Should Sidewalk Dining Stop?

During the pandemic many cities allowed restaurants to add tables on the sidewalks and even parking spaces or parking lots to help the businesses mostly restaurants maintain social distancing. By allowing these businesses to do that it helped them stay open and employ staff which with no eating allowed inside for a long time or social distancing they wouldn’t have been able to remain open.

I don’t think most people had an issue with this as it helped the restaurants and other businesses stay open in a troubled time but the question is should these sidewalk tables and areas be removed once things get back to more normal?

Cities all over Southern California are trying to decide if they should stop sidewalk dining and, if they do when should they stop allowing it. I must admit i am torn over this issue because i grew up in Europe where sidewalk dining was more common and, its nice to enjoy a meal outside at a table on a nice evening. 

The bigger issue is by using the sidewalk or closing streets for these restaurants to use you are in fact are giving public space to private business for no mostly no cost. Yes some cities at first charged filing fees to use the space but most backed off.

In the long run i can see some cities completely banning sidewalk dining but i can see other cities allowing in certain areas if some kind of fee is paid to the cities for the use of public sidewalk. The practice of closing off streets for public dining i think will mostly go away after the pandemic ends.

The pandemic has changed life or us all hopefully some kind of compromise can be worked out as i would love to see sidewalk dining remain in some areas it makes a great way to have dinner and enjoy are beautiful Southern California weather.

Courtesy of Costa Mesa

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