ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) — Washington Avenue looks much different than most of us are used to with fewer cars and foot traffic.
Owners of Luxe clothing boutique on Washington Avenue, Tiana Jones and Andre Tunstall say COVID-19 had a big impact on sales, but their concern now is the barriers put in place to stop drag racing.
[READ: New safety measures coming to downtown to curb shootings, racing cars]
Jones believes it’s led to a 50 percent drop in sales and thinks part of the problem is that some people see the barricades blocking off the street and don’t even realize their store is open.
“Safety is first but we’ve gotta find a better solution than just shutting the street off,” said Jones.
In August, when the barriers were put up, streets were closed seven days a week.
Signs are now posted downtown helping remind everyone the roads are only closed Friday through Sunday from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m.
“Our Fridays and Saturdays are usually our busiest days and those are the days that the barricades have been out, the street has been out and it’s been like a ghost town on those days,” said Jones.
The road closure made it possible for a couple to hold their wedding reception in the middle of Washington Avenue on September 26.
If the cars are not moved by the time the barriers are put in place, they are towed.
“We get a lot of calls from people saying hey I want to come but I can’t find parking,” said Jones.
Tweets from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department show officers are stopping cars downtown relative to ‘cruisers’ and recovering drugs and guns.
[RELATED: Arrests made, cars towed as St. Louis cracks down on downtown crime]
These two business owners just hope the city can come up with a better solution to curb speeding.
We reached out to police asking how many arrests and tows have been made since the barriers went up but we’re still waiting to hear back.