City Of Martinez To Hold-Off On Plan To Help Downtown Businesses

May 22, 2020 8:00 am · 7 comments

Martinez officials have decided to postpone a plan to close Main Street downtown to vehicle traffic on weekends, saying they’ll wait until the county’s coronavirus-related health order allows for more extensive retail business and restaurant operation.

Following a discussion about ways to help downtown businesses hit hard by orders surrounding the coronavirus, the Martinez City Council directed city staff to pursue the street closure as a way to allow merchants and restaurants with small spaces to expand operations outside, as restrictions on their operations ease up. For some restaurants, that outside expansion could be beyond the converted curbside parking spaces for which some restaurateurs already pay a premium.

But as of Thursday, Martinez City Manager Eric Figueroa said in an email, the street closure won’t help merchants if they can’t expand operations.

He also noted the county health order doesn’t yet allow most retail businesses to operate outdoors.

Changes in the health order allowing those things are expected in Contra Costa County in the near future, however.

“We are putting a plan in place for the closure, but we’re not going to pull the trigger yet,” Figueroa said. “The closure of the street is going to wait until the health order is changed.”

As it stands, small retail stores in Contra Costa County are free to re-open with curbside pickup and sales only.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Puffandstuff May 22, 2020 at 9:20 AM

Oh great! The homeless are going to love strolling through the shops on the sidewalks.
I was there yesterday that’s all that was walking downtown
Courts will be open but not church? Or pools?

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Freebie May 22, 2020 at 9:26 AM

The county health department director needs to wake up and smell the roses-Our numbers are very low, and suicides are up. Time to open things up, so we don’t have a depression in CC County.

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This 'n that May 22, 2020 at 10:20 AM

100% agree with you.

palermo May 22, 2020 at 10:52 AM

The main reason I quit going downtown is the lack of parking. All the store owners park right in front of their buildings, they already eliminated spots with all those “patio” areas, the main lot now charges a fee. If they shut down downtown for outdoor dining (in 100 degree weather) are we all supposed to park at the marina and walk in? The City loses money on everything they do. Where is the DiMaggio boat? How much money lost to the Clipper criminals. The theater group? What a farce.

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Dawg May 22, 2020 at 11:20 AM

If you don’t mind walking a block or two, there’s plenty of free parking on Escobar St. west of Alhambra.

Captain Bebops May 22, 2020 at 12:16 PM

I discussed the parking problem with council candidate. He told me the city and the county fight over jury parking. The city wants the county to build a parking garage for juror use and the county tells them what to do with themselves. So it’s a bit of a feud. If downtown parking were free (maybe a 2 hour limit like Concord) then maybe downtown might thrive.

Eva May 22, 2020 at 12:08 PM

County “health order”. I’m complying, but the signs on businesses state LAW. I’ve been wondering are these elected county officials and when were these law/orders decided upon?

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