The city is working with merchants on plans for temporarily closing streets to vehicles as COVID-19 response efforts continue.
Portions of three downtown streets will be closed to vehicles during afternoon and evening hours this weekend as the city continues to test options for expanded outdoor commerce.
The affected street segments are:
- Main Street, from Palm Avenue to Mira Mar Court;
- State Street, from Lemon Avenue to the State Street parking garage;
- Lemon Avenue, from Main Street to the alley south of Boca Sarasota and Gator Club.
The city has approved the closures for this weekend, city spokesman Jason Bartolone said. Although the city plans to review the closures on a week-to-week basis, Bartolone said the city expects the closures to be in effect every weekend through the end of June.
Moving forward, the closures are intended to be in effect from 3:30 p.m. until midnight Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The city first closed portions of Main Street and State Street to expand pedestrian space and outdoor dining last weekend. Business owners and city officials have offered mixed reactions to the prospect of expanding street closures. City Manager Tom Barwin previously said the city is interested in experimenting during the reopening process. Barwin has said he would work in tandem with the business community in determining how to proceed with the program.
The city is partnering with the Sarasota Downtown Enrichment Association, a merchants group tasked with managing the street closure initiative.
This article has been updated to correct the planned street closure hours.