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Parts of Greenwich Avenue to be closed to help restaurants expand outdoor dining

Stamford launches similar effort

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Greenwich’s Board of Selectmen have unanimously voted in favor of what is being called Phase 1 of closing Greenwich Avenue to traffic, as a means of providing more outdoor dining space to restaurants.

At noontime on Greenwich Avenue parking spaces were once a premium. Since the COVID-19 rules were enacted by the state closing all nonessential stores, spaces are plentiful. Photo by Bob Rozycki.

Beginning June 2 and running through Sept. 2, the closing  will stretch from Havemeyer Place to Railroad Avenue – an area that includes 17 restaurants. The only vehicles allowed to travel through the area will be sanitation trucks, commercial delivery and emergency vehicles.

The idea of closing Greenwich Avenue to help restaurants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic was supported by First Selectman Fred Camillo; it was mentioned approvingly during Gov. Ned Lamont’s May 11 press briefing.

Plans for Phases 2 and 3, which would include the upper parts of Greenwich Avenue, are scheduled to be unveiled at the next Board of Selectmen meeting on June 11.

Beginning May 30, Stamford Downtown, in conjunction with the city, was to launch a similar effort. This program, Streateries in Stamford Downtown, provides expanded space for walking and sitting/eating while maintaining social distancing and adhering to the state and local public health protocols.

Phase 1 of Streateries in Stamford Downtown consists of full closures of Main Street and West Park Place surrounding Columbus Park, Lower Summer Street, and Bedford Street from Broad Street to Spring Street. Those streets will be closed from 3 to 11 p.m. on Saturday only as a pilot that may be replicated at other times throughout the summer.

Phase 2 will consist of extending sidewalk areas into some on-street parking spaces and travel lanes to allow for expanded outdoor dining while maintaining robust ADA walkways. Those closures will be implemented along Main Street, Summer Street, and Bedford Street in early June and will be in place for the season through September.

Phase 3 will be the creation of the Bedford Piazza, transforming a portion of the parking area between Bedford Street and the Bedford Garage into a massive outdoor dining patio unparalleled in the region.

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