In planning a second season of Walkable Main Street, city asks community to weigh in

Pedestrians are safe from traffic as they stand in the Main Street crosswalk on the last day of Walkable Main Street in October 2020. (File photo by David Carlos)

The City of Edmonds is considering again implementing its Walkable Main Street program downtown this summer, and is inviting residents to take a survey to share their ideas.

The program closed Main Street between 3rd and 6th Avenues to vehicles last summer, running on Saturdays and Sundays from June 20-Oct. 11.

With pedestrians free to walk along the street, restaurants and retailers also expanded their footprint beyond their brick-and-mortar establishments to provide the ability for distanced dining and shopping.

“After our success with Walkable Main Street last year, we are looking at offering a second season this year,” said Mayor Mike Nelson. “We would like to hear from our residents on how we can make it even better.”

An online survey, available as of Thursday, can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/r/WalkableMain. The survey is until 5 p.m., Wednesday, March 24.

Additionally, City staff will be meeting with downtown business owners and surveying them for their ideas, and this feedback will be added to answers already collected from last year’s Walkable Main Street discussions.

22 Replies to “In planning a second season of Walkable Main Street, city asks community to weigh in”

  1. So where are people supposed to park? The goal of the city seems to be to eliminate as much parking as possible. The number of people in walking distance to downtown is a very finite number. Before eliminating all of these parking spaces. Come with a workable plan to replace them. Could the city work with the Methodist church for parking and then provide transportation to and from the church?

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    1. No, I will not do that to shop in my own town!! NOT when there is and always has been adequate parking here in the 33 years I have lived here. This needs to stop here. That idea does not solve anything at all.

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  2. I just looked at the survey. It didn’t even allow for the possibility that people don’t want it to continue. It was primarily about how they can expand the program. If you want to run a quick errand or grab takeout on a weekend, the City of Edmonds makes it impossible.

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    1. I noticed the exact same thing. This is right out of the Nelson playbook….he truly doesn’t want your opinion if it differs from his. Can’t WAIT to vote him out.

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      1. Totally agree. Quite a piece of work this one!! In my humble opinion. Such arrogance just looking at him it is there. And watching his bored face on zooms and his very abrupt rude NEXT.. is quite arrogant also. We need a nice man not a prima donna for Mayor.

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    2. Yes that is right. IT apparently is not at all about what all of the citizens of Edmonds want it to be like here. You are right those little last minute I’ll run down to the paint shop for instance will be going to the AM keyboard instead. Its not like everything in this town cannot be purchased someplace else. Either another area or online. I don’t like to use online all of the time at all. I would much prefer to shop locally and patronize my city but hey if they don’t want us there then I guess we will have no choice. Remember those levy’s you will be wanting a yes go for more taxes ect. You may find you don’t pass those this time if this continues here. Just saying. Even the folks with lots of money don’t want their property values effected!! Just think.

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    3. I agree 100%.

      It’s basically a “push poll”. A “push poll” is a form of interactive marketing in which political operatives try to sway voters to believe in certain policies or candidates under the guise of an opinion poll.

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  3. The pandemic will end then where do the cars go? It is a “main” street. Closing it is a bad idea. Scrap the idea of this.

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  4. Even thought the survey is about continuing and how to expand Walkable Main Streets, there are a couple of places for comments. Please take survey and utilize comment section to voice concerns. My concern is that Walkable Main Streets may help a few businesses, but does it help all businesses, especially with the challenge of parking? Does closing off parking just keep people away? With reducing restrictions, the Saturday Market will have more flexibility this year so how will Walkable Main Streets impact people coming to the Market? Will Walkable Main Streets end when Covid restrictions are removed or is the plan to make this a permanent fixture?

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  5. YES, I definitely support the Walkable Main Street. Developed during the CoVid peak, it helped restaurants survive. But more importantly it taught us how a walkable downtown brought the community together. We could walk unobstructed by cars and enjoy the surroundings and other walkers. It feels like a street party and people will travel to Edmonds to be part of the small town feeling. Keep it going and expand.
    Last year I saw much parking available, with a short walk to Main. If that does not remain true, then the City may have to explore people transporting options.
    Thank you for our Walkable Main Street.

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  6. Sounds like a mix of fun and community to me. But then, I’ve spent a lot of time in Europe where people are accustomed to parking their cars farther away and walking more for the sake of pedestrian-friendly downtowns. While there are reasonable arguments against such people zones, and everybody’s needs can’t always be met, I love how–for the majority–every day’s a festival when you are enjoying pedestrian zones.

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    1. As much as I admire and respect Rick Steves a no car zone in the heart of Edmonds is a mistake. Edmonds is not a quaint little city in Italy.

      Nor could it become like Santa Monica CA or Boulder CO as others would like us to believe. The pedestrian malls are not the heart of those cities like Main street is to Edmonds.

      Traffic on Fifth and Main has never ever been a problem on weekends in the 21 years I’ve lived in Edmonds. Crowded, yes but not a problem. After attending the summer market my partner and I enjoy sitting on the corner with coffee in hand people watching and meeting acquaintances. To me it had the feel of a vibrant healthy town. Not now.

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  7. Mr Steves
    We were not given a choice. You proposed it and under Emergency powers it happened. Whether or not the majority of Edmonds residents enjoy it has never been established. It is a public road not a plaza yet. It is also a main route for ferry traffic. Anyone wanting to just do errands will likely go elsewhere. No parking particularly with streeteries taking up spaces. But hey, it will probably be fun for folks from elsewhere to visit for a day. And that is what all of it seems to be about really. I have enjoyed many plazas in foreign countries too. Edmonds ain’t that , nor will it ever be.

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    1. Diane your comments are right on the mark. When I filled a public record’s request to see the surveys last year they were non existing. The mayor believes in you scratch my back l will scratch yours.

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  8. I personally like the idea, but I have to agree with Tina about the survey assuming everyone does. Reminds me of the bike lanes.

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  9. With the growth of high density housing close to Edmonds the people that live in apartments are going to drive down to Edmonds to enjoy our parks, beaches and restaurants for much needed entertainment and an opportunity to enjoy time outdoors. Our parks, restaurants and entertainment venues will be in high demand and we have to find a way to accommodate them. I like having a “walkable” Edmonds because it brings our city to life.

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  10. I too invite everyone to check out the survey. It’s only 5 questions and like others have already commented, it assumes that everyone who participates in it is in favor of the concept. There is no question such as, “Do you think the city should have another Walkable Main Street program?”

    My point is, what if people aren’t in favor of this? How do they communicate it to the City? Does the City want to know more about the people completing the survey. Where do they live? Did they participate last year? Did they even know about it?

    Also, what were the metrics used to quantify the Mayor’s quote, “After our success with Walkable Main Street last year, we are looking at offering a second season this year,” said Mayor Mike Nelson. “We would like to hear from our residents on how we can make it even better.”

    What were the goals of the program? To increase business revenue by a certain percentage? To increase foot traffic by a certain number? To mitigate the need for social distancing during a pandemic while giving consumers access to some of the businesses downtown?

    Again, as has been noted, if you didn’t support the Walkable Main Street program you could note that in the comment section, but still, why not have a simple yes/no question?

    In conclusion, a simple five question survey with all the questions pointing to continuing the program doesn’t seem to be a survey that really wants any community input other than confirmation about having the program again.

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    1. The other cities that the city provided as examples are larger and have great transportation systems. There are no cities in Wash. or Oregon that shut down there main street. Unfortunately we are preaching to our shelfs as the mayor won’t read the comments just like he doesn’t answer his phone or emails

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  11. Edmonds is a carnival town…
    Almost any summer weekend, we have a festival, fair or show which caters to “out of towners”.
    If tax paying residents would like to park or enjoy a local restaurant, you can fight the crowd or forget it. Shutting down Main street is just more of the same.
    Edmonds is a nice place to visit, but….

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  12. It sounds kinda cool until it’s not. The combination of “streeteries” & denser housing ( with more cars parked on ancillary streets ) has made as mentioned, running errands or picking up to go food too much of a parking challenge. As a long time Edmonds resident, I am more curious as to what the majority of impacted businesses have to say, as well as the citizens. I realize that the curbside dining will most likely go away post Covid & 2020 was probably not the best sample size to draw from, but the lack of parking is the Gorilla in the playpen. I, along with many others wondered why there was not a park n ride shuttle of some short from a church ( Holy Rosary upper lot? ) or school. I think I like the old just block off Fifth for the Saturday Market and leave Main open.

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