Mayor Kirk Caldwell says the city will be paying special attention to sanitizing and beautifying the Chinatown area. It’s an effort to help Chinatown businesses get back on their feet after revenue losses due to COVID-19.
The city will be getting rid of graffiti, enforcing trash disposal, installing brighter LED lights and increasing police patrols in the area.
Caldwell will also launch a pilot program on July 11th, closing a part of Hotel Street to vehicles so that restaurants and stores can use the sidewalks and road for extra space to socially distance.
"We're requiring six feet of physical distance in between tables. We know restaurants, as a result, have less capacity. We've allowed them to come out onto our city, sidewalks, malls and the edges of our parks, and 30 restaurants have now signed up online but only 30 out of many," he said.
"And so we're hoping that in Chinatown, where most restaurants are on the ground floor, that those along Hotel Street will come out and actually fill up the entire sidewalk."
The idea is similar to the Open Streets program that closes off a portion of Kalakaua Avenue for select Sundays, allowing residents to bike, skate and otherwise use the vehicle-free street and patrionize businesses.
The city will also use $200,000 in federal CARES Act funding to power-wash Chinatown sidewalks five times a week. That starts tonight at 9 p.m.