Like most people, Gina De Giusti has had a rough 11 months since the start of COVID-19.
But now she says the City of Burnaby is helping to make things even worse.
De Giusti lives and runs a home-based hair salon on Union Street just east of Kensington Avenue, where the city recently made some upgrades to the street and intersection, which is along a cycling route.
When the work was completed, the city took away some of the parking on the north and south sides of the street – right in front of De Giusti’s home, which means her customers don’t have anywhere close to park as the street parking is usually pretty full.
“COVID-19 has killed my business already,” De Giusti said. “Now the city is adding to it. I only have so many clients left and people don’t want to have to park a long way away. I feel stuck right now.”
But the city says some of the parking was removed to make the area safer for cyclists.
“As part of upgrades to the intersection of Kensington and Union, parking has been restricted on both sides of the Union street for about 30 metres east of Kensington …,” says a city statement. “This is to ensure adequate sight distance and space for safe interaction between motorists and cyclists approaching the right-in-right-out diverter and at the laneway to the east. Union Street is an existing popular bikeway. Parking for the remaining 180 metres of the block remain unchanged. Prior to construction, all residents were notified of the changes.”
The city has been busy making many changes around Burnaby to make cycling safer. Those efforts were recognized in HUB Cycling’s Bike Awards, in which the city was awarded first place in the 20-in-20 Infrastructure Challenge for completing 19 quick fixes to the city's cycling infrastructure, helping ungap the broken cycling network.