The City of Edmonds said it will take advantage of the long holiday weekend to put a “brief pause” on its Walkable Main Street pilot project.
“We’ve had very positive feedback from residents, restaurants, and some retailers,” said Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson. “Right now is a good opportunity to catch our breath, take a look at what’s working and where to make adjustments.”
The city has closed areas of downtown around Main Street to vehicle traffic for the past two weekends. During the first weekend — June 20-21 — vehicles were prohibited on Main Street between 3rd and 6th avenues. The following weekend — June 27-28 — closures were extended to include 5th Avenue between Main and Dayton streets..
“The first weekend we had great weather and I think people were just itching to get outside. We got a lot of great comments,” said Patrick Doherty, the city’s Director of Economic Development and Community Services. “Last Saturday was very rainy, which brought out fewer people.”
The city said in a Wednesday news release that restaurants in general enjoy the opportunity to seat people outside, and some restaurant owners reported some of their best days all year. The results were mixed for retailers, with some seeing a marked uptick in foot traffic and sales, and others reporting slow sales.
The issues of vehicle circulation and pedestrian safety also need to be more carefully reviewed, the city said.
“All of these things are to be expected,” Doherty said. “We will work with our community partners to see how we can move this idea forward in a way that works for as many people and businesses as possible.”
In the coming weeks, the city will work closely with downtown businesses to find the best path forward, the announcement said, after which Future Walkable Main Street dates will be announced.