Business at Ordinary Bike Shop has been a little slower in the past few months because of construction which has limited access to the bike shop.
Ordinary owner David Tang said he doesn’t know exactly how much business he has lost, but he knows fewer new customers are finding their way into his shop.
“I haven’t compared hard numbers because I really don’t want to know, to be honest with you,” Tang said. “It is one of those forced optimism things. I would probably say we are anywhere from 10-20 percent down.”
Despite the lost business, Tang is pleased with the way the city has handled the project, which is adding drainage pipes below the streets to prevent Fourth Avenue from flooding. The construction is part of the Downtown Links and modern streetcar projects.
Tom Fisher, a City of Tucson project manager for Downtown Links, said the project should be completed in April, but the part of the construction directly in front of Ordinary Bike Shop should be completed in early January.
Tang said the timing of the construction could have been better, but he understands the projects need to move forward.
“It is kind of hurting holiday business a little bit,” Tang said. I wish they could have done in it summer, but that is the way things are.”
He said the city has been really good at communicating with them about the project and working with them to provide access to the shop while helping them minimize the effect on the business.
The RTA, which is funding the project, offers a service to all businesses near RTA construction projects called Main Street.
Director Britton Dornquast said the program aims to help businesses during construction.
“The goal is obviously to get every business through construction of these projects,” Dornquast said. “There has not been one business that has gone out of business that has utilized our services.”
The Main Street program educates and assists businesses with marketing and more to help them survive construction.
He said in many instances the businesses that have taken advantage of their program have actually increased their business.
Tang said it’s good that most of Ordinary’s customers are people who ride their bikes every day.
“Everyone is on bikes so parking is not too much of an issue,” he said. “It’s cutting down on our walk-in foot traffic so new customers aren’t really finding us as easily.”
Tang said he will be glad when the project is complete and thinks the streetcar construction might be more disruptive.
“Overall it is going to be a positive thing for down here,” he said. “The roads were in terrible condition. It is going to be nice to have brand new pavement.”
Ordinary has added a map to its website showing people where they can park and how to access the shop. Check it out.
Ordinary’s hours are:
Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.