Pointe-Claire Village bike path plans clash with merchants' parking needs

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Pointe-Claire Village bike path plans clash with merchants' parking needs

A revitalization project in Pointe-Claire Village that is to replace 25 parking spaces with a bike path has some business owners worried that shopping will suffer.

The plans for a revamped Pointe-Claire Village were approved last June.

Part of the plan includes the elimination of 25 parking spots on the west side of Cartier Avenue to make way for cyclists.

Now merchants say that they weren't aware of that detail in the 92-page report, and if they had been they would have contested it.

The owner of Wild Willy's, a landmark ice-cream shop which has been a fixture on Cartier Avenue for 23 years, Louis Pinsonneault, said that if people can't find quick parking near his shop, they won't stop in.

"In our case, it's an impulse buy," Pinsonneault told CBC News.

"Nobody needs ice cream so you come down, it's a gorgeous day, you can't park anywhere, you just keep going and go have your ice cream somewhere else."

Pinsonneault said when he had a business in Dorval that didn't have parking in front, sales were lacklustre. 

He said he moved the business a block away to an area that had parking and saw sales double.

City rethinks parking cuts

About half a dozen merchants on Cartier Avenue have signed a petition protesting against the elimination of the parking spaces.

The mayor of Pointe-Claire, Morris Trudeau, said he's listening to merchants' concerns.

He said he's meeting with councillors and the engineering department Tuesday to go over the redevelopment.

"We are re-looking at the plan," Trudeau said.

"We're probably going to come up with a plan where we can reduce half the parking. We will keep 12 places."

Pinsonneault said merchants are meeting with council later this month to go over the issue further.