Partial Reopening of West Victoria Street in Downtown

Partial Reopening of West Victoria Street in Downtown title=
Outdoor dining for the Santa Barbara Public Market on W. Victoria Street (courtesy photo)
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Source: City of Santa Barbara

The City of Santa Barbara will be reopening the 00 block of West Victoria Street in Downtown with one eastbound traffic lane in mid-May. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City Council adopted an Emergency Economic Recovery Ordinance in May 2020 to allow outdoor business activities and the temporary use of the public right of way to help businesses reopen, recover and survive. In July 2020, the City established a temporary closure of the 00 block of West Victoria Street, between State and Chapala streets, to allow expansion of outdoor dining areas. The Council recently extended the Emergency Ordinance that allows the continuation of outdoor business activities until March 2022.

As business restrictions begin to ease and transportation and circulation needs increase, the City will be partially reopening the 00 block of West Victoria Street between State and Chapala streets with a one-way eastbound traffic lane. The partial reopening is scheduled for the second week in May. The expanded outdoor dining uses on the 00 block of West Victoria will remain in operation with the one-way eastbound traffic lane traversing through the block. In addition, the  new landscaped planters, k-rail barriers, and signage will be strategically placed through the block to facilitate the one-way configuration. The eastbound traffic lane through the 00 block of West Victoria Street will not affect the traffic controls on State Street that are currently in place. The City will also be initiating a Downtown State Street Area Master Plan in the coming year that will evaluate the transportation and circulation needs and opportunities of Downtown State Street as well as the cross streets such as Victoria Street.

The approximately ten food service businesses on the block, including Bouchon, Olio e Limone Ristorante and Olio Crudo Bar, and Scarlette Begonia, and the seven merchants of the Public Market will continue to provide outdoor dining service. In addition, Ensemble Theatre Company will be hosting its Young Playwrights Festival on May 22-23 and a Student Summer Camp from July 15-17. Ensemble Theatre Company will open its full five-production season at The New Vic beginning in October 2021 and running through June 2022. The public is encouraged to visit downtown and W. Victoria businesses and support local businesses.

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Ahchooo Apr 26, 2021 03:25 PM
Partial Reopening of West Victoria Street in Downtown

Now that restaurants have expanded to outdoor seating where they previously had none, they’ll be reluctant to let it go. I haven’t eaten out much, but I have to say, I do like some of the new outdoor dining.

Voice of Reason Apr 27, 2021 08:39 AM
Partial Reopening of West Victoria Street in Downtown

SBMH2015, I think your forgetting the arbitrary and out of the blue shuttering of these establishments by the State last year (and continued heavy restrictions and multiple full closures since, meanwhile please enjoy the free samples Coscto never stopped handing out... ). These entrepreneurs then scraped together whatever funds they had remaining, or worse, borrowed additional funds, in a final act of desperation to try and salvage businesses they've worked decades to build, to save the jobs their businesses created. So before you got hating on it please remember how they came about it. Once back on their feet, a little cash in the bank, and with time to plan, much more aesthetically pleasing parklets will be constructed for the haters out there.

a-1619538901 Apr 27, 2021 08:55 AM
Partial Reopening of West Victoria Street in Downtown

@Voice, Costco provides essential food and other home items that are needed, like toilet paper and clorox wipes. They shut down their food court too. People in Costco do not sit close to one another and eat and talk and laugh and drink for long periods of time with people outside their household. I agree that SOME of the rules were heavy handed but stop comparing Costco and other retailers that provide needed essentials to local restaurants, some of which refused to follow the rules. I can agree that the state and feds should have provided more funds for small businesses owners during this time.

Voice of Reason Apr 27, 2021 09:07 AM
Partial Reopening of West Victoria Street in Downtown

Yea, screw those "non essential" employees and small business owners who were out of job and struggled to put food on the table or care for their family, especially as they waited month after month for funds from CA's EDD boondoggle. The government should not be deciding who and what is essential; only a handful of goods at Costco are truly essential anyway and they weren't what people were buying.

a-1619541399 Apr 27, 2021 09:36 AM
Partial Reopening of West Victoria Street in Downtown

In my above comment I said the feds and state should have provided more funds for workers and business owners. There are funds to help, but they're not enough and that I agree with. You seem to forget this is a pandemic, not the flu and hard decisions had to be made to curb the spread. You also have no idea what everyone is buying at Costco but various new reports state toilet paper, clorox wipes, and food were constantly out of stock.

Voice of Reason Apr 27, 2021 09:55 AM
Partial Reopening of West Victoria Street in Downtown

I read that @9:36, and that is exactly why the government needs to step away from the authoritarian role where they act like they know what's best for a country of over 300 million people, or a State with over 40 million, and step back into their proper role, one where the Federal gov supports the States, the States support their counties and cities so that each community, where real people interact with other real people (vs. online or on the TV), and they can determine the best way to navigate whatever crisis pops up. This is what has helped the US persevere for over two centuries, and shouldn't stop now just because, especially because, a single politician can now bark orders to millions through twitter.

ATSB Apr 27, 2021 08:13 AM
Partial Reopening of West Victoria Street in Downtown

Too bad. I was really hoping they would keep it closed on that little stretch. It’s the best looking part of the closure with the most charm. Also both theaters nearby I think would have liked it, especially on that corner.

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