Photo by Danny Fulgencio

The Bishop Arts District is open for business.

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That’s what independent retailers want their residential neighbors to know.

Construction, including intrusion from cranes and boom lifts and the temporary closure of the Eighth Street overpass (now open again) has caused a decrease in sales, they say. All while rents are increasing.

Most neighbors could probably ride our bikes or walk to Bishop Arts. But let’s face it: If you’re stuck on driving and are avoiding the area because you think there’s no parking, please reconsider.

Exxir Capital, the developer that recently constructed thousands of square feet of retail, office and residential space around Bishop and Melba, with more in the works, temporarily donated a parking lot at the southeast corner of Bishop and Ninth. Now that there are streetlights and businesses in the 400 block of Bishop, the walk feels safer.

If you can walk a couple of blocks, you can find parking. And if you appreciate having local boutiques, then you should shop in them, or they might go away.

Julie McCullough of Harkensback boutique says the Bishop Arts Merchants Association is considering creating a ride-share stand. Currently Uber drivers pick up and drop off in front of Lockhart Smokehouse, which backs up traffic at the intersection of Bishop and Davis.

The merchants also want signage pointing to the new parking lot.

“Valet should be the last option,” McCullough says.