A nine-block closure of downtown Santa Barbara streets to promote business is now set for an expansion.
The city of Santa Barbara will increase the size of the promenade from State Street to Chapala Street, which will open up space for Santa Barbara Public Market, as well as several popular restuarants.
The promenade's lower end will also be extended by a block. In that location, special considerationis being made to keep a full automobile lane open for emergency vehicles.
"It's not quite like the State Street Promenade - fully closed, we couldn't do that - we have emergency response vehicles that have to come through in both directions," says Rob Dayton, a city transportation manager who is helping to orchestrate the changes.
Despite that, Dayton says that "already, we're seeing businesses come out."
The modifications are aimed at boosting the downtown economy during what had already been a difficult time even before the coronavirus shutdowns.