New Smyrna Beach approves closing Canal Street to allow shoppers to social distance

Canal Street will close to vehicle traffic every Thursday until July

Shoppers in the New Smyrna Beach Canal Street Historic District. (Image credit: Canal Street Historic District) (WKMG 2020)

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – Shoppers in New Smyrna Beach’s popular Historic District along Canal Street will have more room to shop every Thursday this month following city commissioners’ approval of the plan to close the street to vehicle traffic one day a week until July.

The once-a-week closure will help provide a boost to local businesses who are suffering from low-foot traffic due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaders said. According to a survey conducted by Canal Street Merchants, business owners say there is a lack of consumer confidence in being able to safely shop while adhering to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines of social distancing.

Closing Canal Street will allow businesses to spread out beyond their street sidewalks and patios, according to the city council.

The Historic District includes specialty shops, dining options, art galleries, cultural attractions and the New Smyrna Beach Museum of History, according to Canalstreetnsb.com.

Commissioners also discussed whether to set an alternative date for the Fourth of July fireworks show but did not make a decision. The annual event was indefinitely postponed due to the coronavirus.

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