SANTA BARBARA, CA – April 26, 2021
The City of Santa Barbara will be reopening the 00 block of West Victoria Street in Downtown with one eastbound traffic lane in mid-May. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City Council adopted an Emergency Economic Recovery Ordinance in May 2020 to allow outdoor business activities and the temporary use of the public right of way to help businesses reopen, recover and survive. In July 2020, the City established a temporary closure of the 00 block of West Victoria Street, between State and Chapala streets, to allow expansion of outdoor dining areas. The Council recently extended the Emergency Ordinance that allows the continuation of outdoor business activities until March 2022.
As business restrictions begin to ease and transportation and circulation needs increase, the City will be partially reopening the 00 block of West Victoria Street between State and Chapala streets with a one-way eastbound traffic lane. The partial reopening is scheduled for the second week in May. The expanded outdoor dining uses on the 00 block of West Victoria will remain in operation with the one-way eastbound traffic lane traversing through the block. In addition, the new landscaped planters, k-rail barriers, and signage will be strategically placed through the block to facilitate the one-way configuration. The eastbound traffic lane through the 00 block of West Victoria Street will not affect the traffic controls on State Street that are currently in place. The City will also be initiating a Downtown State Street Area Master Plan in the coming year that will evaluate the transportation and circulation needs and opportunities of Downtown State Street as well as the cross streets such as Victoria Street.
The approximately ten foodservice businesses on the block, including Bouchon, Olio e Limone Ristorante and Olio Crudo Bar, and Scarlette Begonia, and the seven merchants of the Public Market will continue to provide outdoor dining service. In addition, Ensemble Theatre Company will be hosting its Young Playwrights Festival on May 22-23 and a Student Summer Camp from July 15-17. Ensemble Theatre Company will open its full five-production season at The New Vic beginning in October 2021 and running through June 2022. The public is encouraged to visit downtown and W. Victoria businesses and support local businesses.