City leaders have decided to permanently close down traffic on seven blocks of Main Street in downtown Houston.

According to the Houston Chronicle, city council members voted unanimously on Wednesday to extend the “More Space: Main Street” program that allowed restaurants and bars to maintain outdoor seating space between Commerce Street and Rusk Street.

The program was originally created in November 2020 as a way for local businesses to cope with COVID-19 pandemic policies.

The program has enabled participating businesses to add a total of 45 tables and 154 seats on outdoor patios so far, according to Houston’s Chief Transportation Planner David Fields. He said bars and restaurants have also reported an increase in revenue, employee retention and customer satisfaction.

The goal is to eventually expand the concept to other local businesses and commercial strips citywide, city leaders said.

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