I predict gridlock downtown.

Years ago, it seemed like a good idea to schedule special events downtown in the summer. Like lots of downtowns, Bend was having trouble. Slowly over the years we recovered.

Meanwhile events continued to be added and extended until now most of the weekends of the summer the streets are closed off.

Not only isn't this necessary anymore, I think it is actively harmful to most businesses. We have no trouble attracting crowds downtown on the weekends. On a normally busy weekend we can do quite well. For a store that for years was off the beaten track, having so much foot traffic is a blessing.

However, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. You want busy, but you don't want gridlock.

I think we are rapidly approaching gridlock. I predict that this summer we will be locked into a situation where there are so many people that regulars will actively avoid the area, that stores won't be able to deal with customers effectively, and we will become an amusement park.

This is my annual futile plea to slow it down.