Hoping to further encourage people to leave their homes and patronize local businesses struggling through the pandemic, West Hollywood will begin an open-street program on Robertson Boulevard Saturday evening to create a pedestrian-friendly shopping and dining area.

The “OUT on Robertson” program is an expansion of the city’s creation of “OUT Zones” that allowed businesses and restaurants to expand their operations outdoors onto sidewalks and parking spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday and continuing until late Sunday night, Robertson will be closed to traffic from just south of Santa Monica Boulevard to just north of Melrose Avenue, to “transform the restaurant/retail area into a pedestrian zone.”

“Closing this highly trafficked and bustling stretch of Robertson will provide a pedestrian-safe space that allows for appropriate social distancing as the Public Health Department eases capacity restrictions while still monitoring the spread of the virus,” West Hollywood City Councilman John M. Erickson said. “COVID is not over and we all must remain vigilant about protecting our own health, and the health of others.”

City officials said visitors can park in the five-story West Hollywood Park structure, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., adjacent to the West Hollywood Library, or at 650 N. La Peer Drive to access the event. The city has also established ride-hailing service drop zones at Melrose and Robertson.

The program will continue every weekend for an unknown duration.

Officials noted that the city still has a mandatory face-covering requirement, and people visiting the Robertson area were asked to maintain six feet of social distancing from others.

“The coronavirus pandemic has forced many of our local businesses to drastically alter how they serve the public,” Councilman John D’Amico said. “This has had a profound impact on the city of West Hollywood’s business community and has added to the economic challenges wrought by COVID-19. … Creating safe, socially distanced outdoor spaces for expanded operations is a creative approach that will help West Hollywood’s businesses, residents, and visitors as we continue to respond to the evolving pandemic.”

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