Several store owners said the roundabout detour on Victoria Rd. is worse for business than the pandemic.
The owners of Spice O’Life Emporium and Fresh Cannabis Co., located at the intersection of 2nd. St. E and Victoria Rd. said they rely on drive-by traffic to keep their businesses going and with the detour, claim people don’t know how to get to the businesses or that they remain open.
“Traffic is way lower,” said Patrick Thomas, owner of Fresh Cannabis.
The detour, rerouting people from Victoria Rd. to 8th St. was put in place on April 30, with the city receiving many complaints from the public and adding more signage as well as decreasing the speed limit on the detour to 30 km/h in response.
Dinah Collette, owner of Spice O’Life, said, despite the pandemic and reduced hours she was doing okay. But since the detour was put in place, the first hour she is open every day, from 2-3 p.m., is dead.
“It never used to be dead,” she said.
The detour has been minorly amended in the area. A barricade at the intersection of 2nd St. E and Robson Ave. saying “local traffic only” has been removed. Now customers can drive all the way up to the business and even turn left to get back onto Victoria Rd.
“They are not going to remove the barrier at Robson,” said Klaus Kollmann, owner of Revelstoke U-Brew and Water. “They’ve come my way as far as they can.”
Though less mad than he was when the detour was first introduced, Kollmann said he would like to see the barrier at Victoria and Robson removed so that customers could drive all the way to 2nd. St. before having to turn off for construction.
“The detour route is being continually monitored and further improvements will be made as the project progresses and if any unforeseen safety issues arise,” said Dawn Low, CAO for the city, in an email.
The route was chosen for a number of reasons, including:
- widest available streets
- sidewalks available for pedestrian safety
- shortest route available from Victoria Rd. to 4th St. that would accommodate commercial truck turning patterns
- free of overhead obstructions (low hanging utility wires)
- relatively smooth traffic patterns
- manageable route from the Trans Canada highway at the eastern access to 4th St. and to Downie Timber
Construction is expected to be complete by September.