Village News - Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

By Jeff Pack
Staff Writer 

Main Street now closed all weekend long for businesses to expand

 

Last updated 10/2/2020 at 12:29pm

Village News/Jeff Pack photo

Customers are seated at tables placed on Main Avenue in Fallbrook Saturday, Sept. 26, as traffic was closed all weekend over two blocks in order to give downtown businesses a chance to expand into the street.

Last Friday, two full blocks of Fallbrook's Main Avenue were closed to through traffic starting at 3 p.m. and they stayed that way throughout the weekend.

The same will happen this weekend.

"Ever since I've been in this position, people have asked to close down the street, both merchants and residents," Lila MacDonald, Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce CEO, said. "They feel that it would, first of all, be for safety because people scream down the street. And then second of all, they like that vibe of what Santa Monica has or the different areas, different towns, small towns that closed down two blocks and have it pedestrian friendly. Where you could put out umbrellas and restaurants could dine out there all the time and gardens or whatever the community wants it to look like."

On Saturday evening, Sept. 26, as the sun went down, more and more people came downtown, gradually filling up the available tables put out in the streets by several restaurants.

MacDonald said closing the streets arrived as a result of SANDAG's Shared Streets program in unincorporated areas.

"Of course I said, 'Yes, I'd be happy to,'" MacDonald said when approached by the county. "All the merchants were super excited because they're the ones who wanted it closed down anyway. The community was receptive because of the same thing. Then of course the restaurants were thrilled because they couldn't even (have people) eat inside. So that was their only dining option."

When the option came up to leave the streets closed throughout the weekend, MacDonald wanted to give it a shot.

"Why can't we do it all weekend so that they can have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and then kind of prepare for that?" she said. "I would say (it is) a test, basically, to see if it could be done because I think that sometimes people ask and then once it becomes a reality, then maybe they don't like it as much."

Starting Saturday, Oct. 3, there will be a farmers market that will inhabit the space from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., adding a little more activity and drawing more people to Main Avenue.

"We just want to really provide a way for businesses to be open," MacDonald said. "The farmer's market will have a certified market on one block and then the non-certified vendors on the opposite block, still allowing for the restaurants and businesses to be able to do business for the farmer's market."

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at [email protected]

 

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