The city's Beautification Task Force and Chamber of Commerce have come up with a new way to get more shopping activity on San Mateo Avenue: new planter boxes.
The first new planter box was installed last week in front of in an effort to make the downtown area more attractive—something it has been lacking for years.
Councilwoman Irene O'Connell, who serves as the council liaison to the task force, said the committee and the chamber are now looking to get more business owners to help beautify the downtown area in the same way.
"It increases the merchant's awareness of the affects the outside of their businesses have on customers," O'Connell said about the planter boxes. "Hopefully, the efforts to beautify downtown will seep into other areas, making it more alluring to shoppers."
The city paid for the flowers in front of Diddalidoo, while the business owner has agreed to do the upkeep.
O'Connell said the effort is similar to the "broken windows theory."
"In essence, small problems, if left, get bigger," she said. "So, in reverse, if we start making the street more pleasing, the idea will catch on and soon the whole street will be more beautiful and attractive to shoppers."
Other efforts have been made in past, including the annual Operation Clean Sweep event, the garden artwork on the old Wells Fargo site and business facade program.