Leavenworth’s downtown core closed to vehicles in COVID-19 strategy

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LEAVENWORTH — Mayor Carl Florea has already closed all the parks in Leavenworth in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now the Bavarian Village will close its busiest downtown streets to vehicles and parking on Friday, and keep them closed for the foreseeable future.

Streets in the tourist-friendly theme town will become pedestrian thoroughfares until Florea lifts the order, he said, and visitors will find hand-sanitizer stations on downtown sidewalks, as well as free facial mask giveaways.

The streets closed to vehicle use starting Friday are Front Street from Gustav’s to 10th Street; Eighth Street from from Front to Commercial Street; and Ninth Street from Highway 2 to Commercial. Florea announced the move in a letter to the community on Tuesday.

“We are unique in that we are asking people to come here from the four corners and visit us,” Florea said. “It’s a melting pot, if you would, of virus activity. … So we have got to get control of that, and we’ve got to set a pattern that’s much more safety-oriented — for our guests, for our workers, for our business, for our residents.”