GlobalTV reports on the impact the big hole has had on small biz
Vancouver's massive sinkhole is sucking more than a lot of newspaper ink into its giant vortex. It's having a big impact on small businesses as far as over 20 blocks away, according to Friday evening's video report by GlobalTV's Ted Chernecki. Businesses along the South Hill neighbourhood on busy Fraser Street are getting whacked because street parking has been pulled with no notice to keep the articulated buses running.
This story reminds me of another "hole" story that my colleague Daniel wrote early in 2009. The story was a bit of a sensation because, as was pointed out, the City of Vancouver is often liable in cases where citizens or businesses are affected by acts of god or other actions by city workers. We used the example of potholes, and explained that damage to autos from an improperly maintained street could result in damages being awarded.
In fact, the Vancouver Courier's Mike Howell reported this in his recent cover story about Vancouver paying almost $9 million worth of legal costs since 2001.
From 2000 to Dec. 1, 2010, the city settled 211 claims for a total of $8.8 million, according to documents obtained by the Courier under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Total settlement payments ranged from a low of $186,489 in 2000 to a high of $1.5 million in 2001 and 2009. The city's engineering department, which includes it streets, sewers, transport and waterworks divisions, had the highest number of payouts at 91.
As Howell's FOI document shows, many of those costs to Vancouver taxpayers are directly related to street maintenance claims.
While we're sure that City Engineers are working steadily to fix the gaping crack in south Vancouver's street network, it can't come soon enough for many businesses and residents in the area who are being hit in the wallet. It's not encouraging to hear that there has been some finger-pointing at Metro Vancouver by the City on this problem.
When Vancouver's snowmageddon happened in December 2008, then new Mayor Gregor Robertson booked off to
Mexico Cuba for a vacation while the impact of the deep freeze had the public asking who was in charge? For Robertson's sake he better hope that this giant hole is filled, the parking is back and traffic flowing again before he packs up for another vacation in the sun.
What do you think? Does it seem that the City could be doing a better job of communicating with Fraser/Marine Drive businesses?
- post by Mike