City Council says Main Street Moves is working

The Ventura City Council on Oct. 16 voted unanimously in favor of continuing Downtown’s unique year-round street closure using the current Main Street and California Street footprint.

The Council listened to diverse views on a path forward, ultimately agreeing that the community benefits of the human-oriented space without cars was worth keeping and warranted further study and investment.

“This is an opportunity for us to move Ventura forward in a great direction,” Deputy Mayor Jeanette Sanchez-Palacios said at Monday’s Council hearing, which featured 16 public speakers.

The Council, after much deliberation, approved a multi-point motion, including direction to:

  • Continue with the full, year-round closure;
  • Finish parklet design guidelines for the outdoor dining parklets (tentative date of Dec. 18 was announced, though the approval decision could move to January);
  • Look to add short-term parking for to-go orders and food pick-ups.
  • Include portions of California Street in the traffic analysis and closure plan (this overturned previous direction to reopen California Street).
  • Instructed staff to return with the best option to extend the street closure beyond its June 30 permit expiration, possibly for an added 6 months to complete needed studies. This continuation could be done with an extension of the existing permit, or a replacement approach/structure, looking at what other communities have used.

The Council favored using the Pedestrian Mall Law of 1960, a state law process that allows Cities to convert streets into pedestrian-only spaces. The act requires the City to study impacts and gain support from a majority of owners of properties immediately adjacent to areas closed. That still needs to be completed. Owners would have the ability to file a claim for damages if they feel the closure would negatively impact them, and all claims would have to resolved by the City before the pedestrian-only space could remain indefinitely.

Many details still need to be ironed out, including a plan for possible steel bollards that would replace the current temporary barricades. Public restrooms and added parking are also in the works.

Restaurants and retailers under the future plan would be able to enter into license agreements with the City to lease the street space outside their doors, and would own and construct parklets that must comply with the design guidelines once adopted. Meanwhile, alcohol service to the outdoor seating areas can continue under newly adopted state alcohol laws.

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Safely shop, sip, dine & stroll in the streets during Main Street Moves (and beyond, with more food and shopping options on side streets and our emerging Front Street area):

Taste your way through 30+ restaurants!
Sip signature cocktails!
Shop one of a kind boutiques!
Support local businesses!
Just enjoy being outside!

What is Main Street Moves? We’ve transformed five blocks of Main Street (from the historic Mission to Fir Street) and one block of South California Street (between Santa Clara and Poli) into a spacious promenade open to pedestrian and cyclist traffic only.

During Main Street Moves, many Downtown businesses have expanded their service area to the sidewalks, allowing more room for dining and shopping, and giving visitors a chance to support Downtown Ventura businesses while maintaining safe distances. 

Street Closure Area

Photo: @iamgarybrink

During the street closures, vehicles will not be permitted in the area and barricades will be in place to ensure the safety of visitors. The streets will be closed 24/7 during this event. Palm, Oak, Chestnut, and Fir remain open to through traffic.


2,000 free parking spots are available in Downtown. Please note that the City has turned back on the parking meters on side streets. You must adhere to all posted parking signs, meters and restrictions. All parking on side streets remains available, though there may be parking spots dedicated to take-out or order pick-ups. There will also be additional ADA parking added to adjacent side streets.

Photo: @iamgarybrink

In addition to free parking, an additional 10 bike racks are being installed and can handle up to 140 bikes. Please be sure to lock up your bike when leaving it unattended.


Nu-Line Partners built accessible ramps throughout the closure area

Temporary ADA restrooms have been installed at California & Main streets for public use, in addition to hand-washing stations located throughout.

Additional ADA parking has been added to adjacent side streets for easier, closer access to the closure areas. Ramps have also been added throughout the Main Street Moves closure area.


For the safety of visitors, business owners and employees, we ask that you adhere to all public health guidelines. Hand-washing stations provided.

If you need assistance or have any immediate concerns, our Downtown Park Safety Ambassadors are here to assist you: 805-258-1902.

Carousel photo credits: 1) Dog in Chair [credit: @gracious_mila] – 2) Dargan’s [Credit: dargans_ventura] – 3) Peirano’s [Credit: Debbie Fox] – 4) Overhead Shot [Credit: @MikeLoveRealty] – 5) Cafe Fiore and Lure [Credit: Megan Hook] – 6) Folks Eating at Rice Thai Cuisine [Credit: @rice_thai_cuisine ] – 7) Rip Curl Neon Sign [Credit: @edithacolitti] – 8) Le Jardin Charming Courtyard [Credit: @its_phoebe_dottie_and_ralphie_]