Driving down Main Avenue in beautiful Durango, the “bump-outs” reminded me of a construction zone, in a flea market, surrounded by a homeless encampment. I wonder if all the other businesses are happy with subsidizing these restaurants? I mean, if your square footage is increased by 10% or 20% because you have used the public space, are those businesses getting an increased property tax bill? Their overhead has gone down while their income has increased.
The ragtag picture viewed upon arrival in Durango aside, people have less incentive to shop the non-bump-out stores as the overall traffic has decreased and parking has done the same. These taxpayer-funded giveaways to mostly restaurants was a great idea at the start of the pandemic. Now, they are an eyesore and grossly unfair to the other merchants lining Main Avenue.
As far as this great idea to “re-imagine” downtown goes, why is the city hellbent on destroying the charm and beauty of one of Colorado's premier downtowns? Some would say to look at how the 16th Street Mall in Denver rejuvenated that area or how Grand Junction’s empty old Main Street was injected with new life. I would point out that Durango's Main Avenue hasn't been empty or in need of rejuvenation for years.
Let's recall politicians who advocate for fixing what isn't broken. Anyone been to downtown Prescott, Arizona? It's vibrant and hasn't been changed in decades.
Arthur Louis Wyman