Palo Alto could reopen the streets earlier than expected

Local 271 is one of the restaurants in Palo Alto that sets tables outside. Post a photo.

BY KYLE MARTIN
Daily newspaper editor

Next month, Palo Alto City Council will consider reopening all streets in the city in July, ahead of the previous reopening date of October 31, after closing several streets during the pandemic to allow restaurants to operate outside. .

City manager Ed Shikada said at last night’s council meeting he would recommend reopening University Avenue and Ramona Street on July 6 and waiting until September 7 to reopen California Avenue.

Last month, the council decided to extend the shutdown until Halloween.

While outdoor restaurants have benefited from street closures, other businessmen, including landowners, believe the streets should be reopened now.

Roxy Rapp, a major downtown owner, told the Post earlier this month that street closures are hurting businesses without much outdoor space and those not directly on the closed street.

“City council needs to realize that it’s going to have a ton of vacancies,” Rapp said.

In addition to closing off portions of the streets, the city has also allowed restaurants to expand into curbside parking spaces, creating what are known as “parklets.”

“I’m all for parklets, don’t get me wrong. Give them the parklets, ”said Rapp. “But don’t give them the… streets.” It doesn’t belong to them, it belongs to everyone.

Likewise, mid-peninsula restaurateur Rob Fischer told The Post last month that the streets should be open to everyone.

“I think we’re on the right track to reopening the economy, but I think we’ve waited too long, and I just don’t see the rationale behind the decisions to keep everything closed,” Fischer said. “And for all these businesses that have had to close permanently and not be able to reopen, I feel bad for them. And I think to give everyone a chance to fight, we have to reopen everything.

Council will decide what to do with the streets next month.


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