Cole Street closures | Letters

Email letters to

Cole Street closures

In response to the article last week about the ongoing closures of Cole Street. I don’t hate the Cole Street closures. What I take exception to is closures each weekend without a significant event. The streets in Enumclaw are owned by the taxpaying citizens of this community. Closing them from Friday at 2 p.m. until Sunday night disrupts basic traffic routes and is very frustrating. This has limited the average citizen’s access to their community and overtime has changed consumer habits in town. Road closed signs framing empty streets are not inviting to both out-of-town customers and residents.

My family and I have had the privilege of serving this community for over 40 years at The Lee. When I first started digging into the ongoing street closures earlier this summer, I was not surprised by the number of people who communicated to me their frustration with closed streets without any significant events or foot traffic. At the time, I was concerned about the decline that I was seeing in my business — my longtime customers do not want to come to town on the weekends. Now after talking to many customers and residents, I am concerned about the community and their right as Enumclaw citizens to be able to access businesses and services on the main street of town.

After conversations with some of the city council members along with some of the members of Enumclaw Business Owners Collective Group, it is evident that there is a strong desire to keep Cole Street closures ongoing and perhaps indefinitely. Comparing future Enumclaw to towns such as Leavenworth as a destination spot appears to be a shared vision.

We don’t share that vision. Enumclaw has always been a great community that has supported a bevy of longtime successful businesses, like The Lee. The city has granted this Enumclaw Business Owners Collective an unprecedented open-ended permit to close the public owned streets every weekend without a plan or an event in most cases.

This special permit for closing Cole Street was enacted in response to the COVID-19 mandates, which were removed over 2 years ago. It is time for Enumclaw to get back to normal. The town we’ve always known and loved.

Diane Mills

Owner, The Lee Restaurant