City Council Approves Expanded Outdoor Dining and Permits Closures of the Public Right of Way

People dining outside along 13th St in Center City

(JUNE 25, 2020 – PHILADELPHIA, PA) — Feet First Philly and Clean Air Council applaud City Council for passing bills 200351 and 200352. Expanding outdoor dining for Philly’s restaurants and permitting right of way closures including street parking is key to preventing the spread of COVID19 while businesses begin to open.

Both bills are extremely important. However, we strongly support bill 200352,  permitting right of way closures. Without this bill, restaurants and businesses wouldn’t have access to extra space to ensure customers and pedestrians are able to maintain safe social distancing. Converting parking spaces and permitting expanded use of the parking lane will allow safe passage for pedestrians and ample room for outdoor seating.   

Feet First Philly and Clean Air Council support these bills and other measures to use public space effectively to aid in the safe reopening of the region’s businesses. Read more about our  Recovery Streets platform put together with 5th Square and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. 

We are aware that the city’s hospitality industry suffered tremendously from closures due to the public health emergency. Feet First Philly and Clean Air Council applaud the creative efforts restaurants have utilized to ensure that people are able to safely walk up to establishments they wish to patronize. We hope that the City of Philadelphia continues to match this creativity, and adopt new measures to rethink how our public space is used to benefit everyone.

Jennifer Dougherty, Chair of Feet First Philly “These bills support both the economic and personal health of Philadelphians.  Now is the time to reimagine our street space to allow for a healthier, more vibrant, and safer Philadelphia today and in the future.”

Joseph Otis Minott, Executive Director and Chief Counsel of Clean Air Council – “Allowing expanded outdoor dining is key to helping Philly’s diverse restaurant scene survive during the public health emergency. Bill 200352 is a big step in the right direction for better use of the city’s public space. These bills ensure that restaurants can use the public right of way to keep their staff and diners safe as the city begins to reopen.”

CONTACT: Ptah Gabrie pgabrie@cleanair.org 215-567-4004 x 127

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