The weekend is nearly here so it's time for another friendly reminder to please support the local businesses who are affected by the Island Bay Parade Upgrade project.
The good news is that the work in the main shopping centre is almost completely finished. Here's the latest update from the council about the work happening over the weekend:
Due to the threat of poor weather today (Friday 20 November) paving was not undertaken on The Parade south of Medway Street. The weather is expected to improve tomorrow to allow the paving work to be completed. To finish the paving work at the north end of the shops by Avon Street we plan to carry on and complete this on Sunday. This will mean the work we had undertaken to complete in and around the shopping centre will be completed on schedule.
It's worth noting that the work in the shopping centre is not directly related to the cycleway. Raising the pedestrian crossings, installing speed cushions and resealing the road is actually about reinforcing the 30 kph speed limit, which hasn't been very well observed (or policed) up until now. This will benefit cyclists (because the cycleway doesn't actually go through the shopping centre) but it will also make the area much calmer, nicer and safer for everyone else. In the long-term this will benefit the businesses who have had to endure some short-term disruption.
The bad news is that as the work moves to the north and south of the shopping centre there are other businesses being affected. The most severely affected right now are the Empire Cinema and the Mersey Street Store at the intersection of The Parade and Mersey Street. Why not make a point of dropping into the dairy this weekend and making a purchase? And if you fancy seeing a movie then get along to the Empire. Here's what they have now showing. They also have a great eatery if you're hungry.
Nobody likes road-works, even when the disruption is relatively short-term, but the extent to which local businesses are affected by this is totally down to us - their customers. If the Island Bay community (and anybody else reading this) are prepared to make just a little extra effort to go out of their way this weekend then there's absolutely no reason why these businesses should suffer. Forza Island Bay!