Public invited to take survey on downtown Edmonds streateries

Rusty Pelican streatery

The City of Edmonds is inviting Edmonds residents to participate in an online survey about the downtown’s streateries program, which since last year has permitted structures for outdoor dining to accommodate the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/r/BSQN2PN. It will be open until 8 a.m. Monday, Dec. 6.

The Edmonds City Council adopted an ordinance Dec. 15, 2020, that permits the temporary outdoor restaurant structures in on-street parking spaces. That ordinance is set to sunset on Dec. 31, but development services staff is recommending that it be extended.

The measure is set for discussion at the Nov. 23 council meeting, with a public hearing on Dec. 7.

The Washington Hospitality Association has asked the City of Edmonds to consider continuing the streateries program through summer 2022. The letter cites a number of reasons for the request, including financial hardship, reluctance of some customers to return to indoor eating, worker and supply chain issues, and continued struggles in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

In a Monday press release announcing the survey, the city stated that “streateries were intended to help restaurants by providing outdoor dining options that would continue to attract residents and visitors to downtown Edmonds and where restaurant patrons could feel more comfortable in the fresh air. The COVID pandemic is not over, and some officials expect another winter spike in cases.”

“For these reasons, the public is being asked their opinions on potential extension of the streateries program into 2022,” the press release said.

The city council will review the results of the survey, public comment, and other information presented by staff to consider whether to extend the streateries program into 2022, the city said. A city council decision anticipated at its Dec. 14 regular meeting, the city said.

30 Replies to “Public invited to take survey on downtown Edmonds streateries”

  1. Support our beloved Edmonds restaurants in allowing an extension of streateries thru summer of 2022. There’s a lot of making up to do!

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    1. The pandemic is not gone yet, so I support the steateries in Edmonds (and I use them) as long as is deemed necessary, to allow outdoor dining & drinking for folks who can’t be compromised or don’t feel comfortable being indoors. These structures were meant to be a temporary thing, not permanent.
      Let them stay until it is safe for everyone to return to indoor dining. Let our businesses thrive for now with these in-place.

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    2. I would really like Very much to see the streeteries continue well into 2022 as the pandemic is not over as of yet.

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  2. Do not continue the shanty streateries on Main street and others. They are an abomination to the city. Just who are developmental services staff? I always hear “let’s ask staff to look unto it”. Who hires staff? Who accounts for them? Taking a survey is a lot of bunk. Look at Sunset Avenue. A survey said no, the city says yes. If people are afraid of going inside restaurants, I say your loss. Restaurants do not seem to be hurting. There is no longer a hardship. Stop the madness of a few people. Close the shanties.

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  3. Right on, Annette! Same with the Housing Commission surveys. Staff pushes their agenda, overrides citizens. It’s time for the shanties to go. They are blocking sidewalks, taking up parking, and sitting in the road waiting for a vehicle to plow into them. They are ugly and a menace to society. Return the public streets and sidewalks to the citizens! Restore Edmonds charm and beauty!

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  4. It is time for the outside Dining Forts to go. They were never meant to be long-term and are an eye sore. Served their purpose and time to move on.

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  5. The Hospitality Assn letter is quoted as saying these are needed for “labor and supply chain issues.” To me this does not make sense. If the purpose of the streeteries is to boost sales, wouldn’t additional sales put additional strain on labor and supplies?

    Regardless, take the survey and we need to demand that the results are made public so we can compare the citizens’ feelings to the council’s eventual action.

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  6. First, I really appreciate the city reaching out to ask citizens their thoughts on the streateries. With that said, I am worried that a large part of the population won’t know about the opportunity to weigh in. In the past election Alicia Crank mentioned HOW we are collecting input from the community counts and that really resonated with me. I appreciate this newsletter but I have family and friends that don’t read this (due to their frustrations with the comments section) so how are they supposed to learn about the survey.
    I suspect the results will be from a small slice of our community.

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  7. So the Washington Hospitality Association recommends extending this eyesore, all for the benefit of its members. We call that “lobbying”. Who will stand for all the independent businesses owners whose customers cannot find reasonable free parking options and therefore have reduced patronage? And who will stand for the Edmonds citizens who own the streets, who currently pay for their maintenance and safety?

    All summer long our leaders block vehicles from town so that a few people can walk in the streets licking their ice cream cones while shoppers are excluded from the streets. Now we’ve had 18 months of exile so that eateries can control the streets.

    These streets are not owned by the lobbyist or the restaurants. Neither are they owned by the few visitors who wander on foot. Tear down those shacks and return the street and sidewalks — and more importantly, the charm — to Edmonds. It’s way past time!

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  8. The city needs to just stop doing these kinds of surveys. Their bias is so ridiculously transparent, and any reliance on them just diminishes the council and staff’s credibility. The blatant example here is question 3:
    If outdoor dining in streateries is no longer available, which of the following options most closely describes your expected eating/drinking habits in Downtown Edmonds during the first six months of 2022?

    _ I will likely continue to visit Downtown restaurants and cafes just as frequently, choosing to eat indoors
    _ I will likely visit Downtown restaurants and cafes less frequently as I am less comfortable eating indoors
    _ I will likely choose to visit restaurants and cafes elsewhere that continue to have outdoor dining options

    There is no option to say you will visit MORE often. I have avoided any restaurant with a streatery for the last 6 months, and will continue to do so. Leaving off that option allows the city to claim “no one said that removing them would increase their dining downtown.
    An undergraduate social sciences major would know how to make a proper, unbiased survey.

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    1. I noticed that too, Brian. The staff writes surveys to elicit the results they want. I also have avoided restaurants with streateries from the time they were constructed. I won’t support businesses that take over public property. If they want outdoor eating they should provide it on their own property if possible, like many of the restaurants do. If they already had outdoor eating, they shouldn’t have streateries as well. That’s greedy. I have also avoided Main Street and Fifth Avenue because of the streateries. They are an obstacle on the sidewalk and in the roads. When people pass them, they have to dodge patrons, wait staff and other pedestrians. They are not safe for multiple reasons, including Covid. When the streateries are gone, I will return to the restaurants and downtown Edmonds. I’m sure others feel the same way but the survey doesn’t allow for this perspective. No place to comment either.

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  9. ” I have family and friends that don’t read this (due to their frustrations with the comments section).”

    I have friends who feel exactly the same, but what can MEN do? Much as I get upset and constant wrangling and some rude comments, I appreciate the open forum. As to the survey – you might think of doing what I’m doing – simply forwarding the link to the survey to friends who don’t read the paper.

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  10. We have used and enjoyed the streateries from the beginning, however I do believe that their “permit” needs to sunset at some point in the coming year. That said, there’s another consideration/concern. It is just a matter of time before a vehicle accidently strikes a streaterie and (heaven forbid) there are injuries. We have been sitting outside on numerous occasions only to have a vehicle pass by just feet away from us at seemingly high speed (particularly unnerving on Dayton street). A streaterie is no match for an errant large truck hurtling by at 25-30mph. When that day comes, this whole discussion will take a wholly different turn.

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  11. They have served their purpose……time to collapse the street dining areas and move on I think. Happy they helped keep restaurants going however,

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  12. I don’t live in Edmonds but I am a frequent visitor because I live minutes away from the bowl. I clicked on the survey out of curiosity. The survey did not ask if I was a resident of Edmonds and succesfully completed the survey.
    “The City of Edmonds is inviting Edmonds residents to participate in an online survey about the downtown’s streateries program, which since last year has permitted structures for outdoor dining to accommodate the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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  13. Okay spoiler alert, in regards to the survey, anyone with the minimal knowledge of computers knows that one person could take the survey once and be done as a good citizen would or game the system and take it 100’s of times, skewing the the results and creating useless data that should never be used to help shape public policy. Am I really the only one who sees this critical flaw. I also agree with Rita, If I live in say in Ohio and take the survey should my opinion help shape policy in Edmonds?

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  14. There’s a pretty good concern that the Streeteries are a safety hazard. Is that how safety concerns are addressed in this wacky town is by survey?

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  15. The survey questions are not designed to elicit any meaningful feedback. The “feedback” allegedly sought does address the most prevalent concerns: Lost parking, pedestrian obstruction, aesthetics, unintended but actual unfair economics between restaurant – non restaurant. We are no longer “deadmonds” but we all know the natural and understandable downturn in restaurant traffic from now until latter spring. I don’t know the best way to support all downtown retail – which I very much want to do. But to send out this shallow, superficial, waste of time and money “survey,” in the name of engagement and outreach, is so disappointing and so predictable. Reasonable, fair, collaborative Edmonds citizens want to work this problem (and many others ). Please don’t waste our time, OUR MONEY, our intelligence with such an objectively inadequate, and quite honestly, embarrassing work product.

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  16. I am greatly opposed to continuing the outdoor dining in the street. The structures are ugly, taking up public parking. I can’t believe that breathing in a plastic enclosure will keep us Covid free.

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  17. I think they served their purpose in the short run. It is fun to sit outside and people watch or sit out with your dog. Towns and cities in Europe have winter outdoor seating, but are not retrofitted to squeeze in haphazardly. It does look like shantytown especially in the daylight. The parking issue is real. I always parked behind chanterelle, now it’s paid only… and I have yet to see a car parked in it. You could usually count on a spot there when so many others have the structures on them. Maybe out of towners use it on the weekends. Sure makes it rough for locals to get to appointments and the folks working in the businesses are constantly having to run out and move, plus piling up tickets. The city is definitely more interested in the visitors,bars, and restaurants bring in $$$. I don’t blame the restaurants, those outdoor areas kept them going, but they are not very attractive, however nicely built. We did enjoy the one at Engalls quite a bit this winter through summer, so I am very torn about what to do with them all. I guess I’d vote to dismantle unless someone comes up with way to make them more attractive, and give us back the parking lot.

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  18. The “streeteries” are a wonderful idea and I vote to keep them for now. Especially here in Snohomish County where diners are not required to show proof of vaccination, I do not want to eat indoors, with mask off, exposing myself to folks who have not been vaccinated. There’s a reason that covid infection rates are twice as high in Snohomish County as King County! It seems to me that there is a bit of snobbishness in the view that somehow Edmonds is too elite to offer this temporary solution to a very real danger, simply because they spoil the view.

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    1. There are plenty of Edmond’s choices of restaurants and cafes that have outside off-street patios in the downtown as well as other neighborhoods that are actually paying rent for that convenience. Why not support these businesses? They come with the added bonuses of not having cars whizzing by you in the street, not taking up scare parking spots, not having pedestrians dodging around them, and yes not having questionable aesthetics.

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  19. We went to dinner at Rory’s on Tuesday night and the place was packed. We got the last available table. The streeteries are no longer needed as restaurants can operate at full capacity now. They were a temporary fix, and time is up. Also, anyone who has ever tried to enter 5th Ave. coming from 4th, knows that the Salt & Iron structure blocks your ability to see what’s coming up from the ferry until you are half way out into the street. Not safe at all. Time to go.

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  20. It was brought to my attention that not answering one question on the survey could be used to toss it out so…..I hope we can make sure council won’t allow that to happen.

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  21. We are asked to shop locally during the holidays, sounds great. But when you can’t find parking to get to the retailers, people will go where parking is available. So I’m for the “shanties” to be removed..

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