How downtown Duluth is doing from the folks at Sidewalk Days

[anvplayer video=”5184939″ station=”998130″]

A busy start to Sidewalk Days meant hundreds of people walked down Superior Street on Wednesday.

WDIO took this opportunity to ask folks what they think about the changing downtown landscape.

Ed and Miriam have lived here for 36 years, and love Sidewalk Days. But they do not love how different things are, compared to years ago.

Miriam said, “It was so bustling, with individual stores to go into. I miss that. I think what’s happening now, it’s going to have to reinvent itself.”

They walked down on Tuesday, and saw four people lying on the sidewalks in the space of three blocks. Ed told us, “Some were screaming. It’s a difficult thing to face.”

Mayor Emily Larson convened a task force last year to address some of the challenges, like the increase in homelessness.

With so many people working from home now, there is more empty and vacant space downtown.

But for Sarah Curtiss, the Executive Director of Men as Peacemakers, it’s a great place to work.

“What I really love about the improvements after COVID is that it feels more alive, especially in the summer. I feel people are more present, at least during the business day,” she told us.

“What I love about the atmosphere is the sense of community. Downtown is the great equalizer,” she added.

Here’s the task force’s recommendations: