By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,328)
The City is considering closing a portion of Congress Street in the Arts District for the First Friday Art Walk to vehicular traffic. The first closure could come as soon as Friday, June 7th Tim Honey, board member of Creative Portland, said at this afternoon’s meeting. That closed portion would run from Congress Square to Center Street. The closure would run from 6 pm – 9 pm. Honey also reported that the matter could be taken up by the City Council because there is interest at that level.
The matter has been on the “CP” agenda previously where disagreement has been expressed by two members. Chairman Andy Graham and City Councilor David Marshall clashed over the subject at the CP last meeting two months ago. Graham said that closing at least part of Congress Street was “the right thing to do” while Marshall expressed opposition citing the disruption such a decision would have on the city’s bus service. Today Honey said that the buses would just be rerouted during that three hour period.
If the city approves the idea, it’s expected it be a one time occurrence followed by an analysis focused on whether or not to make it a permanent part of the monthly First Friday Art Walk.
City councilor David Marshall, an artist, did not respond to a request for comment on the subject.