Financial assistance may be forthcoming for businesses affected by ongoing construction in the city’s busy Broadway Corridor.
Crews have been pushing for months to block portions of the street’s sidewalks and parking lots as they work on the Broadway Subway Project.
In a Thursday meeting, councilors unanimously approved a motion directing staff to seek financial aid for those affected by “cut and cover” tunneling – a particularly disruptive technique that restricts pedestrian, vehicle and bus access to the merchants. , as well as their visibility on the street. †
Some Vancouver businesses are frustrated with the Broadway Subway project hampering access and parking
The motion filed by the Earl. Colleen Hardwick notes that not all businesses have been equally affected by the construction and that mitigation measures “have not been effective” in offsetting their losses.
Because the Broadway Subway Project is a “design and build” initiative, businesses receive information and are consulted less than three weeks before changes are made.
Other Canadian cities, such as Montreal, have launched financial aid programs for companies affected by major construction work, the motion reads. That initiative offers a cap of $40,000 per fiscal year, calculated on the decline in gross profit recorded by a supplier.
In a friday tweet, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business described the approval of the motion as “welcome news and a big step toward building restriction policy.” It also called on the BC government to take further steps to enact a mitigation policy for provincially funded policies.
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The Broadway Subway Project is a $2.38 billion, 3.5-mile extension of the Millennium Line, which began construction last spring. The new line is not expected to open until 2025.
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BC Transport Secretary Rob Fleming previously said there had been “very extensive consultation” with businesses along Broadway ahead of the project, and the street will remain open during construction.
However, according to signs posted on the street, stopping along parts of it is prohibited until July 28, 2023.
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Since the spades went in, some companies have complained about the impact on their bottom line, fearing they won’t survive long enough to see the project complete, especially after many months of reduced revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mei Goor, owner of Your Dollar Store With More on West Broadway and Yukon Street, told city councilors on Thursday that her sales have fallen more than 40 percent since last summer.
“Due to the construction, we only have one access point for our business, which is on the east side of Yukon Street. The sidewalk from my shop to No Frills has been blocked and I have been told it will remain blocked for another two years and six months,” she said.
“I have to pay extra for my deliveries because our store has only one entrance: my front door on Broadway. There is no street parking. All delivery drivers struggle to find a parking space.”
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Catherine Ellsmere, co-owner of Odin Books, a mental health bookstore on Broadway, has also previously told Global News that pedestrian traffic to her store has essentially been jammed.
In January, the Storm Crow Alehouse on Broadway closed its doors for good, citing supply and labor shortages, and the construction of the Broadway Subway Project as contributing factors.
When completed, the project will include 700m elevated yards from VCC-Clark Station to a tunnel portal near Great Northern Way, and tunneled three miles under the Broadway Corridor from Great Northern Way to Arbutus Street.
Six subway stations will connect communities to the region, including a connection to the Canada Line at Cambie Street.