A European-style Sonoma Plaza

Posted on May 24, 2020 by Sonoma Valley Sun

During this pause in our usual activities, many things that seemed unrealistic or impossible a few months ago are becoming more and more desirable today. One of the ideas that I advocated for a few years ago was probably not the right time. Now, I think it is.

Let’s create an alive city plaza like they have in European or South American cities. We can begin by closing off First Street W. and First Street E. to car traffic and make them pedestrian-only zones. Plaza restaurants could set up tables in the streets, far enough apart to abide by the distancing rule. Maybe Peet’s could also have a space in the street. The farmers market could set up in the streets if the required distance is difficult to achieve in the horseshoe. With this extra space, a vibrant community could be re-launched as we slowly emerge from shelter in place. It would be a great way to help local businesses as well as provide a healthy outdoor place for locals to congregate at a safe distance.

We have the setting and the opportunity to make use of our unique center plaza. Let’s create the type of lifestyle that is so vibrant in Europe. Cafes, restaurants, coffee places and possibly other businesses could thrive in the streets of Sonoma!

Georgia Kelly, Sonoma


11 thoughts on “A European-style Sonoma Plaza

  1. What a great idea, it’s a no brainer that cplaza is so large people could set up good social distancing . I have noticed that through this pandemic the people of Sonoma have been phenomenal getting out but being cordial to each other and keeping 6 feet at all times it’s amazing.

  2. I 💗Love❤️Love💜Love🤎Love💟Love💙this fabulous, fantastic & wonderful IDEA❣️SUPERB❣️
    Looking forward to the vaccine & the virus contained to restart living all our lives once again❣️Wishing you all safe living, be well❣️See you all soon❣️😍

  3. Our plaza could be like the charming Piazza Navona in Rome. Outdoor dining. Pedestrians strolling. A brilliant idea!!

  4. I think we’re moving in that direction now! Closing the streets may not be possible yet but it’s a goal — and meanwhile eating take out in the Plaza is a good start!

  5. Great idea, Georgia Kelly! And there’s parking behind the cheese factory for those that can’t walk to the square. We’re 100% behind this one!

  6. Really? What about the retail business?
    Where are the modifications for them? People coming to Sonoma want to dine AND shop. Parking has always been a problem and I think ALL businesses should be
    included in any changes made.
    I love our plaza and know we’ll come with a plan to benefit everyone!

  7. Removing cars from downtown and massively increasing pedestrian space isn’t some ancient thing for Europe. In the UK this mostly happened in the 70s and 80s. The result was a huge influx of people to downtown areas and significant increases in sales for dining and retail businesses. Parking would be tighter but parking lots, walking, shuttles are all ways of getting around these issues. People will flock to a European style pedestrian friendly Sonoma Plaza.

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