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Downtown businesses bring street closure concerns to city council

Posted at 3:05 AM, May 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-10 06:05:00-04

Downtown business owners voiced their concerns to the Bakersfield city council about unexpected downtown road closures last Thursday for National Day of Prayer events.

Nick Hansa, owner of Chef's Choice Noodle Bar, brought forward a letter to the council signed by more than 20 other downtown businesses. Hansa says his restaurant and other business were negatively impacted by the 12-hour road closures. He says his restaurant was forced to send home 30 employees and lost out on as much as $7,000 in sales.

Hansa and other business owners asked the council to come up with a a better event permit and street closure process that takes downtown as a whole into consideration.

"We are asking that the city has a clearly defined process to determine whether or not an event is worthy of a street closure," said Hansa. "And once that is determined, that everything happens to make that event successful."

Hansa says in the future the city should make sure event organizers are responsible for restroom facilities, designated parking, security and communications about closures with business owners.

Council member Andrae Gonzales oversees downtown and referred the concern to city staff.

Gonzales asked city staff to acquire stronger neighborhood outreach when it comes to street closures.