Shop owners say bike lane is cutting into sales
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Sales at Gussie Schubert's Needlepoint Etc. store have been sliced in half. She blames it on the city's King Street Cycle Track. She said the bicycle lane makes it harder for people to find the driveway to her parking lot. Frustrated customers tell her so.
"I'll get calls from people who said, 'I can't find your parking . I don't know where you park. We've been around the block three times. I'm sorry we don't have anymore time to come in and try,'" she said.
On the next block over, the owner of Brian's Fishing Supply has had a drop-off in drop-in customers. He blames the bike lane moving metered stalls farther from the sidewalk.
"It almost appears as if your vehicle is sitting in first lane of outside traffic," Brian Kimata said. "A lot of people are hesitant to park there because they feel like their car is going to get rear-ended."
McCully Bicycle is also situated along the bike lane. Manager Ryan Takayesu said the protected path for bike riders is a step in the right direction.
"We haven't seen much change in our business," he said. "I think it's just going to be an adjustment period. Anytime there's something new, people just have to get used to it."
Kevin Key works at the King Street Apartment Hotel. A handful of small businesses lease space fronting King St.
"Businesses are losing money," he said. "Even for the vendors who are coming, basically they don't know where to park or don't have anywhere to park."
The city said there's been no change in the number of parking spaces.
"As more people ride the bike lane and future connecting lanes, business from bicyclists will increase. Change is always challenging. But the city is making it easier to use forms of transportation other than sitting in traffic in a car," city spokesman Jesse Broder Van Dyke said.
"Something good can come out of having a bike lane, but not perhaps situated on a major artery," Kimata said.
Shop owners also said drivers continue to get stuck behind parked cars. When they see it happen workers in a hair salon now hold up a cardboard sign that reads, "You're behind a parked car! Yes...it's parking ahead."
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