Hales extends weekend street closure in Old Town

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by KGW staff

NWCN.com

Posted on April 8, 2013 at 7:14 AM

Updated Monday, Apr 8 at 11:17 AM

PORTLAND – Mayor Charlie Hales extended the weekend street closure in Old Town Portland for another 60 days.

He said before he will make them permanent, he wants to hear from local businesses to see if the closures have been helping.

More: Old Town begins car-free weekends

Police said Old Town, Portland’s entertainment district, is the epicenter for calls in the city. In December, the city started shutting down streets there, to see if it would curb crimes.  The area has been closed to driving and parking on Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.

"It was interesting. It was tough. It's going to be great to see what summer's going to be like," said Andrew Guthrie, owner of Hobo’s Restaurant and Lounge in Old Town Portland.

He wants to see how things shake out now that the road closures are continuing.

"My dinner customers don't like it because of the lack of parking, but then I've gained more of a nightlife crowd late-late night. But you know, you can't take away that much parking and not have some effect," he said.

Across the street at Barrel Room, managers said the move has been good for business, but they want to see what happens when the warmer months arrive.

“The only issue that we've had is that traditionally January and February have been slow months," said Kit Pfeifer at Barrel Room.

Police said the number of incidents of crime has been down, and they, too are curious to see what happens in the warmer months.

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