COVID-19 Street Closure Survey Results

Message from the City of Livermore…

Since the March 13 local declaration of emergency, the City has been working creatively and quickly to help our local businesses weather this difficult time. One area of particular focus has been on the downtown core and quickly pivoting to outdoor dining, retail and exercise through simplified, no-cost outdoor use permits, City acquisition of all necessary safety barriers, fencing, and short-duration parking signage, and extensive City personnel time reconfiguring downtown.

While outdoor flex zone dining appears to be working and will continue, one action we thought would further help residents feel safe returning downtown and therefore help our businesses survive was to close sections of First Street on weekends. While we’ve adjusted this concept over time, it does not appear that many residents have utilized the roadway for the intended social distancing purposes and it has hurt some of the downtown retailers in particular.

In fact, a survey completed by 44 downtown businesses last week showed that only 1 out of 4 felt that the street closure was beneficial to their business with 69% reporting losses of up to 25% and an additional 22% reporting losses of 25-50%.

As a result, the City will be pausing the weekend closures of First Street for the foreseeable future and will continue to evaluate the most effective means of supporting our small businesses while keeping our residents safe.

City staff will be circulating downtown this weekend reminding visitors of Social Distance and mask rules and handing out free masks to those in need.  Regularly wearing a mask is emerging as the single most important thing the public can do to slow the spread of COVID-19 and helps us continue to reopen the economy in Livermore which now has over 500 confirmed cases.

Thank you for all that you are doing to provide both essential services and a sense of community downtown.  We look forward to working with you as we continue to adjust to these challenging circumstances in a safe and responsible manner.

Adam Van de Water

Director, Innovation & Economic Development

City of Livermore