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Author Topic: Moratorium: No more sidewalk cafes  (Read 6422 times)
davideinstein
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« on: August 10, 2016, 04:16:49 pm »

http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepagelatest/moratorium-no-more-downtown-sidewalk-cafes-until-completion-of-walkability/article_9448ed3f-6fa0-58b0-9088-4f39d4b04076.html

I'm under the opinion this is a way to ticket businesses instead of actually caring about walkability. Why? I've kept up with local politics for the past decade and I wasn't born yesterday.
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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2016, 05:29:19 pm »

I'm under the impression it's to keep people from hogging a public right away without permitting/inspection....
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davideinstein
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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2016, 07:01:01 pm »

I'm under the impression it's to keep people from hogging a public right away without permitting/inspection....

Give me an example of where this is an issue.
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Bamboo World
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2016, 08:06:44 pm »



Give me an example of where this is an issue.


For me, a sidewalk café is almost never an issue, as long as nothing is attached to the sidewalk or obstructing pedestrian traffic. 

I've had to squeeze by Ti Amo on Cheyenne a few times, with the fence bolted down to the sidewalk there.

There's another fence bolted to the sidewalk on 5th near Cheyenne, in front of the Mayo Hotel.  That fencing leaves a little more space than the Ti Amo fence, but not much more.

I think the plastic fencing at Billy's near 5th and Main is weighted down with sand or some other ballast, not attached to the sidewalk.  And the walking surface is much wider there, so getting around Billy's fence isn't a problem. 

Overall, a sidewalk café tends to add to walkability in most cases, but I think the more "permanent" obstructions such as fences and railings make certain sidewalks less walkable.

Examples:

1. Ramps, steps, and rails along the south side of 7th, west of Boston.
2. Ramps, steps, and rails in the sidewalks near the northeast corner of Main and Archer.
3. Rails on the north side of Mathew B. Reconciliation Way, west of Elgin near the Gates Hardware building.
4. Fencing on the east side of Cheyenne, north of 3rd.
5. Fencing on the north side of 5th, east of Cheyenne.
 
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davideinstein
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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2016, 08:57:01 pm »

Sidewalk cafes absolutely add to walkability. I emailed Jeff Speck today and he kindly responded with the same sentiment. Curious on Ti Amo so I will check out their set up tomorrow.
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RecycleMichael
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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2016, 09:11:29 pm »

This isn't just sidewalk cafes. It is anything over a sidewalk.

I was involved in getting an awning above some downtown windows (over a sidewalk) that took a year for the city to approve.
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« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2016, 09:54:39 pm »

Give me an example of where this is an issue.

It's an issue...That does not need to get worse...People walking should not be forced to walk in the street so someone can set up shop on the sidewalk...
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« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2016, 09:55:32 pm »

This isn't just sidewalk cafes. It is anything over a sidewalk.

I was involved in getting an awning above some downtown windows (over a sidewalk) that took a year for the city to approve.

That's over the top time wise....
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« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2016, 10:02:25 pm »

That's over the top time wise....

Nah, sounds about average for the city.  Unfortunately.
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2016, 06:52:52 am »

Nah, sounds about average for the city.  Unfortunately.

My latest experience with the permit office was stellar....It would be interesting to investigate what caused RM's hold up and if thats the norm...
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2016, 07:04:37 am »

What I don't like is how narrow the sidewalks are on some of our major streets like Boston Avenue.  They are absurdly narrow.  

I do put out 4 chairs and a "robot" and I place them in line with the trees/planters and light poles to keep the sidewalk free, but even then there is only room for a couple of people to walk side by side through the entire sidewalk area along that street.  I will look into getting a permit when they get the new rules out.  Will be interesting to see just what the rules will be.  

I also wonder about the "cement" part of the sidewalk that is right next to the buildings.  I have a bit of a covered inset where my doors are and have a planter in that space on either side of the doors. I assume that is the buildings property and thus regulated by the building owners rules?  But then there is the strip next to the building and have a planter there as well.  Is that regulated by the building or the city?

Course even what is inside can be regulated.  My "Open" sign should legally have to have a permit for there is an ordinance that says no interior signage within 15" of the glass without a permit.  I have read through a lot of the "rules" and such and if we wanted to be sticklers about things I could probably go down the street and shut every business down or cite them for violations.

I always knew this day would come sooner or later.  It's been "wink wink nod nod" on the sidewalk stuff for a while because people have been thrilled to the dickens just to see any sign of life downtown lol, BUT we all knew that sooner or later things would get busier and it might get out of hand and or someone would complain and the party would come to an end lol. Hopefully the rules will allow for some flexibility and not be too draconian.  

There also were some banner signs on the building by my space up until a few months ago.  The 3  sets of rods over my store are still there and I was thinking of hanging some small, less wind catching, "Books" "Toys" "Gifts" signs from them.  Hope they get the rules up and changed before the holidays that little bit of extra signage will help.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2016, 07:10:35 am by TheArtist » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2016, 09:22:00 am »

The fencing around sidewalk patios is to comply with ABLE Commission rules.

I don’t see anything in the article indicating the city is going to put the kibosh on sidewalk cafes - rather it wants to implement rules for approving such licensing/uses consistent with the walkability study the city has commissioned.  While I like sidewalk cafes, private business owners do not have a right to unilaterally seize public property for their own private for-profit use without permission by the city.  It appears this is what has been happening in some instances.
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Bamboo World
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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2016, 10:40:43 am »



The fencing around sidewalk patios is to comply with ABLE Commission rules.

I don’t see anything in the article indicating the city is going to put the kibosh on sidewalk cafes - rather it wants to implement rules for approving such licensing/uses consistent with the walkability study the city has commissioned.


Jeff Speck's firm has conducted several walkability studies already.  In those studies, protecting the sidewalk with trees and parking along the curb is the important issue, not licensing cafés or other uses. 

However, sidewalk width was specifically mentioned in the walkability study for Fort Lauderdale:

Quote

Ample Sidewalks

This obvious point sometimes doesn’t need mentioning, because few American cities have forgotten about sidewalk width. But, particularly against certain stretches of Broward Boulevard, Andrews Avenue, and E 3rd Avenue, sidewalks in the downtown can get scarily small. Generally, absent pedestrian crowding, most sidewalks need provide little more than a 6-foot clear zone to be comfortable, but this condition changes when parallel parking or mature shade trees are missing. In these cases, it is more important to provide the car-and-tree buffer than it is to widen the clear zone, but an ideal solution accomplishes both.

(from page 18 of the Fort Lauderdale Downtown Walkability Analysis, submitted by Speck & Associates, January 15, 2013)

I'm not familiar with sidewalks in Fort Lauderdale, but I'd like to check out Broward, Andrews, and East 3rd on Google Maps to see how the sidewalks there compare to Tulsa's.

As I see it, this sidewalk café "issue" is really a non-issue for Tulsa.  It shouldn't be a high priority for the Mayor's Office, and I don't see how Jeff Speck's walkability study will change anything, or why the City of Tulsa needs to wait on the completion of any walkability study.  If a minimum 6-foot clear zone was Speck's recommendation for downtown Fort Lauderdale, then 6 feet ought to suffice in Tulsa.

ABLE Commission regulations or not, fencing attached to public sidewalks shouldn't be allowed.  The clear zone at Ti Amo is relatively narrow.  So is the clear zone near Prairie Artisan Ales in the Universal Ford building along Main St.  I haven't measured those clear zones, but I have noticed that they cause walkability choke points in the sidewalks ... very minor in the big picture for people who are able to walk around them ... more an issue for people using wheelchairs.
 
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saintnicster
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« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2016, 11:49:56 am »

The example I think of is on Boston, specifically with the tables in front of Mods.  We sat at those once, but there were 5 of us.  It was either obstruct the middle of the side walk, set a chair right next to the car there, or have one of us (me) sit in the 2seater right across from it.  Just felt like we were in the way the whole time, especially with elevated Wednesday night foot traffic.
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« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2016, 12:47:56 pm »

The example I think of is on Boston, specifically with the tables in front of Mods.  We sat at those once, but there were 5 of us.  It was either obstruct the middle of the side walk, set a chair right next to the car there, or have one of us (me) sit in the 2seater right across from it.  Just felt like we were in the way the whole time, especially with elevated Wednesday night foot traffic.

I also thought about Mods earlier.   We eat at Elote across the street often.  Elote's patio is inset from the curb, with I think maybe one two-top actually on the sidewalk, so there is little obstruction.   With Mods, the tables are definitely an obstruction.  I parked on the curb immediately in front of Mods a week or so ago, and there were two women setting at a table so close to the curb (literally only a few inches from the curb) that it made me uncomfortable while parking.
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