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City Seeks Input on New Outside Dining and Community Space Program

Post Date:05/22/2020 2:45 PM



Temporary use of City right-of-way will be allowed to support local businesses and

maintain physical distancing

San Luis Obispo, CA – In order to support the economic recovery of local businesses and slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community, the City Council approved the new “OpenRight of Way Dining SLO”program. The program temporarily uses the City’s public right-of-way, including sidewalks, parking spaces, and streets for community spaces to promote physical distancing while supporting local businesses and economic recovery efforts in the City. The City Council provided direction to receive additional public input on where the temporary concepts should be implemented to promote Downtown vitality and community safety. Similar programs have been a successful strategy in other cities across the United States, including Oakland, CA, Portland, OR, Salt Lake City, UT, and San Diego, CA. 

“This is an innovative approach that protects community members when they are shopping and dining in the Downtown and throughout the City while supporting our local businesses as we gradually reopen”, said Derek Johnson, City Manager. “We want the community’s input on this new program to ensure it is a success.” 

Open SLO could include physical distancing strategies including temporary weekend Downtown street closures for outdoor dining and pedestrian use, temporary conversion of some designated parking spots to parklets and pick-up/delivery areas, pop-up bike lanes, neighborhood “SLO Streets,” and the use of Mission Plaza and City-owned parking lots for outdoor dining space.

City staff is conducting surveys through May 31th to invite input from community members and local businesses to help guide implementation of the program, which would be in place for up to one year, with potential for extension and/or consideration of permanent installation of specific elements if approved by the City Council. To complete the survey, please use this link or visit the City’s website at

For more information regarding the Open SLO program, please see the report presented to the City Council at the May 22 meeting at

For more information from the City’s response to COVID-19, please visit The City is committed to keeping our community informed.

To receive updates from the City regarding COVID-19, please register for City News e-notifications on the City’s website at or follow the City of San Luis Obispo on social media.


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