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Main Street Moves

VENTURA, CA – Main Street in Downtown Ventura has been shut down to all vehicle traffic since March 2020. The ultimate goal was to have businesses open for outdoor seating and shopping. The project is called Main Street Moves and has improved business traffic and revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo, Leslye Gama

The manager of Nature’s Grill in Downtown Ventura, Thomas Larsen, says their business only closed one day throughout the entire pandemic.

Larsen said, “With the street closure we’ve been able to offer outside seating which has been very helpful cause we, for a long time, couldn’t offer indoor seating.”

There are more than 110 different shops in Downtown Ventura that were able to remain open during the pandemic because streets were closed and sidewalks and parking spaces were opened for business.

Photo, NBC

Indoor seating restrictions have helped with stopping the spread of the virus. Cities all over the country have relaxed outdoor drinking and dining regulations. Sidewalks, parking lots and even street parking spaces have become an extension to the restaurant’s dining rooms.

Associate Director of Downtown Ventura Kevin Clerici says, he thinks that if restaurants would have relied solely on providing take-out then their businesses wouldn’t have seen the growing opportunities they have now. Not only has it positively impacted business owners, but also the community.

Clerici said, “The closure has created a unique public space. A lot of people want to get out of their house and be amongst community and other people.”

Main Street Moves is a lifeline for many businesses in Ventura. The City is currently looking for ways in which they can permanently shut down the street.

Video, CBC News: The National

Video, Leslye Gama

By, Leslye Gama

With contributions from, NBC News, CBS News

Photo, Leslye Gama

Photo, NBC

Video, CBC News: The National

Video, Leslye Gama


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