Edmonds Downtown Alliance Says: The Year in Review

Matt McCulloch

2019 was a busy year in Edmonds, and for the Edmonds Downtown Alliance (Ed!). Presiding over the member advisory board this year has been a humbling and extremely fulfilling experience; I have gotten to engage with a number of our more than 350 member business owners, and while they have a wide variety of viewpoints, they, like myself, are all extremely passionate about our community. This passion underscores the importance to me of what we do at Ed!—being responsible stewards of the funding our members provide in order to create and execute projects that ensure our downtown stays lively, attractive and prosperous.

I spoke recently with Mary Kay Sneeringer, owner of the Edmonds Bookshop, and she summed it up thusly:

“I just got my assessment notice in the mail and was reminded how a small investment goes such a long way,” She said. “By pooling assets we get a professional social media campaign to remind people to come to downtown Edmonds, a website presence, a talented photographer whose photos we can use, courtesy umbrellas, and parking solutions to name just a few of the benefits of Ed!.”

Here’s a look at how some of those benefits came to be in 2019.

Edmonds Holidays

Edmonds was bustling during the holidays with a variety of family activities, including the annual Holiday Trolley. Sponsored by Ed! members Comstock Jewelers, HouseWares, Rick Steves’ Europe and Walnut Street Coffee, the Holiday Trolley was more popular than ever in 2019. After playing an instrumental role in finding a new trolley this year, Ed! managed the trolley, and partnered with the city of Edmonds to promote all Edmonds Holidays activities.

Marketing for Downtown Edmonds 

Bringing more people into downtown Edmonds to do business locally is a key goal of Ed! throughout the year. In addition to promoting Edmonds Holidays, we continually feature all that downtown has to offer in online articles twice per month at EdmondsDowntown.org. These feature articles are promoted via social media, digital advertising, and more. Last year Ed! ads were seen over 4.4 million times across all platforms—that is 4.4 million sets of eyes that got the opportunity to learn about our business community, and 4.4 million opportunities for us to show local people what makes downtown Edmonds so special. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see how we are doing this, and give us your feedback.

After Hours Parking Signage

While we are lucky to have an abundance of free parking downtown, Ed! is continually looking for creative ways to add more parking. Ed! began the After Hours Parking signage program in 2018, and there are now four clearly-signed lots providing 100 additional spots to use after business hours! Our community partners in this program currently include US Bank, Washington Federal, Sound Credit Union, and Bank of America.

Courtesy Umbrellas

The famous bright green umbrellas got a new “Love, Edmonds” design theme this year, and they are still a welcome sight when the rain begins! There are more than 40 locations in downtown where you can grab an umbrella, then drop it off in a stand when you’re done for someone else to use.

Creative Crosswalk

You may have noticed a new creative crosswalk on 2nd and Main. The fun, nautical design adds to the unique look and feel of Edmonds, while also making the crosswalk more visible to help with pedestrian safety. These crosswalks are also installed at 5th and Howell.

Grant Program

Ed! provides small grants to members for qualifying projects that benefit the downtown community. In 2019, recipients included the Mural Project Edmonds to help fund the mural “Floatlines” at 313 Main St, and Edmonds Bookshop to produce the “Where’s Waldo in Edmonds” passports.

Our volunteer advisory board currently has eight members:

And Carrie Hulbert, our contract program manager (carrie@edmondsdowntown.org).

All are welcome to attend our monthly advisory board meetings on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 8am at the Edmonds Center for the Arts. Input from our members is essential and provides the basis for all our projects, so please join us and share your ideas.

— By Matt McCulloch

Matt McCulloch is president of the Edmonds Downtown Alliance Advisory Board, and Lead Relationship Manager at Peoples Bank.

— Sponsored by the Edmonds Downtown Alliance


  1. Kudos to all of you! So many accomplishments; the bright green umbrellas, the nautical crosswalks & murals all make me smile. Imagine how welcome visitors feel. You’re doing amazing things! Thank You!

  2. So honored to get to work with such an amazing group of individuals from our downtown business community on all these projects. There are an impressive number of volunteer hours behind all Ed!s accomplishments. And big thanks to Carrie and Matt for leading the way!

  3. Thank you Matt and to all the volunteers and for Myedmondsnews for publishing this. All of these combined efforts are part of what is continuing to attract restaurants, retailers, service businesses here. And most importantly our customers love to come from near and far to do business in Edmonds. Keep up the great work.

  4. Most cities, nation-wide, BID or no-BID, are experiencing this boom.

    This isn’t a comment opposed or in favor of our BID, so much as pointing out that this article is a bit “getting in front of the parade”. There are some great things this BID is doing, but it doesn’t justify the compulsory assessment of money from businesses that chose not to participate. The Holiday Trolley, for example, the businesses where it stopped could have paid for it’s rental, as there were some businesses that resented it stopping at shop-A but not shop-B. This is a perfect example of where “Special Assessments” should be used (see RCW).

    The BID was established without a petition, has held zero Business Meetings, and is run without bylaws (you need a meeting to adopt bylaws). You need bylaws to create the executive board, and to adopt the use of a ballot box for nomination and selection of officers. The whole organization is not in good standing. It’s all great people and mostly good ideas, but it’s a case-study at this stage, and isn’t run the way other BID’s in this state are run. It needs a new petition.

    This is a question because I do not know, is the BID underwriting things like after-hours parking? Say a bank closes for the evening, then there’s a accident on their property, such as someone slipping on ice. Is the bank able to argue that they were not open and that the walk didn’t need to be shoveled and sanded, so they were not negligent? The BID effectively is keeping their property open all night, and people are mostly here to drink booze. If the BID isn’t paying the parking owners for the use of the parking after they close, and the BID isn’t underwriting the potential liability concerns, I’m surprised businesses would allow the BID to use their property.

    “A business that welcomes customers onto the business’s property has a duty to act reasonably to provide for the safety of the customers.”

    The BID should pay for parking use, and/or exempt the businesses that allow parking after hours from their assessments.

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