By Suzanne Chevens

Published by Telluride Daily Planet

May 14,2020

Telluride Town Council again discussed the concept of making Colorado Avenue a pedestrian area, as they continue to explore ways to support a local economy reeling from the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing public health orders issued by state and county officials. Tuesday’s regular council meeting marked the second in a series of discussions surrounding a potential Main Street closure.

The discussion was once again led by town projects manager Lance McDonald who framed it in terms of logistics such as parking and deliveries, while addressing the challenges of doing business in a climate of social distancing and limited crowd size. The main concept is for allowing shops, restaurants and bars to expand business onto adjoining sidewalks and public rights of way.

“The understood interest of council in this matter is to explore ways to assist local businesses during the COVID pandemic by potentially providing an opportunity to expand their businesses into the Colorado Avenue right-of-way to offset potential reductions in permitted occupancy resulting from social distancing requirements,” McDonald read from a memo to council last week.

Council members reported that they had each spoken to numerous Telluride business license holders and offered feedback, some of it conflicting.

“Generally, people are not in favor of closing Colorado Avenue to traffic,” said council member Adrienne Christy.

But council member Geneva Shaunette reported another side of the coin.

“Restaurants and bars are very interested in more outdoor seating,” she said. “I heard overwhelming support for this.”

The line seemed to be drawn between traditional retail businesses and those offering food or drink.

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