Outdoor Dining

Cyclist rides down green-painted bike lane in Manhattan, New York next to small businesses with colored awnings

Bike Lanes Are Good for Business. Why Don’t Business Owners Believe It?

Proposed bike lanes often come up against opposition from local merchants who believe losing street parking will hurt their business, but research repeatedly shows the opposite effect.

February 1, 2023 - Wired

Empty chairs and tables on sidewalk at a Phialdelphia restaurant

New Philadelphia Outdoor Dining Laws Exclude Most Restaurants

Restaurant owners argue that new requirements for the city’s permanent outdoor dining program are practically impossible for most of them to meet.

January 13, 2023 - Philadelphia Magazine

People sitting at outdoor dining tables next to bike lane protected by delineators and three-story buildings in Dublin, Ireland

Where Car-Free Streets Won Out

While some open streets experiments have met with backlash from community members, others were so successful they led to permanent changes.

November 22, 2022 - Next City

The former parking of Woodies restaurant is filled with empty picnic tables for dining during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Outdoor Dining Parklets No Longer Cheap and Easy

Cities in Santa Cruz County, California are making outdoor dining laws permanent, and some businesses are getting sticker shock at the extra cost of maintaining the pandemic-era expansion of al fresco dining.

November 21, 2022 - Lookout Santa Cruz

New York City Open Streets

Open Streets and Outdoor Dining Are Best for Business, Report Says

Most business owners believe that they'd be out of business without on-street parking near their front door. The experience of New York City during the pandemic proves otherwise.

October 27, 2022 - StreetsBlog NYC

Italian restaurant outdoor dining patio with string lights in New York City

Who Should Manage New York’s Outdoor Dining Program?

A proposal to shift responsibility away from the Department of Transportation has met staunch resistance from industry groups and advocates of the program.

October 24, 2022 - StreetsBlog NYC

Covered outdoor dining patio on street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Opinion: Support Citizen-Led Public Space Projects

A public space advocate outlines how Philadelphia’s city leaders could support the parklets, plazas, and other public space conversions that proliferated during the pandemic.

September 26, 2022 - WHYY

Busy restaurant seating on New York City sidewalk during COVID-19 pandemic

Americans Have Fallen in Love With Outdoor Dining

Started as a response to pandemic restrictions, al fresco dining has taken off as customers, restaurant owners, and city officials realize the social and economic benefits of outdoor dining spaces.

August 29, 2022 - Boston Globe

Al Fresco Streets

New York's Outdoor Dining Program Stays Controversial, Likely to Evolve

New York City's Open Restaurants Program, while here to stay, is going to see substantial changes, requiring new permits, as soon as next year.

March 23, 2022 - Bloomberg CityLab

Economic Recovery Plan

Portland Extends Pandemic Public Space Programs

PBOT will continue two highly successful COVID-era programs that allowed businesses and community groups to repurpose public spaces for pedestrian-oriented uses and engage with customers in safe, accessible outdoor settings.

March 16, 2022 - City of Portland

Milwaukee Avenue District in Wicker Park, Chicago, IL

Opinion: Repurpose Parking for Bike Lanes and Outdoor Seating

With car parking banned from two blocks of Chicago's Milwaukee Avenue on weekend nights, the city could take the opportunity to permanently adapt the space for other uses.

February 7, 2022 - Streetsblog Chicago

Lower State Street in Santa Barbara (between Ortega St and Cota St).

Santa Barbara May Scale Down Outdoor Dining Areas

The city will consider adjustments to its outdoor dining policy after the fire department expressed concerns about access for emergency vehicles.

January 31, 2022 - KEYT

Al Fresco Streets

Outdoor Dining: Too Popular to Abandon

Some cities that took the almost unprecedented step to loosen restrictions on outdoor dining in the early days of the pandemic are deciding to make their new outdoor dining rules permanent.

January 19, 2022 - James Brasuell

Ocean Drive Open Streets

Miami Beach to Reopen Ocean Drive to Cars

The famous cruising strip was off-limits to cars during the pandemic. Now, the city is letting vehicles return with some pedestrian-oriented compromises.

January 14, 2022 - Bloomberg CityLab

San Francisco Parklet

How the Pandemic Is Reshaping Cities

The social and economic upheaval of the last two years accelerated a shift in thinking about how we use public space and organize the urban realm.

January 4, 2022 - Wired

14th Street Busway New York City

How New York City's Appearance Changed Under de Blasio

The former mayor's administration oversaw several major changes in the city's skyline, streets, and public spaces.

January 4, 2022 - The City

Al Fresco Streets

Opinion: Keep Outdoor Dining Without Thwarting Creativity

While New York City's effort to make its outdoor dining program permanent is a welcome reimagining of public space, some worry that regulations will reduce design diversity and increase costs for small restauranteurs.

December 29, 2021 - Curbed

Outdoor cafes in Old Town, San Diego

San Diego Approves Permanent Outdoor Dining

The city's new regulations pave the way for making the pandemic experiment a permanent fixture.

November 1, 2021 - The San Diego Union-Tribune

Chelsea Square Restaurant in Chelsea in in New York

Arlington County to Explore Permanent Outdoor Dining Options

As emergency ordinances passed during the pandemic are set to expire, county officials will consider making some pandemic dining accommodations permanent.

September 23, 2021 - Arl Now

San Francisco Parklet

San Francisco Supervisors Vote to Keep Parklets, Close Them at Night

The pandemic-era outdoor seating arrangements can stay, but a last-minute amendment lets business owners close them overnight.

July 21, 2021 - San Francisco Chronicle

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