There’s going to be a process; there will be public participation. It’s starting from a place where they’ve been doing it for a year — it shifts the dynamic.

Why do you think this particular effort has gotten such widespread bipartisan support? Why is it so important to so many lawmakers?

One of the things I love about state government is there are a number of issues that are not partisan. I think this idea has incredibly broad public support, and it combines a number of things: support for small businesses, activating public spaces, creating vibrant neighborhoods.

Do you have a sense for how the math is working out?

In the short term, you have restaurants that have struggled in the past year, and also restaurants have made these investments. It’s going to take people time to figure out what they want in the long term.

Some people aren’t going to want to dine indoors for a while. As capacity moves more toward 100 percent, different restaurants are going to make different calculations.

Some of the outdoor spaces might go away on their own. A lot of them are going to be permanent, and they’re going to work well. I think we’re going to see over the next six to 12 months. We’ll gather a lot of information about what the public wants.

Are there concerns about addressing the physical safety of some of these spaces, like ones built into the street without permanent bollards or barriers?

I think cities are already looking at ways to promote public safety, and obviously restaurants are in favor of that. Those details are going to be worked out at the local level.

Are there any particular areas in San Francisco or the Bay more broadly that you think have been transformed in particularly nice or creative ways?

In the Castro, we saw these really strong relationships between restaurants and bars develop. Some of the gay bars will partner with the taqueria a few doors down, and they have large spaces, so you’ve been able to have a drink and a burrito and drag shows — it’s just a really festive environment. The Castro gay bars thought very creatively and made it work.


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