WATCH: All 50 businesses have said they don’t want it, signing a petition along with 2,500 people. Monica Martinez reports.
Cook Street Village is a busy area with a constant flow of traffic, pedestrians and cyclists.
And it’s part of the city’s Biketoria plan that will see the middle turn lane removed, parking shifted over and a bike lanes added next to the sidewalk.
“I think that would be really beneficial to bikers especially in this neck of the woods here because there is lots of bike traffic here,” said avid cyclist Matthew Arnold.
But the 50 businesses in the village think it’s a terrible idea – all signing a petition along with 2,500 people asking the city to consider the quieter Vancouver Street as an alternative.
“It is usually faster. I don’t have to worry about the traffic flow. The number of pedestrians that crossover Cook Street to go to the park, to go to stores, that is constant, so you have constant interruptions,” said David Oldroyd who lives and bikes in the village.
Bart Reed owns three businesses in Cook Street Village and is worried they’ll lose at least a dozen parking spots to loading zones and handicap parking.
“Currently three times the number of cyclists are on Vancouver versus Cook Street for good reason because there is way less traffic and way less danger. Why are they doing this?” asked Reed.
But he said there is a simple solution.
“Make the side streets not residential only but we’ve been going in the opposite direction in the last few years where they’ve all become residential only.”
Councillor Jeremy Loveday insists the route won’t have any impact on parking.
“We can look at putting more angled parking on some of the side streets so we won’t have a net loss. We can put angled parking close to Dallas Road and if you do that and add more accessible parking in the village we can make sure we don’t have a net loss of parking,” Loveday said.
Last week, the city approved phase one of the Biketoria plan, but not that did not include Cook Street Village.
More discussions will take place at tomorrow nights council meeting.