Palo Alto expands ‘Summer Streets’ program for more outdoor dining

University Ave in Palo Alto

Building on a successful program along California Avenue in Palo Alto, city leaders are expanding to another prominent roadway.

As of Friday, July 3, sections of University Ave. were closed to through traffic to support on-street dining and retail. It comes amid clarity around outdoor dining, per Tuesday’s state approval of Santa Clara County’s new health order.

With numerous studies showing COVID-19 is less likely to be transmitted in outdoor situations, cities are looking for new options.

In Palo Alto, closures on California Ave. began on June 11 running through at least September 7. The new University Ave. closure, from Cowper to High Streets, runs until at least August 2.

The programs are meant as pilots to see how the public reacts and how much business traffic there is. With the support of the Palo Alto City Council, restaurants can serve alcohol in these expanded outdoor areas.

Parking in city garages and lots is free as of publication time.

For more information, including on curbside pickup spots on California Ave., visit the city’s website here.