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After a year of outdoor dining, Old Towne Square to reopen to Petersburg traffic

Posted at 1:48 PM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 13:48:33-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Sycamore Street in Petersburg will reopen to traffic more than a year after the city turned the space into Old Towne Square -- an outdoor dining area to help restaurants -- during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The exact date of the reopening has not been announced.

City Manager Stuart Turille cited public safety has the reason for the switch back to the pre-COVID traffic pattern.

“The balancing act between economic development and public safety must place public safety at the premium, including protecting the public from accidents, and our historic structures from damage, or nothing will exist to revitalize,” Turille said. “Should a fire occur, even one minute may be critical to saving lives and adjacent buildings. A narrow road with tables could delay response time by two to three minutes. We will not experiment with public safety.”

The City of Petersburg said it would discuss the option of moving the Square to another location.