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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Encinitas outdoor dining and shopping experience

The changes will provide greater social distancing in the hope to usher in more customers.

ENCINITAS, Calif. — There is an effort in North County San Diego to help businesses along South Coast Highway 101 in downtown Encinitas.

Beginning on Tuesday, traffic will be reduced to one lane each way, instead of two, parking stalls will be pushed seven feet with concrete wheel stops, barricades will be erected, and large boxed trees set down for safety.

The changes will provide greater social distancing in the hope to usher in more customers.

“We love this idea! Have a little more space, enjoy the table seating outside,” said Fabio Montagna, Maurizio Trattoria Italiana owner.

“We are very happy, very excited. We lost 55% of business due to restrictions. [This will] give us a good opportunity to bring more income,” said Shoja Naimi, The Roxy partner.

Merchants are not alone in their enthusiasm

"I think it'll be great for local business – good for restaurants to open up and bring business back,” said Eric Mugg.

The street changes, for now, will be between D and E streets, but more could be added in the future.

The plan is to keep the sidewalk shopping expansion until COVID-19 is no longer a pressing threat.

“Yeah, great idea! Exactly what we need for the town,” said Justine Michael.

Encinitas Shared Street program should be ready by the Fourth of July weekend. National City is planning street closures, too, to promote outdoor activities and exercise. 

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