Walkable Main will run Saturdays and Sundays again this summer

Walkable Main Street will continue on Saturdays and Sundays this summer. (My Edmonds News file photo)

Updated with new quote at end of article.

It’s official.

For the second year in a row, Walkable Main Street will transform downtown Edmonds into a weekend pedestrian-only space.

The decision to stay the course was first announced by Mayor Mike Nelson in a Monday letter to the Edmonds Downtown Alliance (Ed!), in which he cited what he described as a “huge amount of…input from the public, dozens of business owners as a result of our surveys, the business roundtable, councilmember input, emails, calls and Facebook comments,” that supported the two-day street closure as the clear “front runner in public opinion among the various options.”

Begun last summer mainly in response to COVID, Walkable Main was seen as a way to draw people to downtown in a pandemic-safe way, thereby providing an economic boost to downtown restaurants and businesses. While restaurants enjoyed an immediate benefit, many retailers saw their business drop off. They attribute this to lack of parking and closed streets making their businesses less accessible to customers.

In response, a group of downtown businesses recently proposed a compromise, suggesting that Walkable Main Street operate on Sundays only, leaving the streets open on Saturdays to traffic and parking. Dubbed Save Our Saturdays (SOS), the proposal received support from a coalition of businesses and citizens, but apparently not enough to convince city decision-makers.

Nelson’s letter was followed by a press release in which the city said that in response to input, the 2021 Walkable Main Street program will include some fine-tuning. The program will operate for a shorter period (June 19 through Labor Day – last year it ran June 20 through Oct. 11); implement expanded areas of public parking to include designated ADA stalls; and provide additional seating and tables along Main Street. In addition, the city is planning what it describes as “a substantial promotion of Main Street retailers” to be made via the city Facebook page and through signage and handouts. And it also says it will pursue a cross-promotional campaign between retailers and restaurants to “encourage visitors to both shop and dine while they enjoy Walkable Main Street.”

The street closure area will be the same as in 2020, running along Main Street from Sixth Avenue to 3rd Avenue. Vehicle U-turns will continue to be allowed around the fountain, with clear pedestrian pathways protected by metal crowd fencing.  Note that on Saturdays when the Edmonds Museum Market is in operation, the one-block stretch of 5th Avenue North between Main and Bell Streets will also be closed. But according to city spokesperson Kelsey Foster, this is part of the “Farmer’s Market footprint and not an official part of Walkable Main Street.”

Nelson said that “after hearing from the public as well as our downtown businesses, we are looking forward to bringing back this popular program that promotes the charm of our city, encouraging shoppers and diners from Edmonds and the greater Puget Sound region to enjoy our downtown in a safe and comfortable way.”

Downtown retailer and resident Jenny Murphy was among those who advocated for a Sundays-only walkable Main Street, and she was disappointed with the mayor’s announcement.

“The City of Edmonds missed a great opportunity to compromise and show support of its downtown retailers…truly a disappointment,” Murphy said. “This move shows a great lack of understanding and empathy and will forever change the vibe of our once charming downtown, a downtown many of us have spent years building and nurturing. Just think…a compromise would have allowed all to move forward feeling valued and heard.”

— By Larry Vogel

 

 

 

72 Replies to “Walkable Main will run Saturdays and Sundays again this summer”

  1. No one should be surprised Mayor Nelson continues to be indifferent to the majority of Edmonds residents.

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    1. Impossible to find parking on Saturday last week. Drove around just off main street for 10 minutes looking for parking.
      I saw an elderly lady hurt her foot because the road where she parked had an uneven edge to it. She had to park over two blocks from the market.
      I helped her back to car. Her daughter was going to get her checked at Swedish.
      We were going to go to walk a vore last week. But only went after Roger at Arista wine let us park on backside of store.
      I hope that elderly lady is o.k. She was a sweetheart.

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      1. I went down today at 2:45. I wanted to see what I see…I saw almost every parking space occupied. 99%. I saw a few go into businesses. Very few but a few. I personally went to 3. I believe if we can we buy. I saw like I said 99% of parking taken up. I saw maybe 6 or 7 a couple kids too. Yet every parking spot gone. I saw only a couple cars leave this whole over 2 hours. All of the restaurants outer dining additions full. All. Now this should tell you something and Mr. Nelson. I think you need to reconsider Mr. Nelson, this would be a good time for you to change your mind, quickly would be good, this time. Thank You for considering.

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        1. If you observed this on a Thursday it is not the result of WMS closing the streets since that is a weekend occurrence. Perhaps we need to look at other factors during this unusual time and work together to support our businesses.

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  2. I would like to see the results of the survey. The actual raw data, not someone’s summary. I know many people were in favor of the compromise. Closing Main Street on both days is a surprise decision to me. Is this the most popular choice among all of the businesses?

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        1. This is really informative and appreciated to have this information. Thank you My Edmonds News for getting and publishing this for us.

          I think the issue really is that the votes are split among so many options. 3082 total responses which is significant.

          Of those responses:

          45.3% (1.396) wanted both Saturday and Sunday.
          48.79% (1504) wanted only one day or none, and that increases to 54.7% (1686) if you include the “other” category.

          Saying that having both the Saturday and Sunday option was the clear front runner is selective data analysis at best.

          Of the individual options, it is true to say that the Saturday and Sunday option received the highest votes. However, it is also true to say that the vast majority of respondents voted to not have Walkable Main Street on both Saturday and Sunday.

          As a fan of the Walkable downtown, I am happy to see it back, but sad to see that the downtown businesses that contribute so much to the heart, soul, and charm of our downtown are being dismissed in what I thought was such a reasonable compromise.

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    1. Mike Nelson is so out of touch, he needs to move back to Ballard. Disappointing but not the least surprised he wants to run his own agenda and not listen to the people. Fools.

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  3. Did I miss reading all the positive responses? I thought I was keeping up with the public opinions expressed on MEN quite regularly. Apparently, not many of those in favor expressed themselves publicly, or I missed reading their input. I hope the local businesses will keep us posted regularly, via MEN, so if needed we can all make an extra special effort to get into town to do some shopping. Please keep us updated, a consensus report would all that would be needed. The shopkeepers must be very concerned as if locals are kept away by the crowds, and with the lack of parking it could be problematic; unfortunately, not everyone is able to walk blocks to their destination.

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      1. Thanks, Judy…I have no opinion as to what the the results would be, as I do not have a retail business in Edmonds, but if we could have an anonymous, weekly opinion sheet printed with the comments of the retail shop owners, which could be as simple as “good week, bad week “. It should be unedited words of the shop owner, and provide the community with the truthful opinions of our merchants, without any political or economic push back from those opposed to the concept. Of course the more who will participate, the more valuable the information would be, and that might be an issue. It is really hard to speak up, when your livelihood is being challenged, if you say the “wrong” thing . In this case, of course there is no “wrong” opinion, we are just looking for the truth. If we look at the results each week, we may see some good weekends and some difficult week ends, and at the end of the summer we might see a very clear opinion one way or the other, or perhaps a nuanced opinion. This would give us some truthful data to make a decision on for 1922, It would be completely transparent, as I would suggest several people do the survey in person, weekly, with at least two people signing off on each shops statement. This way the shops have put nothing in writing, and the folks doing the canvas have some back up. I know it sounds a little paranoid, but just trying to have complete transparency. I am sure there could be a variety of good ideas. :>)

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    1. As someone who goes into Edmonds in the summertime, I always have to park and walk anyway. On busy weekends, I hate trying to park near the round about or right on main street – pulling in and out is a bit of a hazard. As the area gets busier and busier, this will become more and more of a problem. Personally, I love the fact that it will be open for walking. Whats wrong with encouraging walking? Obviously there need to be handicap options, but otherwise… maybe the city just needs more parking spaces a couple of blocks out. My two cents.

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      1. It’s not just the walking its carrying merchandise…without a decent sized parking garage within 2 blocks of the fountain..forget about large heavier items…
        You are correct more are coming….from around the country and Seattle. To live and maybe other towns too. IF they can park. If they cannot easily park and easily secure their treasures in their trunks. They won’t come back. They will go to Bellevue…there they have it all. And you can shop all day, then have a lovely dinner while waiting for rush hour to slow down.
        Now, Edmonds is this what you want? I don’t think so…but better think about all of this.

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  4. Personally, I would like to see the actual results of the public survey, the input from each of the Council Members and any other “data” that led to this decision.
    Unfortunately, the Mayor’s previous behavior, both in and out of office, makes me skeptical of any claims that he makes.

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      1. I would like to see the mayor and his family walking maim street and stopping into the retailers to see how things are going. I didn’t see him last year. Sending your employees is not the same

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  5. The April 6, 2021 City Council Agenda Packet included “New Business”, Walkable Main Street.
    The minutes document the last comment made:
    “Councilmember Fraley-Monillas said she looked forward to further discussion and input.”
    Did it ever come back to City Council for further discussion and input?

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  6. There is always plenty of parking in the Bank of America lot or the lot next door or the bank next to that on the weekends! Even if BofA opens back up on Sat you can park there after 1 (bank hours) Parking on Main St is always difficult any day – its just the luck of the draw! when other events are going on, on the weekends i don’t hear anyone really complain about parking??

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    1. Joy. I personally like the walkable street, but my business downtown isn’t retail. It’s funny how consent for this was manufactured, and that Rick Steves’ opinion matters for than others.
      Businesses who didn’t want it on Saturday, acquiesced and compromised to doing it on Sunday, then were railroaded by having it forced on them both Saturday and Sunday. I’m a sick man, because I laugh (and cry) that the merchant’s union (the Ed! BID), the union that Edmonds forces businesses to join against their will, also has been engineered to approve this. This ultimately is Edmonds’ fail for voting this way.

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      1. Has anyone suggested having a charming trolley (or two) that can make stops along a suggested route (including a large parking area), along the lines of the one that runs during the holiday season? I know I would definitely be more inclined to visit the downtown area, and the summer market, if I knew I wasn’t going to have to struggle to find parking, and walk forever while carrying heavy bags. Adorable retro trolleys would solve problems, and be a sweet addition to the aesthetic.

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        1. Yes on the shuttle concept but a more cost effective, ecologically sound, and more ADA friendly would be to use several electric golf cart “style” shuttles. They are not that expensive compared to the trolley we had in the past and can be operated by regular drivers. Parking areas already exist that could be used with the shuttle concept. Regular routes, frequent service (are folks willing to wait a few minutes for a ride?) Because of their maneuverability, they could take handicap folks “into the walking zone” and drop them at any shop they choose.

          Several non profits and churches already have other types of vans or small busses that could be pressed into service.

          If we put on our thinking caps and put our arrows back in the quiver for a bit we can create some good alternatives.

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  7. Yay! I am in support of this decision and many of my Seattle friends are looking forward to coming out to Edmonds for a day of walking Edmonds.
    Not many of us are willing to give our opinions here due to the lack of respectful disagreement.
    Edmonds resident since late 70’s!

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    1. I have a different take on the poll results. 45.30% wanted WMS on both Sat and Sun. 31.95% wanted either Sat or Sun(25.79%preferred Sun) and 16.84% didn’t want WMS. Unfortunately, we don’t know the desires of the “others”. In any case a total of 48.79% were against a 2 day WMS. Therefore a 2 day WMS is not the winner. In fact, the way this poll was set up with 4 choices rather than the two proposed choices pretty much determined the outcome.
      There should be a run-off poll with only two choices:WSM Sat and Sun vs WMS Sun only.

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      1. Yes there should be a total redo. This time without the secrets, hidden agendas where only this or that click know what’s going on.
        That is in fact a win for walkable Sundays.
        Yes we need a revote..with notice this time.

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      2. Exaactly Bob. We received the tiny post card in the mail about the survey on the Monday
        which must have been the last day. We went onto the website and it said Not Available.

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        1. I recieved nothing. Had I recieved one I would have suggested walkable Sunday and Sat evening after 6pm. Allowing Satutday all day for NO Walkable.
          I wonder how many didn’t receive this survey.? This is so not cool…
          Lies, half truths, manipulated numbers, changes with no time to stop him.
          When these surveys came in the mail was there a survey for both husband and wife….? Or just one for 2 people. Only counted as one vote? We’re they made so you could write in your choice and mail? Or were they computer gobbledygook that many had no ability to understand, no computer, or as some have said…weren’t able to get the site to load?
          Do over….leave the damn computers out of it. Or have the write in option in addition to the computer option.

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  8. Our previous town mayor used to like attend photo opportunities of ribbon-cutting opening ceremonies for new local businesses. If Mayor Nelson’s WMS policy forces retailers to close maybe MEN get some shots of him smiling in front of some closed businesses, hey maybe with a cameo of Rick Steves in the background.

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  9. Once again, I will avoid downtown Edmonds on these days and my healthy choice of not being able to participate Petanque is due to NO PARKING.

    Not smart, not smart at all!!!

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  10. Christine Koch – if you are only coming downtown on the weekends to play Petanque and worried about parking, there is always plenty of parking just down the street in the ECA parking lot or on the streets around it.

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  11. This is a missed opportunity for the city. While it’s true that the Saturday/Sunday option was the leading singular option in the survey, it did not receive more than 50% of the votes submitted. There are clearly a group of concerned retailers and others who lobbied for “Save our Saturdays” & limiting walkable Edmonds to a single day. I would have liked to see Edmonds experiment with this version in 2021 & measure the results. In marketing we call this A/B testing. Let’s see if it improves sales for the retailers (and restaurants) by keeping it to a single day. If it does, then great. If it doesn’t, fine. But at least it would show a willingness to listen, compromise & learn together. Another option I would have liked seen further explored is shutting it down Friday evenings – when these retailers are mostly already closed & restaurant traffic is expected to be higher. Finally, what happened to the trolly shuttle idea/opportunity? That would be one way to assist with the parking challenges. So while I personally enjoy & support walkable Edmonds, I hear those who are disappointed with this particular outcome.

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    1. David.
      While the Saturday/Sunday option did not receive 50%, it was still far and away the most popular choice of respondents (more than the total of the “Sunday Only” and the “Not at All” votes combined). People may wish to criticize the survey methodology (I’m sure some will), but to me it seems that there is a very vocal minority that just don’t like it, with a much quieter cohort that do like it, and with some beleaguered retailers struggling with it. Now that Saturday/Sunday is going to happen, we really need to focus our energy and ideas on making it the best experience possible, for everyone (most certainly retailers included). I have always thought the parking issue is a bit of a canard (I have attended often, at the busiest times, and did not ever park more than one block away). Still, there should be a push to make “dormant” parking slots more available, particularly for those who are mobility-challenged (my understanding is that the city has looked for a replacement trolley, but that they are hard to come by). A real effort to promote our local retailers could/should be made (this is where the folks behind the green umbrellas, and perhaps the Chamber of Commerce could provide some guidance), and a couple of our local constables walking the downtown area and interacting with the locals would suppress any “frat party” environment (most people actually like interacting with the local cops, and I don’t think the cops mind either). Improve on those ugly street barricades, and maybe ditch the (equally ugly) “bus stop” streatery structures, and I’d be happy. This thing is here, so let’s make the best of it.

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      1. Hi Paul. I agree that the parking issue is a bit of a canard and there should be a push to make dormant slots more available. And yeah, I think the methodology probably wasn’t the best and yes the Saturday/Sunday option did receive the most votes of the 4 – I would just quibble a bit with the point that it was only a very vocal minority that opposes it. Like I said, I just think it was a missed opportunity to show compromise at a time when our city could use it. But like you, I want it to be a success for all of our city businesses and agree we should look for ways to improve the experience for all involved.

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        1. David.

          I only meant “minority” in relation to the survey results, but I can see how the phrase might seem somewhat pejorative (it was not meant to be).

          Everybody’s opinion matters.

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      2. No one wants a Trolly or shuttle. We want to walk in a store when we want, where we want. We want our cars for holding packages…We want the same options as those who do live close enough to walk to the retail area. We want adequate parking. One parking garage will solve all of this. One lousy parking garage is standing between everyone getting what they want. And this town can afford it. It sure has no problem with the other very expensive things built in Edmonds Bowl. Parking is essential for a city to maximize the number of people from all over Edmonds and other communities.
        This is such an obvious choice to make…I wonder why? I
        I wonder why we are spending a fortune on entry signs..hwy construction, shrubs…with all the exhaust from vehicles…they will look horrible in a short time.
        I can see an extra light and crosswalk…that makes since. But the rest will be destroyed before it has a chance to grow.
        Is this what you think the less fortunate then those in the Bowl want? A pretty little medium will satisfy them…huh? I don’t think so…you heard it here.

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  12. Robert, great point. Also, I am wondering about the poll participation too. I can say personally that there is a large contingent of businesses who wouldn’t participate in a poll commissioned by the mayor at all, because they oppose him categorically. To them I say, your loss. My business isn’t retail and I’m not affected, but it it were I’d organize against this. This is implied consent and the mayor isn’t squandering it. Kudos to him. The government we deserve.

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    1. Hard to tell if this is a yes for Nelson or a no?? I think he is not big enough for his britches!!!
      Redo this poll.
      Two years and a few days filing for running for a new mayor will begin. Others will challenge Nelson this time. I personally don’t think he will be elected again. Too many dislike him…it appears most of his council doesn’t like or trust him. The citizens for the most part are sick of all of this and money to hire a consultant to find a perfect police chief…still ongoing. Wow.
      As citizens all we see are our growing out of control taxes. City and county. But Edmonds is always somewhere on someone’s utility bills…even cable…
      So the middle class pays them…many of our rich have their money in places the rest of us don’t even know exist. But we don’t have our own accountants.
      Get real Edmonds…Time is running out.

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      1. Nelson knows how to manufacture consent. So, I guess I’m giving him credit for his ability to do whatever he wants and taking no responsibility for anything. He came up with the Edmonds Connector idea, then took credit for scrubbing it. He appointed a Cheif and blamed others for not going along with it. He’ll get reelected too because the town is unable to organize. Mayor Nelson is a pro. He’ll be in Olympia eventually, bragging about how much better Edmonds is after him.

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  13. I would try to get used to this WMS business because I’m pretty sure the current political and economic powers that be in town want to gradually make it a permanent feature of future Edmonds. This is what happens when political and economic powers (left or right) get too cozy in any political jurisdiction. I feel bad for any business that isn’t selling food, drink and entertainment. They obviously aren’t properly valued anymore in Edmonds. Glad I have the health and location and good luck to be able to walk to downtown whenever I want to.

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  14. While I support Walkable Main only 1 day a week instead of on both Saturdays & Sundays, it is not completely fair to blame this decision solely on our Mayor. Mayor Nelson does a good job in many issues, with the support & help of the City Council, for our city. Let’s hope we will come back to the table next year to voice our opinion strongly for wanting 1 day a week only (either Saturday or Sunday but not both) especially for our elderly community members and people with physical challenges who have a hard time parking further away & walking into downtown. Plus it is really important we need to listen to the merchants whose businesses have been hurt by Walkable Main on both Saturdays & Sundays. A compromise would be much better.

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  15. I suppose the next step will be to ban parking on Sunset Ave. – sucking even more joy out of living here.
    Edmonds is broken. It’s become a “gated” community.

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  16. Much of Edmonds, including most of the Bowl area and waterfront will become a playground for the quite rich. More restrictions will be placed on what can and can’t be built and the type of landscaping that will be allowed in the wealth area. Boats and r/vs will be banned from many city streets and private yards in the Bowl. Probably won’t happen in my lifetime, but that’s where we are heeded, especially if the trend continues to not adequately tax extreme wealth and more and more excess wealth gets dumped into luxury housing. This country will soon be 15% very rich and 85% very poor, if things don’t change dramatically. A banana republic, probably run by a dictator. China may very well become the power country of the world. Western Democracy is on a knife’s edge right now and cannot exist without a strong middle class in America.

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  17. Was it just me or was the poll question worded already assuming it was going to happen, just needed to clarify the dates??

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  18. It’s not surprising to me that Mayor Nelson cannot listen to the businesses’ downtown and actually come up with a compromise that seemed fair to all involved. Instead he sends out a survey to the citizens while completely ignoring the business owners who it affects. He polled the wrong crowd. Every household can vote for the entirety of Main Street to be closed because they have no skin in the game. It does not affect them in the slightest.

    I have spoken to the business owners downtown and they have told me that it severely impacts their business. Why would any city do anything that would have a negative impact on it’s business owners? Without them we have no downtown and then all we will have is a bunch of restaurants. And speaking of restaurants, who from that group stood up to support the business owners????? Where does Shubert Ho stand on this issue? I heard he supports the compromise, but I have not seen anything that proves that. Did he have a sign is his window at Salt & Iron that supported the small business owners downtown? I also heard he is a big supporter of the Mayor. Is that accurate? I think we need to dig a little deeper and see if any of this is related or even true. I hate to spread rumors without facts so I am truly interested if anyone has any more accurate information on this. The business owners supported the restaurants and I think the restaurant owners should do the same. If they can’t then we can always talk with our wallets and eat elsewhere : )

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    1. Rod: after commenting myself, then reading all the responses here, yours is the one that actually “turned on the light” for me. It seems right – the business owners are the one’s who’s opinions and thoughts should matter most! Many do extensive marketing before ever opening a business here, they have spent small fortunes to invest in their livelihoods. I have to assume many make the major share of their profit during summer months, when Edmonds is full of folks from far and near. I agree, if we want small businesses, or to be a town known for large amounts of great art and artists and galleries, the Powers That Be should only have one option in whose voices are being really heard.

      And hey! Wasn’t it a relatively short time ago that our City spent plenty of time AND money broadening those sidewalks so pedestrians could walk comfortably 4 abreast?

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  19. For the record, it has been the hard work of downtown businesses, their associations and organizations promoting the charm of Edmonds and encouraging shoppers and diners to come to our lovely city, not the Mayor or his administration! The “Save our Saturdays” effort was an outcry by the retailers firmly indicating they do not want this unsolicited help as it is actually harmful to them. Many businesses have suffered tremendous loss in revenue due the pandemic and instead of just letting the businesses take breather to recuperate, the mayor is force feeding this ineffective antidote.
    We as citizens deserve leadership that uses a fair and systematic process for making decisions. One that starts by identifying the problem they are trying to solve. Basic questions should be answered. For example, why didn’t this press release reveal what the cost of WMS is to taxpayers for staffing and logistics? We should expect honest, impartial analysis where citizens and stakeholders input are considered. While the surveys were slanted and bias, one can clearly see by the second survey that if they asked the proper question: “Do you want WMS for one or more days per week?”. The data clearly shows that the majority (52%) of the participants prefer Walkable Mainstreet one day or less per week while only 48% requested more than one day per week.
    This policy must be reconsidered, and a compromise struck to ensure true equity in this decision-making process.

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  20. This decision made by a few of our city officials is a bitter pill to swallow for many of us downtown retailers who have worked hard for many years to make downtown Edmonds the charming place it has grown to be. How can they sit in their offices and use the results of skewed surveys to make uninformed decisions about our livelihoods?
    We only have to look at sales figures from Saturdays during WMS to know it is not a lucrative event for so many of us, figures that speak even louder when our very livelihoods are at stake.
    This is a sad day for Edmonds. A compromise would have allowed for all to walk away from the issue with respect for one another and a feeling of belonging to a community that worked together.
    FYI com-pro-mise Noun
    An agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions. An ability to listen…
    Hmmm?

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    1. “ A compromise would have allowed for all to walk away from the issue with respect for one another and a feeling of belonging to a community that worked together.”

      Jenny – I don’t think anyone could have said it better.

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  21. If the downtown businesses provide actual sales data to the Mayor and Council regarding sales from 2019, 2020 and 2021, then perhaps they can make their case for changes in 2022. Right now the opinions regarding WMS are emotional only and do not provide facts–nor can they because the pandemic has impacted all businesses. If the numbers are down for 2020 is it because of parking, because people are not buying clothes and jewelry in hard times, or people’s fear of going inside a store? We need the statistics from outside the pandemic time period in order to evaluate what is causing a decrease in business. People have not been able to, or not wanted to go in an enclosed area (e.g restaurant or retail store, during the COVID pandemic. Outdoor dining helped the restaurants.
    This year people are more comfortable going inside stores and more are back to work so have income and reason to buy.
    Hopefully, retailers will work to take advantage of the WMS.
    Yes, I support WMS. But if statistics, outside these pandemic times, prove a negative impact to retailers, I could be convinced otherwise.

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    1. Helen. Don’t you think that if WMS benefited the retail businesses they would support it? Why do they need to provide proof. If it benefited them they would support it. I think their lack of support of WMS says it all. It’s bad for retail and good for restaurants. This is not rocket science. The retailers deserve a piece of the pie as well and the fact that the Mayor and the restaurants didn’t support them is wrong in so many ways. Therefore I will not dine at any restaurant or bar on Main Street. And those who support the retailers in all this should do the same. Money talks!!!

      I think Janelle Cass sums it up perfectly. Her logical approach to things is what we need in Edmonds.

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      1. Rod. I’m not saying WMS benefited the retailers…what I’m saying is WMS may not be the problem.
        The pandemic has impacted shopping indoors and what people shop for ($ allowed for clothes, etc.)
        And Yes, in order to determine what the problem is, statistics make a difference.
        I will continue to support both restaurants and retail stores in Edmonds. To do otherwise, only further hurts our local businesses.

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  22. Helen, that is not completely accurate. Decades ago when several other events were scheduled downtown on Saturdays were are moved. Even the market was okayed by the businesses only if it was over by the log cabin. For exactly the same reason as this restaurant debacle. When I was on the chamber board a couple of decades ago that was a topic. The other main topic was the need for a parking lot. Mandatory 2 story (minimum) and at that time we wanted free parking. The Mayor didn’t think The people in the bowl would like that type of structure. I was on 2 parking committees trying to structure different ideas how we could gain more parking. (There was more committees later on but I deemed hopeless.) you have ferry riders who leave there cars in the city, you have employees and owners and that work at all these businesses who drive here. That in itself takes up lots of parking. You have restaurants that have no parking lots…that takes up lots of parking. All businesses at that time say Saturdays were their biggest day ( It was for my store then) every Saturday event killed off the business. Regulars and my biggest client worked Mon-Friday, Saturday they came to buy. Events..people come to have fun at event and eat but Not buy retail. Do This has been a long standing problem. I put in when Rick Steves wanted this my 2 cents that it would hurt retail..but hey Rick Steves..

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  23. Why can’t the open market be placed along both main street and (??5th) streets….instead of in front of police station?
    If the Mayor is hell bent on closing shopping area for two days to traffic…..
    Why not improve the location of market to help draw people into stores easier? And, Restaurants.
    Also…I see a wasted opportunity to advertise our shops and restaurants to the thousands of people who are both entering and exiting the ferry.
    Need a gift? Hungry? Wonderful 30 minute shopping loop 1 block away!!!
    A few nicely done banners Strung up each way would be effective!!!!

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    1. I suggest you all read Washington State Department of Revenue, Special Event Promoters Requirements, defined under RCW 82.04.3651.
      The Truth be Told……
      In this RCW, (State Law) Special Event promoters who charge vendors $ 200.00 or less to Participate, in other words “rent a table”, VENDORS do not need to collect Sales Tax, and if they do, they can keep it.

      How is this fair to any merchant in Edmonds?

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  24. Their was a survey done when we first had the lock down and the questions were not tainted. People were asked when would you go back to Resturants, Shops, and Personal Services (including nail salons and haircuts).
    Will to go back to: Resturant Shops Personal Svc
    Very Soon 25 35 44
    Wait up to 2 weeks 21 24 18
    Wait up to a Month 21 21 17
    Wait up to 2 Months 34 20 21

    The above is for all ages comb combined and suggests many wanted to get their nails done and get a hair cut. But would be willing to shop a bit sooner than eat out.

    When sorted by over/under age 50. Younger were more willing to get out than older folks. We had just seen a bunch of old folks die in care facilities and in total 80+% of deaths were older folks. When gender was taken into account men wanted a hair cut a little faster than women wanted their nails done. But for shops is was the same but restaurants men were more willing to go earlier.

    Yes these were initial responses when we first got locked down and did not know as much about CV and vaccines. But it does show how people were thinking then. Some of that thinking may still be influencing the behavior of young vs old and male vs female. The data at that time showed restaurants needed more help initially than shops.

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    1. The data did not line up as typed but just look at the categories Resturants, Shops, and Personal Services and use move in your mind the numbers under each. For example Rest willing to go back soon was 25% Shops willing to go back very soon was 35% and Personal Services willing to go back very soon was 44%. I have the spread sheet with these results but not able to post a link. But you get the idea.

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  25. I suspect Covid merely hastened the push and opportunity for trying to turn much of the downtown area into a European style walking mall. Sort of the perfect storm to bring about the political and economic dreams and agendas of some of our citizens. Edmonds is not going to become a less desirable place for people, who can afford to, to move here, and it is going to become more and more expensive to live here as a result. It will become more exclusive and more restrictive in the process. Look at the legislation coming out of our city government, if you have any doubts about this happening.

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  26. No voices for the disabled? The closure of Main pushes available parking far from the center of town, and for some of us, this simply and bluntly means “Don’t come to Edmonds on a Saturday.”

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    1. Nathaniel:

      The release mentions implementation of designated ADA stalls, and people can still drive to the roundabout (allowing pickup and drop-off in the geographical center of town). Seeing how the decision on WMS has been made, why not devote some column inches into offering up some constructive suggestions?

      Honestly, if you look at Richard Burnett’s comment above (the third one posted, on May 04, 6:01 am) he seems to be arguing that it is already “impossible” to find parking on/around Main Street on Saturdays. If that is the case, then maybe your problem already exists and has little to do with the coming WMS.

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      1. Thank you for your response! But some of us don’t have someone to drop us off at the circle, and the parking situation has gotten worse and worse – and I needed to vent some frustration!.

        More ADA spots is a very good idea. Mr. Burnett’s comment makes a good point – parking downtown is bad enough that I have fairly often simply gone back home; but the closure exacerbates the problem by moving the available parking just that much further from the center. I wonder if it is time to give serious though to finding a way to provide a parking garage somewhere near the center?

        A friend of mine worked on a commission to address similar problems in the UK. One recommendation was that shopping centers needed to be placed in the towns, rather than outside them, and that parking had to be provided. In Wakefield for example, a fairly large shopping center was built near the cathedral. extending below street level in a multi-level design that limited the size of the area affected. The location cut much of the need for more parking, and additional parking was built in to the design of the center.

        I’m not advocating a shopping center in Edmonds! But I do think we need to think about a parking garage, not least as WMS will be bringing more people into Edmonds, and our wonderful little city is not going to stop growing. We need to be proactive about parking.

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        1. Nathaniel:

          I admit that I am a proponent of WMS, but as someone who is in his 60’s I too see the need to accommodate those who have ADA-related challenges, and I am very interested in seeing what the city has in mind for designated spaces. I personally would like to see each block of 5th on either side of Main Street be entirely dedicated to ADA spaces during WMS (for disabled/senior citizens this would actually be an improvement on the current downtown weekend parking situation). That road is flat, centrally located, and very close to many of the retail shops affected. The rest of us can walk a few blocks.

          I like your input regarding what they did in Wakefield – I too believe that we don’t need to reinvent a solution in isolation, but should instead look to other, available examples of where creative thinking has worked. I also don’t know if a parkade is viable for our little town – it would be fearsomely expensive to construct, it would require a large footprint (of available land) in order to actually make a positive difference, it would need to be close enough to downtown that people would actually pay to use it, and if it were to be “pay parking” then many would still troll the surrounding streets looking for “free” parking (or is the idea to then turn our street parking into metered parking?). I’m not saying that it isn’t doable (as you pointed out, downtown access/parking is going to get worse anyway), but the parkade option has some serious hoops to jump through before it ever happens.

          Bottom line for me: WMS has to be inclusive of all of us.

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  27. Would it be possible, I wonder, to require any new commercial building over a certain size to include underground parking? The additional expense might be defrayed by the city, to be recouped through (reasonable!) parking fees, over a period of time?

    By the way, a shout-out to the businesses, such as the US Bank, who offer free parking after hours!

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  28. We had visitors from Capital Hill the other night for dinner for the first time in seemingly forever. They drove through downtown Edmonds and were so complimentary about how vibrant and fun it looked–unlike all the boarded up and closed businesses on Capital Hill or downtown Seattle where they work.

    Edmonds is traditionally been a business-friendly community–no local B&O tax, good support organizations such as ED!, Rotary and the Chamber.

    Why would we want to run the risk of having downtown Edmonds with all of our fun retailers (as well as restaurants) start to look like central business districts in Seattle. The needs of all businesses–retailers and restaurants–should be the sole driver of this kind of decision. No decision should be made that puts any type of business at risk both in downtown Edmonds and the surrounding communities. Being a locally owned business is hard enough without putting up barriers.

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  29. For us old timers it is sad to see “Mayberry” slowly but surely turning into Kirkland but it has been and will continue to be the scenario of change. We used to dig clams and cut firewood on Marina beach on any low tide. We fished for “bottom fish” at the Underwater Park. We went to school at the ECA and studied and read books at the Carnagie Museum. My friend and I walked up the tracks toward Richmond Beach with our shotguns and hunted ducks off the beach. We took our rifles strapped to our bikes on the ferry and thought be were hunting Bear near Kingston. In the summer we dived into the ferry wash and pretended we were on Sea Hunt the S.C.U.B.A. t.v. show. The owner of the Princess would shut down the movie on Friday night and lecture us on bad behavior when we got out of control in her estimation. We hung out at Bill the barber’s downtown for gossip and bought cherry cokes at the candy store next to the Princess. The burgers at Day’s Drive in on Main St. were the best. That’s when we all got along and thanked our lucky stars we lived in “Mayberry.”

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