City Council Wednesday night unanimously passed an amended "People to the Plaza," Javier Gonzales' first initiative in his young term as mayor.
The new proposal will close automobile traffic on Lincoln Avenue and Old Santa Fe Trail for the summer, leaving West San Francisco Street open to cars. The city expects to add planters in the middle of Lincoln Avenue and Old Santa Fe Trail by next week. Within four weeks, chairs and tables will be placed on Lincoln Avenue.
Both streets will stay closed to automobiles through Santa Fe Fiesta week this September. Cars will still be able to turn on the Plaza's northwest and southeast corners.
Gonzales presented the People to the Plaza initiative in April with the intent of closing traffic on all four streets of the Plaza from Memorial Day through Fiesta week. As his bill went through the city's legislative process, Gonzales halted it and held public forums on the idea in May. The final plan approved last night compromises on keeping traffic running through West San Francisco Street.
Gonzales' intent, he says, is to help bring more livelihood and events to the Plaza through the summer.
"Tonight's approval gives us the green light to build an experience for all Santa Fe families, which will provide safety and an opportunity for the community to gather," Gonzales said last night in a statement.
City spokeswoman Jodi McGinnis-Porter tells SFR that she expects the two additional streets to close to traffic by next week. She adds that events will be held on the Plaza for all but seven days this summer.