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A look at a Sacramento bike lane's impact on a small business

How Sacramento's bike path mission is costing small businesses
How Sacramento's bike path mission is costing small businesses 02:42

SACRAMENTO -- A handwritten sign in the window of The Antique Company Inc. in Sacramento reminds customers that the store was still in business "despite" the City of Sacramento, led CBS13 to answers about the installation of a bike lane.

On the corner of 21st and X Streets, the antique store has been a staple of the neighborhood for decades. Only recently did business become more complicated with the addition of a bike lane along 21st Street that, to be installed, removed public parking along the sidewalk at the front of the building. 

The handwritten sign alluded to these changes: "Despite the city's best attempts, we are still in business. Please support." 

CBS13 contacted the business for more information and learned the lack of parking had impacted the small business' bottom line. Customers have been ticketed or stopped visiting the store, they say, due to the challenges parking on 21st Street. 

There is parking on the other side of the road, but it is limited and shared between all of the small businesses along the corridor. 

Another business, Aikido Center Sacramento, which is two doors down from The Antique Company Inc., said the lack of parking has made business more challenging. 

"The biggest, I think, difficulty for us is with some of our students with disabilities," said Matthew Fluty, the chief instructor at Aikido Center Sacramento. 

The small business has been on the block for nearly three decades, but only when the bike lane was installed did the issues with accessibility start, Fluty said. 

To be clear, this is not an anti-bike path call to action from small business owners. This is a call for answers and insights, Fluty said, with the hope that small businesses will be considered in the city's decision-making process in the future. 

"I think the planning that went into the placement of this bike lane could've had more input from the community, specifically, the business owners on the block," said Fluty. 

CBS13 took these concerns to the City of Sacramento for insights and answers on the process of installing a new bike lane. 

The bike path on 21st Street is part of Sacramento's Central City Mobility project aimed at expanding the protected bikeway network on the grid and implementing traffic circulation changes to enhance travel options for all modes

The project includes 70 blocks of bicycling and walking improvements to Sacramento. The changes are part of the city's Vision Zero efforts, a goal to eliminate pedestrian deaths and injuries by 2027. 

Multiple business owners told CBS13 they were unaware of the bike path project until work started. A spokesperson for the City of Sacramento told CBS13 there were at least eight community workshops and mailers sent to those within the project footprint. 

"Certain parking spaces in the area needed to be eliminated to meet the mobility and safety goals of the Central City Specific Plan and this project. To address the parking concerns, staff communicated multiple times with the business owner prior to the construction and implementation of the new bike lanes." 

— City of Sacramento Spokesperson Gabby Miller 

Fluty said his message to the public is don't let parking prevent shopping or supporting local small businesses. 

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