After its first six months, Verdun borough mayor Jean-Francois Parenteau claims the Verdun Avenue bicycle path pilot project is a success.Parenteau says the borough has witnessed a rise in cycling traffic because the installment of this three-kilometre biking highway.But for merchants on Verdun Avenue, it is another story.Angry Monkey gym owner Justin Etheridge says he sees a correlation between the bicycle path and the loss in business. “We took a hit, many companies on this road took a hit,” Etheridge said.He has seen a fall in renewals, he says, and a great deal of people who drive to his fitness center have a difficult time finding parking.
The elimination of 275 parking places along the avenue is what the majority of companies point to for the loss of revenue.READ MORE: Verdun Street retailers sabotage legal struggle over bicycle path pilot projectWhile Parenteau says he understands the problems merchants are going through, ” he says he sees promise in the project. “For me personally it was a victory.”
Cyclist Michel Legault claims the bicycle path is great for commuting to downtown from the borough. “I use it every day.”
Recording the visitors on the road, the borough claims the new cycling highway saw up to 1,000 riders daily throughout the summer.Something company owners like Etheridge deny. “A thousand bikes each day on Verdun Avenue — that is as false as it can be,” he said. “On the best day, it is about half. Parenteau says that he expects to talk more with the merchants and residents concerning other possibilities to facilitate the transition of this bicycle path.A public meeting will be held by the borough on Nov. 28, when Parenteau claims all parties will be able to voice their opinion on the matter.The bicycle path is set to return for the second season in May 2020.
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