Some merchants along the Langley City One-Way would like a proposed overhaul of the street delayed to give them more time to recover from the drop in business they suffered during the pandemic.
David Stingl, owner of the Everything But Diamonds store, said he and some fellow One-Way businesses were surprised to learn the project was still slated for this year.
“I think we’re all quite concerned,” Stingl told the Langley Advance Times.
“I think a lot of the businesses thought it was dead in the water.”
He is concerned the excavation to replace sewer and water lines, followed by work to widen sidewalks, realign parking and make other improvements would close the One-Way to vehicle traffic for more than six months.
Retail is still recovering from the pandemic’s impact on shopping, he warned.
“Name me a single business that could survive a six-month hit,” Stingl said.
He was scheduled to appear as a delegation before council at their Monday night, Jan. 16 meeting, to argue for a delay in closing off vehicle traffic and parking spaces.
City plans for the replacement of aging sewer and water lines underneath the one-way include upgrades to the streetscape once the underground work is completed.
Consultation with residents and businesses along the One-Way on Fraser Highway between 204 Street and 206 Street found a majority of respondents favoured a design with angled parking on both sides, trees clustered at key locations, wider sidewalks, and increased patio space.
Estimated cost, in 2020, was $10 million.
Reached for comment, City mayor Nathan Pachal said no definite date has been set for the start of work on the One-Way improvements, and he expected “there will be consulting” before work begins.
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