Burlington to close some downtown streets to support businesses

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Starting on Saturday, several downtown Burlington streets will temporarily close to traffic and open for business.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger says it's part of the Open Streets BTV project that's looking to support the recovery of the local economy and create safe ways for residents to reconnect.

"What starts tomorrow is an even more ambitious effort," Weinberger said. "We know now that virus-transmission outdoors is much less frequent than indoor spaces. We are making, major, major sections of the public right of way available to retailers and restaurants."

Weinberger says the closed streets will allow more people to visit businesses in a safe outdoor setting and will help businesses serve more people with the current indoor capacity limits.

Store owners on the side streets of downtown say this can be a big opportunity to bring people in.

"I'm very excited," said Kari Feingold of Tailfeather. "It's a different-- you know, Church Street always has that and it's a draw, people love that. So, it's exciting to see what College Street could look like," said Kari Feingold of Tailfeather.

Businesses say they hope it brings in enough toward the bottom line to cover what was lost during the pandemic.

College, Bank, Cherry, Center and South Champlain streets will all be closed every Saturday from now until August 28. That will go from noon to 8 p.m.