they're all opened. He said the lost parking spots should be restored in the same area by using another lane for parking, turning some of the one-ways into single lane streets. Taylor supports the bike lanes he just wants people to park near his store.
"Let's create a walking district and a bike friendly and parking friendly neighbourhood," said Pensato.
The city says the bike lanes are expected to be up and running by late August.