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How Walkable Main Street killed my business | Guest View


Last updated 9/30/2021 at 8:53am

Editor's note: The following was sent to Mayor Nelson, Economic Development and Cultural Services Director Patrick Doherty, and City Council members.

I wanted to share my experience with Walkable Main Street for the 2021 summer season here at the Randall J Hodges Photography Gallery. Financially, it was a disaster for my gallery. I will just focus on Saturdays. Our traffic was down over 60%, but our sales were down over 83%, making Saturday, our normal busiest day of the week, our slowest day of the week on average. By far.

(Comparing that to) the same Saturdays in 2018, I was down $16,300.

(Comparing that to) the same Saturdays in 2019, I was down $14,800.

This is the same for the same time period since I have been open. Down over 83%

We are a small business. This is more than just a small shortfall. This is a crushing blow to my business. I have averaged the two and attached an invoice for $14,900.

Please forward this on to the appropriate person for payment. Please make the check payable to Randall J Hodges Photography, and mail to 317 Main St. Thank you.

Beyond the lost sales, I have a few comments and will keep them brief.

This turned Edmonds into a party place, and not a respectable place to do business, or to shop for my customers. Instead of customers walking right by my open front door and gazing in my windows, they walk 20 feet from my storefront, and do not even notice me. No one who did happen to come in want to shop, because they could not park close enough to pick up their purchase.

I have had many of my regular customers just flat out tell me they will not come downtown on the weekends while this craziness is going on. Kids running around screaming out of control, some dogs running around off lease, attacking other dogs.

Bicycles speeding by, and skateboarders bumping into people. Then the music would start a half a block down from my business in the afternoon, and I lost all hope of anyone coming in, or any chance we could have a reasonable conversation anyway.

This turned Edmonds into a joke. Not the awesome downtown that people used to like to walk the sidewalks, looking in all the cute and awesome shops and stores. No one came to shop. Just to walk and enjoy free stuff. Great for a park, not for a business.

Please tell me Edmonds will not do this again next year, or ever again.

Return Edmonds into what it once was. A unique, old-school style downtown meant for shoppers and for business alike. A cute and unique downtown in the heart of the city. Not a party spot.

Edmonds itself has enough to offer as is with its beautiful waterfront, unique shops and amazing restaurants.

I beg you, please, please please ... Never again. My business will not survive another summer like this one. COVID is bad enough; what the City of Edmonds did is far worse.

COVID is no one's fault, but this was done to our business by choice.

Please return Edmonds to Edmonds and end Walkable Main Street for good.

Randall J Hodges
Randall J Hodges Photography


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