Business owners see negative impact of amended resolution for ‘Feet on the Street’

BAY CITY, Mich. (WNEM) – The Bay City Commission voted for an amended resolution to close roads throughout the downtown area for “Feet on the Street.”

The debate over the “Feet on the Street” program on Third Street in Bay City has been decided.

The popular initiative that was sprung out of necessity during the pandemic will return to half of the block between Water and Saginaw Streets.

Even with the compromise, some business owners are not happy.

“They’re closing the east side of the street, which is where my business is. So, the west side of the street is where there’s parking, but you still don’t go past my building. So, my building is still blocked,” said Perfectly Imperfect Creations owner Melissa Bergey.

In a unanimous vote the Bay City Commission voted to adopt the proposal to temporarily close traffic from the alley east of Water Street to Saginaw Street on Third from Memorial Day until Labor Day.

Bergy said it is not a compromise at all.

“Last year because they were working down the alleys was carrying furniture to Saginaw Street and to Water Street for people. Because there was no access,” Bergey said.

“Feet on the Street” was launched in 2020 to help businesses expand their seating outdoors because of pandemic restrictions. Commissioner Jesse Dockett said this was the best option to accommodate most of the requests from business owners.

“I hope that they understand that we were trying to do our best in order to support the entirety of the business community on third street and, and drive business there,” Dockett said.

To help increase traffic to the businesses on Third Street, Dockett said he is working with the downtown management board to organize some activities on the street during the day to drive traffic to the area.

“We’re trying to make everybody happy, but you know, sometimes the best you can get as most of the way there and we’re really hope that they understand and they’re supportive of their neighbors and we make one cohesive neighborhood,” Dockett said.