SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — San Jose Councilmember Raul Peralez is calling on city leaders to consider closing certain downtown streets from vehicle traffic to continue to allow businesses and pedestrians to better utilize the outdoor space.
Peralez, who represents the downtown core (District 3) issued a memo Thursday, calling for the permanent closure of San Pedro Street between West Santa Clara Street and Saint John Street and to close Post Street between South First Street and Lighston Alley weekly from Thursday evening to Sunday evening.
“As the largest city in the Bay Area, San José should be ahead of the curve in activating our public spaces and refocusing our public right of ways on serving people first,” Councilmember Peralez said. “I’m excited by this opportunity to bring more people back to Downtown to support our small businesses and give a boost to the local economy.
Councilmember Peralez also proposed extending San Jose’s “Al Fresco” policy to March 31, 2023. The Al Fresco program was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as shelter-in-place orders resulted in fewer people going out to eat and has been a lifesaver for many businesses.
San Pedro Street is currently closed to vehicular traffic and open for pedestrian and business use. Post Street was recently reopened to vehicular traffic to allow for regrouping and rethinking of how the street can be activated equitably for everyone. If approved, the city will return in one year to evaluate and consider expanding the closure.
The Councilmember’s memo will be heard by the City Council Rules and Open Government Committee at their next meeting on April 20 at 2:00 pm.