coronavirus pandemic

Stretch of Castro Street in Mountain View Will Remain Car-Free Until 2023

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As some Bay Area cities begin removing pedestrian friendly street closures that were set up to help struggling restaurants during the pandemic, Mountain View leaders have decided to extend them into January 2023.

It's a decision that was made after strong public support.

"Let people be comfortable and walk around and have easier access to the shops i would hope," said Connor Young, who was visiting from Connecticut.

For more than a year, three blocks of Castro Street in Mountain View have been closed to vehicle traffic and an outdoor dining and strolling mall has sprouted up in its place.

"I think it's nice ambience, it's nice not being around cars, being able to jump from one side of the street, back and forth,” said Santa Clara resident Brian Powell.

The biggest reason for the pandemic street malls that popped up in cities across the Bay Area was to help struggling restaurants - with outdoor dining spaces.

But on Mountain View's Castro Street, other businesses have also seen a benefit from the pedestrian traffic.

"Well it started off slow during coming back from pandemic, but now it's doing pretty good,” Lee Starkey East West Bookshop. “Our business has been doing better than it has been for several years at this point here."

He said it also feels safer, he hasn't seen any accidents with pedestrians and drivers since the street closured last year.

The Castro Street closure will now continue through January 2023 and could potentially be permanent.

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