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Powell River staff provides options to remedy parking issues in front of Mitchell Brothers store

POWELL RIVER, B.C. – City of Powell River staff has come up with some options to remedy the parking issues in front of the Mitchell Brothers store on Manson Avenue.

Mitchell Brothers has been in the Cranberry area as a grocer, which Powell River mayor Dave Formosa estimates is “well over 50 years,” and for many of those years, there has been public parking near the store.

However, bike lanes are causing parking conflicts, and the owner and staff of Mitchell Brothers have appealed to mayor and council to remove or rework the bike lane on the east side of Manson across from their store.

In a report being presented to staff to council tomorrow, staff has advised three options:
– Cycling lanes are removed on both sides of the road in favour of “sharrows” both ways at a cost of $7,000.
– Remove the northbound cycling lane all together and install “BIKE LANE ENDS” signage at a cost of $2,500.
– Remove existing cycling lanes on both sides of the road, and install sub-standard infrastructure on both sides of Manson as follows:
1. Drive lanes to be reduced from 3.5 metres to approximately 3.3 metres
2. Cycling lanes to be reduced from 1.5 meters to 1.3 metres
3. Parking lanes to be reduced from 2.5 metres to about 2.3 metres

The estimated cost for this option is $10,000.

Council is being recommended to review the options and provide direction to staff on the next steps.

Mitchell Brothers ‘extremely reliant’ on street parking

Upon completion of the city’s 3.9 kilometres of bi-directional cycling infrastructure, motorists continued to park in the designated bike lanes on the east side of Manson across from Mitchell Brothers, according to a report to mayor and council from the city’s Director of Infrastructure Services, Tor Birtig.

“Staff was understanding of the situation as bike lanes are relatively new to Powell River, and that residents of the town have been utilizing the convenience of street parking since Mitchell Brothers opened over 70 years ago,” Birtig said, in the report.

“To make it clear for residents, the curb was painted yellow and warnings were issued in the place of tickets.”
Mitchell Brothers business is said to be extremely reliant on the street parking as their two off street parking lots and store frontage parking on Manson have been interpreted as inadequate to their business.

According to the report, engineering staff have advised against removing the designated bike lane for reasons including the following:
– Any changes made to facilitate parking will increase vulnerability to cyclists.
– The area is one of the busiest sections of the cycling phase, and as such, cyclists carry more risk.
– Promoting parking across an arterial road for the reasons of accessibility parkingpresents risk as there are no controlled pedestrian crossings.
– Cycling lanes are designed with all cyclists in mind but are more to the benefit of young or inexperienced cyclists.
– Ample parking appears to be presently available.

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