Clarke, who introduced his bill a week after Domb’s, said he was not opposed to streeteries or their perpetuation. But he wants to make sure the city has a public process to properly check structures and locations before that happens. He also wants neighbors, who have complained to him that the streets occupy valuable parking spaces, have the opportunity to voice their concerns.
Clarke said extending the pilot for another six months achieves two goals. It supports the city’s catering industry, while giving the city time to develop guidelines and regulations for permanent streets and to decide how those regulations would be enforced.
“We support streeteries if they are done correctly and appropriately and with the proper participation of the public in a very transparent way. But what we don’t support is essentially the extension of a process that had none of these things that was done in the aftermath of the COVID-19 emergency, ”Clarke said.
As expected, Domb’s bill is supported by more than a few restaurants.
Saba Tedla is the owner of Booker’s Restaurant and Bar, a West Philadelphia spot known for its modern take on traditional Southern cuisine. She said her street, which occupies part of the sidewalk along Baltimore Avenue, had prevented it from closing during the height of the pandemic, when indoor dining was banned and then restricted by regulations. the city.
“It was a game changer,” Tedla said.
Going forward, she said that the 50-seat structure (Bookers has around 80-plus seats inside) has two advantages: it helps deter crime because it provides additional light and more eyes in the eye. street and announces his restaurant to passers-by.
“I am stunned by how this outdoor structure has increased our visibility as a restaurant,” said Tedla. She said if the city stopped allowing the streets, it would have to lay off the handful of employees it hired in response to its restaurant’s capacity increase of more than 50%.
The restaurant has 43 part-time and full-time employees.
In a statement, Kevin Lessard, spokesperson for Mayor Jim Kenney, said the administration “strongly considers that the streets and the expanded sidewalk restoration program be integrated into a permanent version of the open-air restoration initiative. air, but with limitations regarding structures related to public safety and accessibility. “
“The administration hopes to work with city council, local business owners and residents this fall to solidify the details of a program that can be implemented in a safe, responsible and fair manner,” said Lessard.
PlanPhilly is organizing a virtual round table on the future of streeteries on Thursday evening. Register online to join us.