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Melanie Wong | May 9, 202006:19 PM     21

" . . . An innovative alternative is to temporarily close main streets to cars, and repurpose that space. That means instead of narrow sidewalks there will be plenty of room for pedestrian flow. And instead of shuttered restaurants on quiet streets, the streets are energized and lively, giving a larger footprint to local restaurants so they can install tables on the streets (and, given our weather, outdoor heaters).

After the 1989 earthquake devastated the commercial buildings and business district of downtown Santa Cruz, their city put up temporary tents near the boardwalk so retailers could reopen. It worked. Our local municipalities should get ready to do something similar. Restaurateurs will need as many tables and chairs and customers as always, not fewer, to make their economics work. They can potentially turn this crisis into an opportunity, for themselves, their workers and customers – for our whole community. . ."

The successful reopening of restaurants might lie in pedestrian-only streets.

One Monday evening in mid-March, I was having a lively dinner at the bar at Montrio Bistro with a local business leader as we discussed what lay ahead...

www.montereycountyweekly.com
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