As the pandemic raged on last year, many Colorado cities closed selected streets to allow for outdoor restaurant seating and socially distanced walkways for pedestrians.
While the pandemic is waning, the appeal of this innovation is not. In fact, Arvada has decided to keep some downtown streets closed for another five years “after receiving enthusiastic approval of their temporary street closures,” notes the Denver Business Journal.
The Journal reports that Arvada will continue to close three “stretches of their downtown traffic” – two blocks of Olde Wadsworth Boulevard and one section of Grandview Avenue – to traffic. In the ensuing five years, it will track “how it affects mobility and downtown business revenues” and reassess the plan.
When first enacted, the idea of closing some streets proved popular, with informal surveys of business leaders in the Aurora community showing an 82% approval rate.
The city plans to make temporary barriers more attractive and to study how to free up sidewalks and parking spaces that have been taken over by dining areas.
“It remains to be seen whether the decision will lead other municipalities to take similar steps,” notes the Journal.
In Denver, the newspaper reports, Mayor Michael Hancock has announced that the city will continue its patio expansion program through October, 2022, allowing dining to “spill onto sidewalks and into alleys.”