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Downtown SLO streets will close to traffic to allow expansion of outdoor dining

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Posted at 4:28 AM, Jun 17, 2020

Changes are coming to downtown San Luis Obispo as the local economy looks to restart in the age of COVID-19.

The City of San Luis Obispo is kicking off a new program called Open SLO this week.

The program allows for the temporary use of sidewalks, parking spaces and streets for expanded outdoor dining and retail shopping. The goal is to help local businesses recover economically while still allowing for appropriate physical distancing.

Starting Thursday, Monterey St. from Chorro St. to Osos St. will be shut down to car traffic weekly on Thursdays and Fridays from 5-8 p.m. The street closure will also be in effect on weekends from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Additional outdoor seating will be added to Mission Plaza as part of the Open SLO program. The idea is to provide people with a place to enjoy a take-out meal from a downtown restaurant.

Higuera St. will temporarily be blocked off to traffic starting June 26, from Osos St. to Nipomo St. The Open SLO program will take place on Higuera on Fridays from 5-8 p.m. and weekends 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

As part of the program, city officials have suspended enforcement of private parking requirements, allowing businesses with private parking lots to use that space for dining or other business operations without city approval.