Pedestrian friendly Main Street in Pleasanton will be reopened to cars

Many families marked the unofficial end of summer soaking up the sun in downtown Pleasanton last weekend.

 "We wanted to bring the kids, ride their bikes around, enjoy the beautiful weather get it in while it’s still open," said Jacob Figueira of Pleasanton.

Figueira brought his two young kids knowing the half-mile stretch of Main Street won’t be open to pedestrians for long.

On Labor Day, the street closure that allowed restaurants to expand business outdoors during the pandemic is coming to an end.

Some restaurant owners question the timing since many diners prefer to eat outside and the weather is good. The city said it is looking out for the interests of all its downtown merchants.

"I think it’s a shame, I wasn’t aware," said Julie Emmett of Pleasanton. "I think it’s been really an attraction for people to spend downtown here and enjoy the town."

The owner of Oyo Restaurant benefitted greatly and now many of the outdoor tables must go.

"We are going to lose 30 tables and we are also planning to cut staff effective at the end of tonight," said Maurice Dissels of Oyo.

Dissels said 15 staff members will be out of a job.

The city is opening the street back up to traffic over concerns with parking and access and visibility of retailers.

"I don’t think Main Street can survive on restaurants alone," said Pleasanton City Councilmember Kathy Narum. "We’ve really worked hard to have a diverse mix of businesses on Main Street so we have to take into account the needs of all of them."

The Wine Steward said business tanked on the weekends. The wine shop wished the street closure ended sooner.

"We are overjoyed," said Eric Edgar of The Wine Steward. "This has cost us innumerable business."

October is also the start of the holiday shopping season. Restaurants can keep parklets in parking spaces until the end of the year. Many residents say it is not the same.

"It seems like there could be some solution that would allow this to continue," said Julie Emmett of Pleasanton. "I was hoping but I guess not."

Another reason to end the street closure is concerts in the park returns next Sunday for the next six weeks and that will bring even more traffic downtown. Main Street will re-open to cars at 8 p.m. Monday.