Council Mulls Plan to Halt Traffic Downtown, Allow Outdoor Dining

Drew Cuddy, right, runs a Cafe on State Street.

Santa Barbara City Administrator Paul Casey told the city council May 13 he wants to close State Street to vehicular traffic and allow outdoor dining there by the end of the month. 

He said downtown can’t wait much longer even after some businesses, including a few bars, partially reopened May 8 and continued to have curbside takeout. 

Casey called the pandemic-caused shutdown two months ago “the worst disaster” in a century. 

He said the city can’t wait because businesses are chomping at the bit to end the shutdown. 

While may take a longer time for that to happen, Casey his proposal is a viable plan because Gov. Gavin Newsom has allowed outdoor dining, but not interior service yet.

The council also unanimously voted to all commercial and residential tenants to defer rents for up to one year, per the governor’s order.

Posted May 12, 2020.

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