On the weekends, no vehicles will be allowed on State St. in downtown Madison

The move is part of the city's 'Streatery' program, allowing restaurants to expand outdoor seating
Published: Jul. 3, 2020 at 7:19 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Starting Friday at 6:45 p.m. all vehicle traffic will be blocked from going on State St. in downtown Madison. It is an addition to the city’s Streatery program, which allows restaurants to expand outdoor seating on sidewalks, parking lots and partially in the street.

The traffic block will be on Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays until August 23. The city’s street vending coordinator, Meghan Blake-Horst, said the move allows for more people to physically distance while being downtown.

“Since restaurants are at 25 percent capacity inside, allowing that outdoor seating really brings them back to that sort of 50 percent, maybe a little bit less, but it does get them closer to the break-even point,” she said.

Many businesses on State St. said they hope the program will help them weather the storm. Yan Zhang, owner of Poke Plus and Teriyaki, said they have made countless changes to keep customers amid COVID-19 restrictions.

“We’ve added three types of delivery, we’ve even added more food to being customers in. Even thought customers can’t sit indoors, we have a patio for them,” Zhang said.

Zhang said she hopes the flexibility of adding more outdoor seating and tables will help.

The program is also an opportunity for retail shops who were also able to apply for a street merchant vending license. Amy Moore, owner of Little Luxuries, said she hopes their store can take advantage of the outdoors and decrease in traffic.

“There’s something to be said about being able to shop outside. We have the natural air flow and that does make people feel more comfortable,” Moore said.

If a business is interested in applying for the program, click HERE.

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