This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

A good idea from Chuck Wolfe:

How about an ordinance offering temporary, no-fee sidewalk use every Saturday morning for two hours, with removable tables, for small restaurants and coffee houses who can do so while allowing a walkable passage between storefront and street? How about businesses reducing coffee, espresso drink and chocolate drink prices during these two hours for those who bring their own cups?

3 Replies to “Sidewalk Saturdays”

  1. I think this basically falls in the heading of “Well, uh, whatever…” It’s a general good wish that goes nowhere, partly because, just as it starts out for somewhere, its two hours are up.

    How much better to build a block, as they did recently in Poulsbo, where the street is narrow, the sidewalks are broad, and the businesses are set back so all of them at all times can have tables and chairs out front for patrons. Surrounded by extremely dense housing and row housing, as this is, you then have a much better chance at encouraging pedestrian use.

  2. Not a terrible idea, but it doesn’t go very far (Seattle already allows sidewalk cafes). How about we do what they do in Ljubljana or Zagreb (or dozens of other cities) and close a few streets to cars, letting restaurants fill the streets with tables and chairs (ok, we’ll start out only on Saturday nights).

    1. There are a number of streets that should just be automatically closed on Friday and Saturday nights. They’re not essential to traffic, in fact, they probably impede traffic by encouraging people to come by car and then search for parking.

      Not sure, however, to what extent the climate will encourage outdoor dining.

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