Cycling advocates have been among those to come out in support of the city's Green Corridor, after claims from some business owners that the project is harming trade.
Yesterday the Rotorua Daily Post reported that a number of Hinemoa St businesses were urging customers to sign a petition to reinstate car parks given over to the new cycleway, with one claiming thousands of dollars in lost revenue since construction began.
Harm Zuidmeer of the Rotorua Cycle Action group said, while he understood the concern of some businesses, the Green Corridor represented a desire to make the CBD accessible to more people.
"A road has a singular use function. A footpath has a multiple transport function," he said.
"It is the purest sense of public space - a road is a way to get to that public space."
Mr Zuidmeer, a spatial planner, said the ongoing inner city revitalisation project "was like a fine wine", in that it needed time to develop and to be appreciated.
Rotorua deputy mayor Dave Donaldson, a keen cyclist, said it was still "early days" for the Green Corridor project. "I am sure that once the job is finished usage will increase," he said.
Mr Donaldson said he appreciated concerns of Hinemoa St businesses, but believed the completion of other inner city projects would soften the impact of lost car parks.
Out of a total of 3000 car parks in the inner city, Mr Donaldson said, only 40 would be lost when all projects were completed.
"The whole thing needs to be kept in perspective"
Joanne McCracken, a member of the Inner City Steering Group stressed that a "longer term view" was needed to judge the success of the Green Corridor.
But on Hinemoa St, there are still those businesses owners less prepared to speculate on the project's future success.
Ants Haines, owner of MY Barber, on Tuesday questioned the wisdom of removing car parks in the street "when it's [already] hard enough to find one".
Mr Haines said he had not been impressed by the take-up of the new cycle way. "I haven't seen anyone use it ... I think it's a waste of money and a waste of time."