Council delays vote on Business 15-501 reconfiguration

The N&O is reporting that the plan, which had appeared to be heading for approval, has been sidetracked by opposition from some local businesses. The owners of Hair by Design, Classic Treasures, and the Refectory Cafe all expressed their concerns.

To be clear, the DOT’s traffic analysis shows that a reduction in travel lanes will not reduce throughput of the road and the road will continue to meet the corridor’s needs for the forseeable future. The road is essentially overbuilt now.

Adding bike lanes in general is not shown to have negative impacts on businesses. In fact, to the contrary; even in situations where street parking is sacrificed for bike lanes, adding the bike lanes has positive effects on many types of businesses (including restaurants).

The opposition is especially perplexing to me because the change will actually add parking spaces, not remove them. I’d like to understand what data these businesses have that suggests a reconfiguration would harm them, most especially a restaurant with outdoor seating. I’d expect that fewer cars exceeding the speed limit, and a larger buffer between the road and the restaurant, would be an obvious win.

If you’re going to second guess the DOT’s projections for the road’s capacity and oppose the people who live in and have to actually navigate the area, I hope you’ve thought through your assumptions. From the information I have it just looks like opposing change out of irrational fear.

If your business is so tenuous that you legitimately think that adding bike lanes will cause people to avoid patronizing your establishment, you may have more fundamental concerns you need to address first.

2 thoughts on “Council delays vote on Business 15-501 reconfiguration”

  1. Hair By Design doesn’t seem to have an online contact, and Classic Treasures currently is unreachable, but I contacted the Refectory Cafe to express concern with their opposition to the road changes. I received a lengthy response from owner Laura Hall, which I’d like to include here, in the interest of open discussion. Unfortunately, her email includes a boilerplate clause that prohibits sharing its contents.

    I suspect anyone contacting her about this issue receives a similar response, so if you’d like to see her position, drop her a note through the Refectory Cafe contact page at http://www.therefectorycafe.com/contact.html.

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