To the Editor,
The controversy about streateries in Edmonds seems to be an argument between two groups of people.
On one side are those who welcome the streateries because they make it possible to enjoy the many downtown restaurants in Edmonds without sitting indoors with unmasked people during a pandemic. This group can see that the streateries are a key factor in the remarkable survival of so many Edmonds restaurants after almost two years of a pandemic that has decimated restaurants in other places. They also realize that our restaurants, and the customers they bring to our downtown, are perhaps the most important factor in preserving Edmonds as a dynamic place and environment that benefits all retail businesses during an unprecedented crisis.
On the other side is a group of angry people who hate the streateries because they identify them with the mayor and councilmembers who made them possible when COVID-19 first threatened to cripple our downtown. These people are trying to stir up political grievances by repeating bogus arguments about empty streateries, about supposed unfairness to restaurants that don’t need streateries, and about lost parking spaces for seniors and handicapped people who, in fact, are among the most vulnerable members of our community to the ongoing and growing dangers of indoor dining.
I am a senior, and I have taken handicapped friends out to dinner in the streateries. At the worst, I drop them off at the restaurant, park on a side street, and walk a block or two to join them. All of us should be grateful for the vision and leadership of our mayor and some of our councilmembers, for the streateries and for having done so much to preserve Edmonds as an exciting place to live in and visit.