Government Street construction work snarls traffic, upsets businesses

Government Street construction work snarls traffic, upsets businesses

Government Street is one long construction site, as far as the eye can see.

It’s a months long project by the City of Victoria.

Watermains are going in, as well as bike lanes transforming the street into a more pedestrian friendly zone.

But it comes with a cost because there is nowhere for customers to park along Government Street according to David Screech, owner, Gregg’s Furniture.

“Well, we’ve been completely blocked off, as you can see behind us.  There is no access to our business at all.  And no explanation as to what is happening.”

Normally customers for Gregg’s Furniture would have access to a parking lot behind the shop off Government Street.

But as of Saturday, that access is completely blocked off.

And they are not sure when it’ll be restored.

“I think what frustrates me more than anything is the complete lack of communication from the City of Victoria,” Screech said.

At Perfections Custom Paint and Auto Body shop, owner Doug Davis is not even sure what the work involves.

“I think it’s a water main upgrade but I’m not sure. Whether it’s sewer and water I don’t know.”

And Davis says he expects potential customers are just not bothering to come in.

“You know I don’t know how many people might have just wanted to come to my shop, but moved on, because they can’t get in.  And you know, that’s something I’ll never know.”

The City of Victoria tells CHEK News they did alert all the impacted businesses on Friday, Oct. 15 about the work.

In a July news release, the city promises to mitigate impacts to residents, businesses and commuters whenever possible — that notice was the last print letter on the subject with regular updates via email.

Meanwhile, Screech, who also happens to be the mayor of View Royal, says the lack of communication wouldn’t happen in his town.

“I would be embarrassed and upset if I heard that it had happened in View Royal.”

The work along Government Street is expected to continue to the end of the month.

But with some street parking restored by Wednesday night including a section of the 2300-block of Government.

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READ: Pedestrian-priority zone coming to Government Street in Victoria this summer

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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