By transforming the Wellington street in Verdun in corridor a pedestrian, the City expects to help its traders hard-hit by the pandemic. If the restaurants are hoping that this measure will be able to save, other businesses have already experienced loss of customers.
Wellington street is one of the four streets in Montreal that have closed access to cars for the duration of the summer in order to stimulate their economy.
“I understand that the piétonnisation make fun restaurants with terraces, but it is not necessarily the case of other businesses,” reveals Chantal Normandin-Joly, store manager, animal products Chico.
Since the piétonnisation, initiated on 6 June, several of his clients complain of having to carry heavy bags of food to their cars, having had to park further away.
For Hugo Mess, the owner of the Workshop Wellington Cycle and Cie, a pedestrian street adds a lot of difficulty.
Now that cars no longer have access to the storefronts after 11am in the morning, their delivery service (which was looking for and delivered the bikes at home) had to come to an end. “The level of logistics of transport, it is safe as a pedestrian street, we put big sticks in the wheels “, bring it.
Mr. Pickle also provides for a decrease in clientele of an older age for the shops, because these customers-there can’t get there as easily.
Gabriel Bégin, responsible for support to the elected officials of the borough of Verdun, said that, several parking areas have been installed on the cross streets to accommodate the customers coming by car.
By contrast, restaurants that reopened this week, the owners hope that the piétonnisation brings a respite to the last few difficult months.
“We’re going to be able to widen the terrace, as the street is now pedestrian,” says Emmanuel Delwaide-Bégin, director-general of the Bar Palco. Thus, it has to compensate for the loss of capacity on its interior floor, where several tables will be left free to ensure the two-metre distance prescribed by the government.
Bars and restaurants can not for the moment but hope that it bears fruit. “It is a big question mark,” advance Mr. Delwaide-Bégin. “What will be the reaction of people? It will be really particular to study the impact of the piétonnisation on our business. “
Daniel Hebert, the owner of the café Lili & Oli is open to the experience. “We have been very well consulted by a district that offers a lot of solutions to the fears [of merchants],” he said.
He affirms, however, not to have noticed serve more customers since the ban on cars.
David Aseraf, owner of the restaurant Comptoir 21 on Wellington, has already lived the experience to operate a business on a pedestrian street, who has managed a restaurant on the pedestrian part of Ste-Catherine for five years. It is clear from the experience: “If people can’t come by car, they will go elsewhere. “
In normal times, a good number of customers coming to eat at his restaurant on Wellington come from the surrounding neighbourhoods, like Ville-Émard and LaSalle.
“I don’t know if the piétonnisation going to help,” advance Mr. Aseraf. “We may not know that at the end of the summer. “
These streets have become completely pedestrian and are part of the first phase of the project of development of active pathways safe unveiled in may by the City of Montreal. They will remain pedestrian until the fall.
- Wellington: between rue Hickson and 4th Avenue.
- Of the Joint Is: – between the streets of Bonsecours and Saint-Gabriel.
- Sainte-Catherine: between Metcalfe street and Atwater avenue.
- Mont-Royal: between avenue du Parc and avenue Chapleau.
- Ontario: between the street Darling and the boulevard Pie-IX (as of 2 July).