More Space: Main Street
The More Space: Main Street initiative began as a temporary way to support our businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2023, City Council approved the program’s permanent establishment, closing portions of Main Street to vehicular traffic, creating safe, walkable space for pedestrians and room for Main Street-facing activities. While Blocks of Main Street from Commerce to Rusk to vehicles are closed for traffic, drivers can still cross Main Street on the side streets.
The Planning Department is now coordinating with a wide range of city departments, as well as external partners that include Houston Downtown Management District (Downtown District) and METRO, to provide a long-term program that supports a vibrant Main Street.
Q&A From More Space: Main Street Presentation To Businesses
A: Sidewalk café requirements remain the same. More Space: Main Street only allows for outdoor seating space in the roadbed.
A: Downtown District will roll additional trips into the routes if needed.
A: The tenants must coordinate to share the same space available for the building. If you share the whole area (in accordance with TABC) without separate fencing between, then you do not need to return to us for a permit. If your agreement changes the configuration (e.g. separated fencing) then you will need to get reapproved.
A business should not need to close since program participation is all exterior changes. The business is responsible for build-out of its own patio, so construction time will vary depending on the design approach taken. If the business is on a corner with an existing curb ramp, it shouldn’t take long.
A: Like all vehicles, Uber & Lyft will be able to travel on the cross streets. The City and Downtown District will continue to identify drop-off/pick-up locations as customer volumes return to Main Street.
A: White water barricades will be wrapped with graphics from Downtown District.
A: Firetrucks can utilize the METRO Rail lane to access mid-block buildings.
A: The program will last until March 31, 2023 or until the end of all COVID protocols.
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