Right now businesses in Bend need help. Many have had to hit the snooze button for far too long.
Customers are what they need the most. But drive into downtown Bend Friday morning and you could see how the city is pitching in. It is temporarily allowing some businesses to sprawl out into parking spots, giving them more flexibility to operate under distancing requirements. As a bonus, being outdoors can lower the risk of spreading the virus.
Early Friday morning city staff put in some barricades in parking spaces in front of the restaurants 900 Wall and Joolz. They are set up on the east side of Wall Street in front of both restaurants and on the north side of Minnesota Avenue in front of 900 Wall. The closures of those parking spots are planned to last until Oct. 1. More similar applications are being considered by the city.
For all the good this city policy may create, there are trade-offs. Less parking is not something everybody wants. Different businesses and offices may have conflicting interests. And the city has to ensure that it does not limit access for disabled individuals or emergency vehicles.
But members of the Bend City Council and city staff have tried to find solutions for businesses that want to work with them. That’s just what the community needs. What else could the city do?