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November 22, 2017, 11:43:03 pm
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Author Topic: Moratorium: No more sidewalk cafes  (Read 6419 times)
Bamboo World
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« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2016, 12:54:59 pm »


When I see people seated on the sidewalks near Mod's or Elote Café, I simply walk by them.

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Bamboo World
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« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2016, 01:13:50 pm »



It has little or nothing to do with caring about walkability.  

I'm under the opinion that someone complained about a sidewalk café or something else in a public right of way downtown.

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DTowner
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« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2016, 02:10:02 pm »

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.

The article says the city wants to make sure the sidewalk use approval process is consistent with whatever changes its makes based on the walkability study.  Since we are talking about multiple uses for sidewalks, the two seem related and it seems like a smart move to be consistent.  We usually complain on here that the city doesn’t follow through or utilize the many studies it commissions.  Also, a “moratorium” does not imply any currently approved uses are going to be rescinded.
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Conan71
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« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2016, 02:39:44 pm »

Rusty was interviewed by Channel 6 last night and they showed footage from Mods.  An issue raised by the city is having at least 3 feet for people to get by in wheelchairs.  As well, you are essentially engaged in commerce in public property.

I can see where there has to be some sense of order to what can and cannot be allowed on public right-of-way, otherwise, you have people setting up whatever they want on the sidewalk.  "If that guy can set up tables for his restaurant, I should be able to set up a Photo Booth and charge people to take selfies.”

Where does it end if you don’t have some sort of code for this?  If you aren’t careful, you can end up with something reminiscent of the vendors set up on The Plaza in Santa Fe on a weekend morning.
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Bamboo World
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« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2016, 02:53:37 pm »


The article says the city wants to make sure the sidewalk use approval process is consistent with whatever changes its makes based on the walkability study.  Since we are talking about multiple uses for sidewalks, the two seem related and it seems like a smart move to be consistent.


The City of Tulsa doesn't need to wait on Speck's study or any other study.  The City of Tulsa can begin to establish a set of standards, including a minimum clear zone along public sidewalks, if it wishes.  I doubt if Speck & Associates will deviate much from the 6-foot recommendation in the Fort Lauderdale study.

Jeff Speck doesn't like dealing with b.s., which is mostly what Tulsa's Mayor's Office is delving into with the sidewalk café moratorium.  Sidewalk cafés add to walkability.  They're desirable for walkability.  

$70,000 won't go far if the City expects Jeff Speck to get involved in the sidewalk café moratorium.  Other than the minimum clear zone of about 6 feet, I'm not sure what other recommendations the City is waiting to hear from Jeff Speck.

He has already told Tulsa and several other cities what's important:

1. Protect the sidewalks from vehicular traffic with parking and trees along the curbs.
2. Re-paint traffic lanes, if necessary, at 10 feet wide.
3. Re-paint parallel parking lanes, if necessary, at a maximum width of 8 feet.
4. Keep corner radii at 15 feet or less.  Eliminate swooping curves.
5. Convert one-way streets to two-way.
6. Eliminate traffic signals at low-volume intersections.
7. Require buildings near to or abutting public sidewalks.
8. Do not allow surface parking lots along public sidewalks.
9. Do not allow parking garages with blank walls along public sidewalks.

Tulsa already has a nuisance ordinance concerning obstructions in public streets.  That code is not enforced uniformly.  It's enforced selectively, based on who complains, not the actual problem/issue of accessibility or walkability.

If the City wants to establish a minimum 3-foot clearance for wheelchairs because someone felt uncomfortable getting by the chairs at Mod's, okay ... but I think Tulsa's nuisance ordinance and the Americans with Disabilities Act already cover that issue already without getting Jeff Speck involved in a local tiff that has little or nothing to do with making downtown Tulsa more walkable.

Why is the Mayor's Office concerned with sidewalk cafés right now?  Who is leading this effort?  Someone started it.  

« Last Edit: August 11, 2016, 03:19:18 pm by Bamboo World » Logged
Bamboo World
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« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2016, 03:01:54 pm »



I can see where there has to be some sense of order to what can and cannot be allowed on public right-of-way, otherwise, you have people setting up whatever they want on the sidewalk...

Where does it end if you don’t have some sort of code for this?


Tulsa already has a code.  Title 24, Section 103, H, I, and J.

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davideinstein
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« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2016, 03:04:04 pm »

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

Happens often.
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davideinstein
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« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2016, 03:05:12 pm »

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...

It's not an issue at all. I work in the Deco District every single day. We need more sidewalk cafes. The study by Jeff Speck will likely completely agree with that too.
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davideinstein
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« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2016, 03:06:51 pm »

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.


It's suggestive they just want to generate revenue by fining a business though. To me at least.
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davideinstein
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« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2016, 03:09:22 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've never had a problem walking by Mods but I do see tons of people using them everyday.
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davideinstein
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« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2016, 03:10:06 pm »

When I see people seated on the sidewalks near Mod's or Elote Café, I simply walk by them.



Same!
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davideinstein
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« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2016, 03:11:16 pm »

Rusty was interviewed by Channel 6 last night and they showed footage from Mods.  An issue raised by the city is having at least 3 feet for people to get by in wheelchairs.  As well, you are essentially engaged in commerce in public property.

I can see where there has to be some sense of order to what can and cannot be allowed on public right-of-way, otherwise, you have people setting up whatever they want on the sidewalk.  "If that guy can set up tables for his restaurant, I should be able to set up a Photo Booth and charge people to take selfies.”

Where does it end if you don’t have some sort of code for this?  If you aren’t careful, you can end up with something reminiscent of the vendors set up on The Plaza in Santa Fe on a weekend morning.

I'd welcome vendors setting up.
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DTowner
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« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2016, 03:52:22 pm »

It's suggestive they just want to generate revenue by fining a business though. To me at least.

I encourage you to reread the article - its says businesses are now starting to set up on sidewalks and then ask for permission later.  The city is trying to write new rules to make this work for everyone.  Business are already required to get permission, i.e. a license to operate on the sidewalk.  Assuming this is intended to shut down sidewalk cafes or a way to use fines to gouge businesses is a giant leap into the assumption pool.
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Bamboo World
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« Reply #28 on: August 11, 2016, 05:10:07 pm »


Where did the Tulsa World get information about a moratorium?  When I checked the Mayor's Office's webpage today, I found no mention of a moratorium at all.  According to the Mayor's Office's webpage:

Quote

Engineering Services continues to accept applications for license agreements for use of public property for private, commercial development. The City is also conducting a critical review of policies to develop a list of criteria for reviewing license agreement applications.


If Engineering Services is continuing to accept applications for license agreements, and if "City staff is committed to work quickly to complete policies and move license agreement requests forward for council action," then how would that be considered a moratorium on sidewalk cafés?

Did the Mayor's Office issue a moratorium?  If so, when and for how long?

The August 9th Channel 6 article doesn't include the word "moratorium," but specifically mentions that the "City of Tulsa is putting all downtown licensing agreements on hold, meaning downtown businesses wanting to install outdoor seating or signs will have to wait."

Where is Channel 6 getting its information about putting licensing agreements on hold?  From the Mayor's Office?  From another City department?

The August 9th Channel 6 article also states:

Quote

A business must have a licensing agreement before building or adding anything to the public space outside. The City said most businesses do, but some never ask permission.

And until the new policy is complete, hopefully sometime next month, the City won't hand out any new licensing agreements.


Again, who at the City is feeding info to Channel 6 and to the Tulsa World?  I've looked at Executive Orders from the Mayor's Office online, and the most recent order posted is about a Route 66 Commission from May 15, 2016.  I didn't see anything about a licensing agreement moratorium.

The August 9th Channel 6 article also states that the "City said it won't require unlicensed businesses to remove its outdoor items. That is unless someone files an ADA complaint and the store is found to be breaking the law."

If any City official or employee actually told Channel 6 that the City won't require unlicensed businesses to remove outdoor items, then which City official or employee said that?  And, if the statement is true, then how is a moratorium on official licensing agreements an effective tool of regulating unlicensed businesses?

Here's the last paragraph from the license agreement policy news item on the Mayor's Office's webpage:

Quote

The license agreement process is an effort to position the City for planned growth that represents the high expectations of the City in an effort to provide the kind of public space our citizens and visitors can enjoy, while also protecting and preserving the public realm for key functions such as walkability and the extension of public utilities.


I find this difficult to believe, because I don't think the Mayor's Office cares about walkability.  That lack of concern was demonstrated when Barbo [sic] Cox and some of her neighbors made a video and whined to the mayor about a proposed sidewalk along Riverside.  The mayor promptly issued a moratorium on the sidewalk proposal, so to speak.

This sidewalk usage "problem" is not about Jeff Speck's study, and it's not even about walkability. Something else is going on.  
  
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 12:18:52 pm by Bamboo World » Logged
AquaMan
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« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2016, 07:18:00 pm »

If this is a private commercial use of a public property, then to be consistent, the city needs to insist on $1-5 million insurance policies naming them as additional insureds. That is pretty common from my experience with the city and the county. I'm also pretty sure that the commercial insurance these restaurants and retail businesses use is based on their buildings, not on the city sidewalks which are exposed to greater risk.
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