Following its initial six weeks, Verdun borough mayor Jean-Francois Parenteau says the Verdun Avenue bicycle path pilot job is a success.Parenteau states the borough has witnessed a rise in cycling traffic because the installation of the three-kilometre cycling highway.But for merchants on Verdun Avenue, it’s another story.Angry Monkey gym owner Justin Etheridge says he sees a correlation between the bicycle path and the reduction in business. “We took a hit, many companies on this street took a hit,” Etheridge said.He has noticed a fall in renewals, he states, and also a great deal of people that drive to his fitness center have a challenging time locating parking.
The removal of 275 parking spots across the route is what the majority of companies point to for the reduction of revenue.READ MORE: Verdun Street retailers sabotage legal fight over bicycle path pilot projectWhile Parenteau says he knows the problems merchants are going through, ” he states he sees promise in the undertaking. “For me personally it was a success.”
Cyclist Michel Legault says the bicycle path is ideal for commuting to downtown out of the borough.
Recording the traffic on the street, the borough claims the new biking street saw around 1,000 riders daily throughout the summer.Something business owners such as Etheridge deny. “A thousand bikes a day on Verdun Avenue — that is as false as it could be,” he explained. “On the best day, it’s about half. “READ MORE: Parks Canada indicates 13.6-km detour for popular Lachine Canal bicycle pathThe borough has made adjustments throughout the summer to the pilot project.Additional parking has been put in place on side roads to accommodate the reduction of street space. Parenteau says he hopes to discuss more with the merchants and residents about other possibilities to facilitate the transition of this bicycle path.A public meeting will be held with the borough on Nov. 28, when Parenteau says all parties will be able to voice their view on the matter.The bicycle path is set to go back for the second season in May 2020.