Two alleys in Commerce could become pedestrian-only areas.
The Commerce Downtown Development Authority discussed the two alleys — on High Street (beside State Street Bicycles) and View St. (behind the Oxford building). — at its Feb. 22 meeting.
Main Street/DDA director Natalie Thomas said some larger trucks have used the High St. alley as a cut-through, resulting in repeated damage to a flower bed.
Both the High St. and View St. alleys are often used as cut-through roads by locals, but there are some safety concerns in those two alleys and at the intersections.
The decision to close the alleys to car traffic ultimately lies with the Commerce City Council.
If approved, the alleys could be used as "pocket parks" with tables and chairs that could be used by the public.
The DDA also discussed recommending that the Wilhard St. alley become a one-way street.
EASTER EVENT CHANGES POSSIBLE
Commerce plans to proceed with its annual Easter event, but like most aspects of life during COVID-19 times, it may look a bit different.
The DDA discussed the city’s annual Easter event at its meeting on Monday, Feb. 22.
Traditionally, children and parents assemble on Georgia Ave., then parade through downtown and end at the First Baptist Church of Commerce lawn, where an Easter egg hunt is held.
This year, the town plans to hold the parade during the April 3 event, but it may opt out of the egg hunt amid concerns over large crowds congregating at the church.
Thomas noted in an email on Tuesday, Feb. 23, that no final decision has been made on the nature of this year's event.
During the DDA discussion, Thomas said the governor’s office has advised that gatherings of 50 or more have to be socially distanced. That likely wouldn’t be possible to do given the size of the crowds the egg hunt has drawn in the past.
Thomas said the town faced a similar decision for the 2020 Christmas parade. She contacted the state about holding the parade and was asked if the town could guarantee that attendees would wear a mask and socially distance.
Commerce wound up cancelling the Christmas parade and city leaders caught flack on social media for doing so (as did surrounding municipalities).
It’s a no-win situation for city leaders when choosing to hold or cancel events. Either decision is likely to draw criticism from the public.
That reality was evident in the DDA’s discussion Monday with most of the board’s members citing concerns with balancing the public’s safety while allowing local children to celebrate the holiday.
Holding the parade, but cancelling the egg hunt, is a potential compromise.
If the egg hunt is cancelled, the DDA discussed plans to provide eggs and candy to participants.