Business & Real Estate

Los Altos expected to replace Open Streets program with parklets

Open Streets
Town Crier File Photo
The downtown Open Streets program in Los Altos is scheduled to continue through the end of September.

Los Altos is not expected to extend the Open Streets program – that closes a portion of Main and State streets in downtown Los Altos from Thursdays through Sundays – beyond the end of September, Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins said in a council meeting Tuesday (Sept. 9). The program is set to expire Sept. 28.

The program has been lauded by many restaurant owners, who have been able to increase the amount of outdoor dining they can provide on weekends, as the COVID-19 pandemic has prohibited indoor seating. Instead, the city plans to begin a seven-day-a-week parklet program that will allow traffic to move back onto the downtown streets while still giving restaurants space for outdoor dining. Approximately 200 wine barrels will be delivered and placed as part of the parklet design.

Retailers, some of whom were frustrated by the lack of parking spots during Open Streets, will receive parking stalls as a result of the parklet program, according to Bruins. About half of the parking stalls on each of the street segments will be returned.

“The businesses are seeming to be all getting on the same page,” Bruins said. “That seems to be the best compromise solution.”

Bruins said that on average, restaurants will receive close to the same amount of outdoor seating they have access to right now.

“I do not know of any restaurant at this stage who is going to get less or significantly less seating than the program we have four days a week,” she said.

Retailers and restaurants also may have the option of collaborating under a “good neighbor” policy. Restaurants can ask neighboring retailers if they may extend their seating to areas in front of the retailers’ store – such as with Rustic House and Chico’s.

Santa Clara County moved up into the “red” tier on the state’s new COVID-19 framework earlier this week, but the county has not yet allowed indoor dining or gatherings.

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