For the Public Safety of Those Dining, Walk on the Street
By Anna Marie Gott
Pedestrians who use sidewalks will be forced into situations they shouldn't be in. They will be exposed to a deadly virus. They will be looked upon as a danger to customers dining on the sidewalk - because they are walking too close to them. They will be bullied, shamed and harassed for simply using the sidewalk as it was designed to be used. - This is exactly what is happening here. A 4ft pathway on a sidewalk is simply not enough to socially distance.
It is not acceptable, but is is now permitted in the City of Santa Barbara by a 7 - 0 vote yesterday by the City Council. The Council and Public Health Department of the County should both be ashamed of themselves for permitting restaurants and other businesses to effectively block public sidewalks - rather than providing the required 6ft for social distancing for the public's health and safety.
This new ordinance and it's effect on the public is contrary public health, safety, and welfare, and needs to be rethought. If you feel the same way there are a few things you can do to put pressure on the City Council, the County Public Health Department and businesses to change this ordinance and this new City policy.
1) Demand that sidewalks in all areas of the City have the minimum pathway of 6ft for pedestrians to socially distance on the public sidewalk, and ask the City to close businesses if they continue to block public sidewalks. (Businesses are now permitted to use the public street or a parking lot for dining.) Simply send an email to: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
2) Patronize restaurants and other businesses that do not block sidewalks and follow the required 6ft rules for tables and seating, or
3) Tell the owners/managers of a restaurant or business that dissuades the public from using the sidewalk, or does not provide the required 6ft social distancing that protects you and the people next to you, why you are taking your business elsewhere.
Do you have an opinion on something local? Share it with us at [email protected] The views and opinions expressed in Op-Ed articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of edhat.