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DANVILLE (CBS SF) — Closing down the main street to allow for outdoor dining has been a popular idea in many smaller Bay Area cities. But in some cases, the closures are hurting businesses.  

The Town of Danville scaled back its downtown closure starting on Friday. Instead of closing three blocks of Hartz Avenue to car traffic, they are only shutting down one block, from Diablo Road to Prospect Avenue on weekends.

Businesses initially thought the street closure would drive up foot traffic. But they found out the closure actually kept customers away.

Carla Ahern owns Bliss Danville. She said her store suffered big time during the weekend street closure in July compared to June.

“Probably a 30 to 50 percent decrease in our sales,” said Ahern.

“It really affected us, probably even more, up to 60 percent. We just had slow days,” said Maeve DeSoto at the J. Mclaughlin clothing store.

The business owners supported the closure, hoping people would shop after dining out. But it was a great idea that didn’t pan out. While many restaurants did well, other retailers suffered.

“A lot of our business is people drive by and they see the cute store with the porch.  And they’re interested and want to come in. So if we lose that customer driving by, that’s not helping,” said DeSoto.

“People that were walking by, but we were walking by in the middle of the street.  And so if you’re not walking on the sidewalk, it’s a little harder to convince someone to say ‘hey, let’s pop in there,’” said Ahern.

They reached out to Danville leaders and the town made adjustments quickly.

“Without a successful local economy, we’re not able to maintain the same quality of life in our community,” said Town Manager Joe Calabrigo.

They scaled the closure down to one block where most of the restaurants are located. For the other restaurants, they removed street parking to allow for tables.

“With the traffic coming by, I know customers feel a little safer when the street’s closed,” said Kathy Tang with Yo’s on Hartz Restaurant. While the street closure helped her business, Tang said she understood why the town had to reopen her block of Hartz Avenue.

As cities navigate in this new environment, those that close popular streets face growing criticism in some places. The owner of three Palo Alto businesses said he will circulate a petition this weekend to pressure Palo Alto to scale back its closure.

Back in Danville, the town manager said they want to help everyone survive and thrive.

“it’s a very fluid situation. We’ll evaluate this now for another couple of weeks. We’ll continue to stay in contact with all of those businesses,” said Calabrigo.

News Source: cbslocal.com

Tags: coronavirus covid 19 danville outdoor dining palo alto retail street closure street closure the closure

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WATCH NOW: De Blasio Gives Update On New York City Preparations For Tropical Storm Isaias

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Isaias, once again a tropical storm, continues to barrel its way toward the Tri-State Area.

On Monday, New York City’s Office of Emergency Management has deployed sandbags and so-called “Tiger Dams,” or large water-filled tubes, in the South Street Seaport area. The 4-foot barrier spans nearly a mile long.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Lower Manhattan, between Wall and Water streets, is especially vulnerable to flooding.

TRACKING ISAIAS: Check the latest forecast and weather alerts

“The South Street Seaport is one of the lowest lying areas of Manhattan. So this is an area that is susceptible to coastal flooding, including tropical storms,” Assistant Commissioner Heather Roiter said.

Crews are piling up sandbags to help reinforce this tiger dam (giant orange water filled barrier) at South & Wall streets to prevent flooding. A tropical storm warning remains in effect through early Wednesday morning for regions across NYC, NJ & CT @CBSNewYork pic.twitter.com/hIrukNfY3O

— Natalie Duddridge (@NatDuddridgeTV) August 4, 2020

Crews continued to pile up sandbags to help shore up the barrier Tuesday morning.

Depending on where you stand, the barrier is supposed to protect two blocks inland, CBS2’s Jon Dias reported. Since the barriers come up short of the water levels during Superstorm Sandy, locals hope they actually work.

“This storm appears to have a very localized impact in this area. This is one the area we are particularly concerned about given the projections … and we have the tools to address it,” de Blasio said.

MORE: Closer look at New York City’s flood protection measures

Crews say the barrier will be complete by Tuesday afternoon, when heavy rainfall is expected to start.

Watch: City Officials Discuss Construction Of Storm Surge Barriers At South Street Seaport

Braulio Bunay, executive chef at Industry Kitchen at the South Street Seaport, told CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez he’s hoping the flood walls won’t be needed.

“Lately we see so many storms, so many problems, and especially here in New York City, but we’re very tough in these situations,” Bunay said. “We’re ready for it. We’re ready. We’re New York.”

All city beaches are closed to swimming Tuesday, but in the outer boroughs, big orange barriers are noticeably absent, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported Monday night.

“They were showing on TV all the time they have the orange barriers down there and here I guess we are secondary citizens. I don’t know,” said Slava Beylis of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn.

Beylis said she remembers her car getting swept away during Sandy eight years ago, and while Tuesday’s storm isn’t supposed to be nearly as bad, she wishes Brooklyn’s coast got the same special protection as Manhattan’s.

“Basically, nobody cares about here,” Beylis said.

“It’s malpractice to only care about one little part of the city of New York when we have over 500 miles of coastline that is vulnerable to these storms,” City Councilman Justin Brannan said.

The OEM commissioner also said the city will have crews stationed in each of the five boroughs today to identify problem areas in real time and coordinate resources on scene to quickly respond.

Stick with CBS2, CBSN New York and CBSNewYork.com for the latest on the storm.

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