LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – With indoor dining still banned for the foreseeable future in Los Angeles, a temporary outdoor dining program designed to help keep restaurants citywide afloat during the coronavirus pandemic could be made permanent.

L.A. City Councilman David Ryu Tuesday proposed a motion Tuesday which would make the L.A. Al Fresco program a permanent fixture in the city.

FILE — A waiter serves food to customers on the patio at Pann’s restaurant and coffee shop on July 4, 2020. (Getty Images)

The program, which took effect May 29, allows restaurants to obtain temporary permits to turn parking lots, sidewalks and sometimes streets into pedestrian-only outdoor dining areas.

Nearly 1,600 restaurants have taken advantage of the program so far, and the popularity of it has inspired Ryu to propose making it permanent.

“LA Al Fresco has been a lifeline to our local restaurants,” Ryu said in a statement. “It’s a resource that should be permanent in the City of Los Angeles. We need more programs that cut through red tape to support local businesses and give communities a new sense of vibrancy. I commend the Mayor for creating LA Al Fresco, and I think it should be here to stay.”

Several other Southland cities have taken similar measures. In mid-July, Burbank closed a stretch of San Fernando Boulevard – one of its busiest downtown streets – so that restaurants could expand outdoor dining areas.

On Wednesday, Burbank announced it was extending the closure through at least Oct. 4 due to the popularity of the program.

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