Parking restrictions compound construction woes for downtown businesses

After waiting through nearly two years of road construction, West End business owners say new parking issues are just making things worse.

Road work in downtown Vancouver at Burrard and Pacific has been underway since early 2016

Temporary no-parking signs have been posted along a stretch of Hornby Street since early November. (Denis Dossman/CBC)

After watching their revenue dwindle through nearly two years of road construction, some business owners in downtown Vancouver say new parking issues are just making things worse.

The storefront of Bicycle Sports Pacific at Burrard and Pacific has become much more accessible to customers now that upgrades to the intersection are nearly complete, according to manager Bob Gifford.

But now temporary no-stopping signs have been posted along crucial free parking spaces on nearby Hornby Street since early November.

"There's no work going on on that street, no trucks parking. It's just been empty with a no-stopping zone during our prime shopping season before Christmas," Gifford told CBC News.

He expects "fantastic" results at his shop once the new bike lanes in the area are fully open, but he said he's frustrated with a lack of consultation from the city about the ongoing road work and the parking problems.

Bob Gifford walks with CBC's Anita Bathe along the new bike lane on Pacific Street. (Denis Dossman/CBC)

It's had a huge impact on his business.

"We've been here 25 years in this location, and we've steadily increased our business every year — up until this past year, where we've dropped half a million dollars in sales," Gifford said.

Charles Tremewen, the owner of Long Table Distillery on Hornby Street, said he's also frustrated by all the construction and parking restrictions.

"The slow downs have been crazy — staff coming late to work because they're held up in buses on the bridge, just an innumerable number of stoppages that you go why, why can't this thing get done?" he said.

The work on the intersection was scheduled to finish in the summer, but according to the city, all the snow and ice last winter have pushed the completion date back to February 2018.

City officials declined an interview but provided a statement thanking businesses and residents for their patience.

With files from Anita Bathe