‘Visitors won’t come’: Chinatown businesses oppose 3rd Avenue upgrades project

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The first option would see cyclists and drivers share the road, while pedestrians and scooter-riders would share the sidewalk.

In the second option, 3rd Avenue would be converted to a one-way eastbound road for drivers between Centre Street and 1st Street S.E.

The entire road would include dedicated spaces for people walking, biking or scooter-riding. Parking spaces in the area would be reduced by 14 per cent, from 262 stalls to 225.

The 3rd Avenue South Walking and Wheeling Upgrades Project aims to make it easier to walk and wheel along the corridor while providing vital East and West connections to our existing network. (City of Calgary)
The 3rd Avenue South Walking and Wheeling Upgrades Project aims to make it easier to walk and wheel along the corridor while providing vital East and West connections to our existing network. City of Calgary

“Moving mobility devices such as scooters, in-line skates, and skateboards off of sidewalks into accessible pathways and bikeways enables people of all abilities to travel in the area comfortably,” according to the city.

But Chinatown BIA executive director Terry Wong said the changes would lead to “disruption” for local businesses.

“The business concern is the limitation on 3rd Avenue will choke off business activity and customer visits,” he said.

Wong added local businesses are dependent on the roadway, which is used by commercial vehicles to unload.

“The other concern about that is taking out parking in Chinatown,” he said. “There’s limited parking as it is already and if you can’t get down there and park and parking is too expensive, customers won’t come to Chinatown, visitors won’t come to Chinatown. They’ll go somewhere else.”

Annette Fung, who owns the Silver Dragon restaurant, said convenient access to parking in Chinatown is vital for businesses like hers to survive.

“Cars and trucks competing on a one-lane, one-way 3rd Avenue roadway in front of Silver Dragon will be a recipe for my business’ failure,” Fung said.

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