After its initial six months, Verdun borough mayor Jean-Francois Parenteau says the Verdun Avenue bike path pilot job is a success.Parenteau says the borough has seen an increase in cycling traffic since the installment of the three-kilometre biking highway.But for retailers on Verdun Avenue, it is another story.Angry Monkey gym owner Justin Etheridge says he sees a correlation between the bike path and the reduction in business. “We took a hit, many businesses on this street took a hit,” Etheridge said.He has seen a fall in renewals, he says, and also a great deal of people who drive to his gym have a challenging time finding parking. “They get fed up and membership ends and then that’s that.”
The removal of 275 parking places across the route is what most businesses point to for the reduction of revenue.READ MORE: Verdun Street retailers sabotage legal struggle over bike path pilot projectWhile Parenteau says he understands the troubles merchants are going through, ” he says he sees promise in the undertaking. “For me personally it was a victory.”
Cyclist Michel Legault says the bike path is ideal for commuting to downtown out of the borough.
Recording the visitors on the street, the borough claims the new biking street saw around 1,000 riders daily throughout the summer.Something company owners such as Etheridge deny. “A million bikes a day on Verdun Avenue — that is as false as it could be,” he said. “On the best day, it is about half. Parenteau says he hopes to discuss more with the retailers and residents concerning other possibilities to facilitate the transition of the bike path.A public meeting will be held with the borough on Nov. 28, when Parenteau says all parties are going to be able to voice their view on the matter.The bike path is set to go back for its second season in May 2020.
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