A stroll around one of the city’s busiest intersections could spark a mini shopping spree for pedestrians starting later this spring.
City councillors gave the okay Monday to move forward with a project allowing street vendors to set up shop on the sidewalks around No. 3 Road and Westminster Hwy.
City staff have picked out four locations on the sidewalk — two on the south west corner, one on the north west, and the last on the north east corner.
Following the city’s Request for Expression of Interest that closed last November, a trio of vendors came forward: Japadog, Falso Philly Steak and The Richmond Hospice Association which plans to sell fresh cut flowers.
Japadog and Falso Philly Steak already run food carts in Vancouver where city staff paid a visit to see their respective sites operate.
The vendors will run on a year long pilot project basis starting in May or June.
“Given that this can be a very positive thing for the community, how are we going to supervise these kinds of operations?” said Coun. Bill McNulty.
He was told city staff will closely observe the operations and then report back to council after the pilot period expires.
Coun. Chak Au said he was surprised that just three businesses had expressed interest in the project.
Pat Miller, executive director of the Richmond Hospice Association, said her organization has been working on their idea for the past couple of years.
“We have talked to the city and transit, and number of other people about the idea of having a flower cart to raise some funds for hospice,” Miller said.
“We’ve had a lot of ideas to try and raise funds on an ongoing basis as opposed to hoping to do it in a couple of fundraisers a year.”
The flower cart appealed to the hospice association because “it adds beauty to the city, and everybody likes flowers,” Miller said, adding the seasonal flower cart would be run by volunteers, and plans are to offer products from mostly local sources.
“And we are hoping for a lot of impulse buys, especially on a Friday,” she said.