City begins to beautify G Street outdoor dining area

Much of the block between Second and Third Streets has been closed to vehicular traffic for over a year to create an outdoor dining space needed to keep restaurants operating during the pandemic when indoor dining was prohibited. An outdoor dining section also occupies one lane of G Street south of Second Street. But the space, while popular with Davis residents, has never looked more aesthetically pleasing than the alfresco dining rooms created in downtown Winters and Woodland.

That should change this month, according to the city. Some downtown retailers had sought to restore traffic to this block, saying the removal of parking spaces along with a lack of cleanliness had reduced the number of customers visiting their stores even though restaurants were benefiting from it.

The block will remain closed to vehicular traffic, but a space should be created in the center of the block for cyclists and pedestrians. As a result, the Davis Downtown Business Association recommended earlier this month that G Street be reopened to two-way traffic.

“There will also be cleanup efforts through the end of this month and also decorative landscape features near these terminals also coming this month,” said Davis City Manager Mike Webb. On Wednesday, removable yellow bollards were installed at each end of the closed block and concrete barriers were removed Thursday morning.

City Councilor Josh Chapman, owner of a downtown business, stepped down from the discussion. But the council was divided at its November 2 meeting, with Mayor Gloria Partida and Councilor Will Arnold supporting the closure and Deputy Mayor Lucas Frerichs and Councilor Dan Carson supporting the reopening.

“If you look at it from a trader’s point of view,” Carson said, “creating an attractive and engaging place will do everyone the most good and I don’t see it as restaurants versus retail business.” Unable to come to an agreement, the council instead asked staff to improve the appearance of the street closure and make it more accessible. Council members expressed hope that making the region more attractive would alleviate the concerns of member companies.

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