Part of Palm Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs is closed to traffic for the foreseeable future as the city prepares to kick off its new outdoor dining pilot program.
The closure is part of Palm Springs' new “al fresco” dining plan city council passed on August 20. Restaurants along the stretch of Palm Canyon Dr. from Tahquitz Canyon Way to Baristo Road will be allowed to expand outdoor dining spaces starting Friday, once their permit is approved. So far, according to the city, 7 restaurants have been approved.
"It makes sense get the cars off the road, get the people into nice outdoor space," said Jules Clough. "That opens it up for pedestrians and more diners and bicycle traffic – I'm all for it."
City officials hope the move will help struggling businesses affected by the pandemic.
Restaurants interested in applying for a temporary land use permit to take part in the program should visit www.palmspringsca.gov/alfresco.
Road closures began at 7 a.m. on Thursday.
- Three southbound lanes will be reduced to two lanes between Andreas Road and Tahquitz Canyon Way. At Tahquitz Canyon Way, drivers will either have to turn right to go westbound or left to go eastbound.
- Alternate driving routes for southbound Palm Canyon Drive include Indian Canyon Drive, Belardo Road, and Calle Encilia. The signalized intersections at Arenas and Baristo roads will allow for traffic to travel through going east and west.
- Arenas Road will be set on red flash. A traffic signal on red flash should be treated like a stop sign.
- South of Baristo Road, the normal southbound Palm Canyon Drive traffics lanes are maintained.
There are hundreds of free covered parking spots available at two downtown parking garages with entrances at the Hyatt Hotel ramp on Palm Canyon Drive, Museum Drive and Belardo Road, Museum Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way, or on the corner of Indian Canyon Drive and Baristo Road.
The closure is expected to last through the season.