OUTDOOR DINING/SHOPPING: City says it’ll offer new street-closure permits

The city says it’ll make street space available to restaurants and other businesses – if their neighbors are OK with it. From the announcement:

Building on the City’s free permits for sidewalk cafes and curb spaces, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced today an expansion of street closure permit options for one or more blocks as part of the City of Seattle’s efforts to support businesses during the ongoing public health crisis. These new permits will give restaurants and retail stores more space to operate while providing their patrons and passersby more space to move following Governor Jay Inslee’s Safe Start plan. The City will begin accepting applications for these street closures on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. …

Last month, the City announced free sidewalk café and curb space permits, which allow restaurants, retail stores, vending trucks and carts to operate in the sidewalk or curb space in front of their business. These new, temporary permit options help a business owner successfully and safety reopen by expanding their footprint outside. The permits are available for up to six months, and SDOT is expediting permit review to ensure eligible businesses can quickly access this new resource. To date, SDOT has received 92 sidewalk café and curb space permit applications. Business owners interested in applying for this type of permit should visit SDOT’s website for more information. ..

As part of the permitting process, permit applicants will need to notify and demonstrate support from neighboring businesses and residents of proposed street closures. While typical SDOT permit costs are waived, applicants are responsible for any expenses related to the street closure proposal – such as barricades, temporary no parking signs, and tables and chairs. Applicants will be required to conform to all relevant state and local public health guidance. Permit review times vary based on the complexity and the preparedness of the applicant, so we encourage you to use our coaching resources. Stay tuned for more information regarding the eligibility criteria for these new street closure requests.

For more information or to schedule an applicant coaching session about these new temporary permit types, please visit our website or e-mail publicspace@seattle.gov.

21 Replies to "OUTDOOR DINING/SHOPPING: City says it'll offer new street-closure permits"

  • Jamie July 22, 2020 (7:21 pm)

    Why do we need to dine at restaurants right now? This only puts staff, diners, and the broader community at greater risk. Our numbers haven’t reached a point where this makes sense. We should be focusing on driving down infection rates instead of expanding on-site dining options.

    • Duffy July 22, 2020 (7:52 pm)

      Jamie – I don’t disagree, but if the GOP doesn’t pass another stimulus package to help people out, how do we prevent the masses of restaurant workers from going homeless? This whole thing is a giant complex mess, and it is about to get wildly messier if those that have the ability to print money (the federal government) don’t do it. If somehow dining outside can mitigate COVID risk and allow folks that wanna part ways with their money the opportunity to do so, we should explore that.

  • TreeHouse July 22, 2020 (7:33 pm)

    This might be the only thing mayor tear gas Durkan has done in a long time that I’ve supported. Hopefully some restaurants in the Junction take advantage of this!

  • Hillary July 22, 2020 (7:47 pm)

    Outdoor dining in Durango Colorado is set up in the parking area in front of restaurants. It’s pretty neat!

  • TJunction July 22, 2020 (9:42 pm)

    Why not make Cali Ave SW a two lane road and give the eateries some outside space to make some coin.  Or, better yet, treat it like Westfest and close all of Cali Ave SW to let the eateries make money.  I know my family and peeps would be there to dine. 

    • WS Resident July 22, 2020 (10:56 pm)

      Because some of us want to be able to walk outside our apartments on the streets our tax money pays for.

      • Huh? July 23, 2020 (5:53 am)

        Closing the street to vehicles wouldn’t close it to pedestrians.

        • hj July 23, 2020 (11:28 am)

          Pedestrians do not want to walk amongst maskless diners. This is happening right now in front of whatever the mexican restaurant on 42nd is between Alaska and Edmunds. There are a bunch of maskless diners eating outside, frequently facing straight into the sidewalk, definitely NOT 6′ away from the sidewalk.

      • KM July 23, 2020 (8:38 am)

        The above suggestions are for less or no vehicle traffic, so walking would be more pleasant.

        • BW July 23, 2020 (1:13 pm)

          She isn’t talking about cars, very clearly states she doesn’t want to walk amongst maskless diners.  I, for one, am not in favor of closing any more major roads in West Seattle.  

          • KM July 23, 2020 (7:08 pm)

            Why not? Cars have so much of our public space ceded to them already. If you just remove the street parking, you can have outdoor diners + pedestrians co-exist with social distancing. That’s why many cities are doing it. California Ave is 6 lanes wide through the Alaska Junction if you count the car storage lanes. That’s a lot of space prioritized for cars.

    • Dana July 23, 2020 (10:41 am)

      Yes close California and Alki for the sake of our businesses staying alive! 

  • A July 22, 2020 (10:18 pm)

     Can you not stay home and eat? Dining out, shouldn’t be a thing right now.

  • Beepee July 22, 2020 (10:30 pm)

    Does anyone agree that food service is changed forever ?

  • Peg July 22, 2020 (10:36 pm)

    We are trying to order takeout from local businesses in the Junction. Quick drive in the car to escape home detention and safely home for meals. OTOH If Cali was closed and became a public square with outdoor seating we might sit and rest a spell masked and properly distanced. I’m impressed with our neighbors wearing their masks! 

  • Sue H July 22, 2020 (11:58 pm)

    I knew that once the good weather came that people were going to start acting like everything was normal. I like eating out at restaurants to from time to time, but now is not the time for that. I was ordering takeout from restaurants until they started opening for dining. Now I feel the staff has too much exposure from customers to make it safe. 

  • Martin July 23, 2020 (5:26 am)

    Sadly, none of the Junction restaurants ( Alaska-Oregon block ) will be able be able to have semi-permanent outdoor dining space because of the Sunday farmers market. 

  • anonyme July 23, 2020 (7:13 am)

    “…more space to operate while providing their patrons and passersby more space to move”.  Really, how?  Unless the tables are going to be curbside, in the parking area of the street, this seems unlikely, if not impossible.  The permit requires a minimum 6′ pedestrian clearance, which Junction sidewalks barely allow as it is.  In addition, Duke’s (and other Alki restaurants) is a prime example of why this is not a good idea, as there is no way to maintain distancing in these cramped quarters.   If the market block of California were closed off fair style, that might make sense.  Spread out tables down the block and restrict the area to restaurant patrons.

  • Nachobeaver July 23, 2020 (9:16 am)

    Sounds to me durkan is using this virus as a excuse to shut down city streets to get rid of more cars👍

    • Cat July 23, 2020 (10:54 am)

        Ok, let’s just face it we will all be happy if this virus 🦠 never occurred in our life time. God help those people who are born in the future when the world 🌍 is still dealing with this virus 🦠.

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