Friday, October 2, 2009
Bike lane killing business
From the NY Post:
Pop’s Popular Clothing has been in business in North Brooklyn since 1949, weathering four wars, three recessions, and one rezoning. But the city’s constructions work on Kent Avenue, nearby the store’s 7 Franklin Street location, may force Pop’s to close its doors after 60 years on the waterfront.
The work clothing retailer sits adjacent to the Department of Transportation’s proposed redesign of Kent Avenue, which would add two bicycle lanes and cut traffic to a one-way northbound lane.
Pop’s owner, Steve Rosenberg, believes that the addition of the bike lane, which eliminated parking in the surrounding area last November, has prevented many of his most loyal customers, truck drivers, tradesmen, and construction workers, from visiting his shop.
“I’ve lost 70 percent of my business. Most of my customers come here by car or by truck,” said Rosenberg. “During the week, you cannot get a parking space here. You drive around for hours. Truckers do not come here anymore. My truck business is down to nothing.”
For Rosenberg, that is a major problem. He just completed a large order for Carhatt jeans and it’s Pop’s busiest time, when many construction workers come to restock on work boots and clothing they have worn out over the past six months.
“We get some orders over the Internet, but guys my age (over 40) don’t use the Internet,” said Rosenberg. “I’m going to keep supporting the business until I run out of money, and then I close down.”
“Recently I have heard a lot of our leaders speaking about the benefits that the small businessmen provide to our economy and how we need to help them in these extremely tough economic times,” said Rosenberg, in a letter to Mayor Bloomberg. “I do not solicit or request any help monetarily. I only appeal to let me conduct my business without the DOT making it impossible for me to perform my business.”