Sign spinner advertises for downtown North Bend businesses, affected by construction work

  • Friday, September 8, 2017 4:45pm
  • News

Downtown North Bend businesses are open, despite the construction work along North Bend Way. That’s the message the city of North Bend wants to get out to everyone who drives through town.

That’s also the message on the whirling and flipping sign that Tony Sims is using to direct traffic to those businesses, from his post at the corner of Bendigo and North Bend Way. Although North Bend Way between Bendigo and Ballarat Avenue is currently torn up for an infrastructure project to bury utility lines and replace the sidewalks and street trees, shoppers can still reach the businesses on those blocks through the alleys behind the shops.

Sims, a sign spinner from AArrow Sign Spinners, is doing his best to let people know that. He also sings, dances and does cartwheels to draw attention to downtown.

“I love being here! The people passing by and working here are so nice,” he said Friday. “One business owner (Nancy Wray from Birches Habitat) even brought me lunch.”

His appearance, scheduled for the next week or so, was in response to comments from two business owners at the Sept. 5 North Bend City Council meeting, about the impact of construction on their businesses.

Steve Teodosiadis of Georgia’s Bakery and Sharon Hockenbury of Twin Peaks Nutrition and Wellness both said their business had already been reduced significantly, and urged the city council to do more in helping the businesses that are in the center of the plaza construction project.

“We were promised an effort by the city to bring people downtown,” Teodosiadis told the council, through a variety of outreach methods, but he said the only thing he’d seen was a single 8-1/2 by 11-inch piece of paper, taped to a sawhorse, announcing that businesses were open.

“I was hoping for a bigger effort from the city,” he added.

Hockenbury seconded his comments, adding that more public parking was the greatest need.

After hearing from the business owners, several council members commented that they did want the city to take additional steps to support the businesses.

“We wanted to be proactive so we put up signage and sandwich boards stating businesses are open and hung 40 balloons on the signs before construction began,” Mark Rigos, North Bend Public Works Director, said. “After hearing public comments, I decided to also hire a sign spinner to draw even more attention to the open businesses.”

The goal of the downtown plaza is to create a safer environment for pedestrians and traffic through the downtown corridor.

“The city is doing what we can to help promote downtown businesses during construction,” Rigos explained. “Please tell your friends and family to come down and support your local businesses.”

Rigos said he spoke with Snoqualmie Valley School District Transportation Director, Jim Garhart, to inquire if the buses were experiencing issues getting children to school during the construction.

“Jim told me they are not experiencing any major issues navigating the construction and that they are looking forward to seeing the completed project,” Rigos said.

East North Bend Way from Bendigo Boulevard to Ballarat Avenue North will be closed until Sept. 26. Traffic is being detoured around the intersection with signage to direct people around the project site during the closure. Businesses remain open during construction.

More in News

(Right to left) Gabrielle Karber, Ritusha Samal and Teagan Grabish show off the disaster preparedness poster their group developed as part of a short activity at FEMA. Photo courtesy of FEMA Region 10, Jeffrey Markham
FEMA encourages year-round disaster preparedness

National Preparedness Month, on the tail end of hurricane season, encourages locals to be mindful.

An illustration of the difference between equality and equity. Photo courtesy of King County
King County launches reporting website for equity efforts

The new site details efforts and shortcomings as the county attempts to minimize inequity.

Snoqualmie Council asks more questions about the Salish expansion

The city council gave staff a list of questions about the Salish expansion at their Sept. 10 meeting

Snoqualmie pedestrian crossing work underway

Union strike did not signifcantly slow project build

Eastside Fire and Rescue receives donation of $35,000 drone

Eastside Fire and Rescue held a test flight of their new drone donated by supporter Barbara Hamer

Floating canopy, student driver, illegal camper investigated | Police blotter

The Snoqualmie Police blotter for Sept. 9 through 11.

Photos courtesy of Trooper Rick Johnson
Troopers seek hit and run suspect, call on public for help

The Washington State Patrol asked locals for any information to identify the vehicle and suspect.

Hiker falls, dies along Pacific Crest Trail

County sheriff’s office and other first responders launched a six-hour recovery mission.

Si View Metro Parks announces $14.7 million capital bond measure for November ballot

Si View plans to connect trails, acquire new land and improve existing parks with additional funding.

Most Read