Created: 06/26/2014 5:47 PM
By: Kai Porter, KOB Eyewitness News 4
You're about to see some big changes on the Santa Fe plaza this summer. City council voted Wednesday night to close two streets along the plaza to traffic. The streets are Lincoln Avenue and Old Santa Fe Trail. East San Francisco Street will stay open. Palace Avenue is permanently closed to traffic. Mayor Javier Gonzales said his goal is to make the plaza a safer and a more welcoming place.
"Really, at the end of the day, it's to help do what plazas do. That's to help build community and to foster relationships between neighbors and friends," he said.
Tables and chairs will replace cars when the streets close in about a week.
"Honestly I think it's a great idea,” said John Spira, who is from Santa Fe. “The plaza has a lot of connectivity to it and I think it'd be nice to spread it out and open it up."
But some vendors like Leigh Murphy, who owns the Kernel's Kettle Corn stand on the corner of Palace and Lincoln, have concerns.
"The concern is that we're on the corner here,” she said. “And we do have drive ups. So we stand to lose."
While she's worried about how it'll affect her business, Murphy is still willing to give the mayor's plan a try.
"I would say give him a chance,” she said. “His eye is on downtown which we really do appreciate.”
The streets will close in about a week and reopen on September 8th.
It's just a pilot project so the city will evaluate how it went before deciding whether or not to do it again next summer.