The city of Palm Springs is looking at closing down major streets to give restaurants more outdoor space.
The proposals are the latest efforts to help struggling businesses, said Palm Springs Mayor Geoff Kors.
Businesses in the city are already expanding onto the sidewalk and into parking spaces to accommodate more customers outdoors. For some, the extra space more than doubles their patio size.
The proposal to close down streets like Palm Canyon or Arenas Road would give them even more space to serve people.
The idea is still in a very early phase, Kors and councilmember Dennis Woods held a Zoom meeting with about 70 merchants Wednesday morning to gather input on this and how it would affect both restaurants and retail businesses.
"Our businesses are really struggling. and the more we can do to help them get through this so we don't have a lot of closed businesses, we’ve already lost some, the better," Kors said. "One of the proposals that came out today was just closing maybe one lane of the traffic to give restaurants on both sides a little more space and then there was talk of maybe closing two blocks from Tahquitz to Barista where there are so many restaurants to give them more space."
Right now, businesses can apply to the city to use parking spots outside for restaurant seating. The city will pay for the cost of K-Rails to make it safer for people to eat outtdoors.
Kors says this will eventually go before the city council in September. There is also another Zoom meeting planned later this week.