Loss of business during market not a layout problem

If shops aren't getting business during Sidney Summer Market on Thursdays, it's not because of the tents

Re: Summer Market stuck in the middle (News, Jan. 11)

As vendors, we find the claims of the petition signed by some Sidney retail businesses to be totally exaggerated and seriously doubtful.

To begin with, the vendors open sided tents do not block the view of any of the businesses. The visitors not only walk the centre of Beacon Avenue, but they also come up on the wide open sidewalks behind our stalls. They window browse and are free to enter the businesses that are open. If they choose not to buy at any particular store that is not the fault of the Sidney Business Association or the market vendors.

To blame the Summer Market for loss of revenue, which is open only three and a half hours on Thursdays is outrageous and completely false. Peninsula residents, tourists, visitors, etc. come out to Sidney on Thursdays from 5 to 8:30 p.m. to specifically target the Summer Market.

Back to back tents for the vendors is a logistical nightmare and not possible. The market layout at present has the vendors against the deep curbs leaving the centre of Beacon Avenue and the sidewalks fronting the retail businesses wide open, clear and safe.

It is very clear that the Sidney mayor, council and staff have used little common sense and lack the skills and knowledge needed to layout the plans for an open air market such as Sidney’s. It is also obvious that they have no idea on the physical setting up requirements for things to flow and not become a nightmare of traffic jams.

Should the Sidney mayor, council, staff and Beacon Rretail continue to push their “proposal in principle” without listening to the SBA and vendors, you will undoubtedly see market vendors relocate far away from Beacon or opt to go to a different summer market altogether.

Stop trying to fix that which is not broken. The retail businesses know full well that the Summer Market is not the problem and if they push this any further they will publicly acquire the reputation of being responsible along with the present council for destroying the most successful summer market on the south Island and being left with a empty, lifeless Beacon Avenue.

J.H. Cochrane

North Saanich

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