Eric Adams is making outdoor dining permanent without research. Adams is pro-business, and less concerned about quality of life for residents impacted by an irresponsible decision.
First, outdoor dining structures, if made permanent, should be relegated to sidewalks only, with space available for pedestrian walkway. And the sidewalks should be surrounded by through traffic barriers with metal detectors for public safety — see barriers around Yankee Stadium area, which prevents a car from driving through, as well as other pedestrian safety precautions.
Second, if Temporary Outdoor Restaurant structures are to be made permanent, are restaurant owners going to pay more insurance for public safety while dining outdoors? The reason I ask, who is responsible for the following while dining, if outdoor dining becomes permanent?
1. Protection from unsafe vehicles and persons on street, in general.
What happens when a car tries to avoid another car or pedestrian? What happens if a tire or projectile comes from a vehicle and harms a person dining? What if someone starts shooting on a public street? There would be less chance of harm indoors versus inside of an outdoor dining structure. Again, public safety vs. profits.
2. Exhaust from buses, cars and trucks.
I ask because, as my husband and I ate at an outdoor dining structure in 2021 on Upper East Side, MTA buses, every 10-minutes, were literally inches from our table, making us nervous and anxious to leave. The restaurant wasn’t cheap either. Our outdoor dining experience was approximately $100 including tip, but the outdoor dining cheapened the experience.
Debris kept flying onto table, debris from who knows where.
A bus passenger was literally right above our table with bus window open as one bus was waiting in traffic. What if passenger had thrown something just before bus began moving again?
We said we’d never eat at an outdoor structure again, unless it was on a sidewalk with barriers to block oncoming traffic, similar to barriers around Yankee Stadium. Our perfect outdoor dining scenarios are blocked off areas inside a parking lot, such as Rizzuto’s in Westport, Connecticut, or any upstate restaurant with parking lots and lawns to accommodate tables. Clearly, NYC wasn’t built for that, and our infrastructure can barely accommodate cars, buses, trucks, bikes, scooters, skateboarders and pedestrians, let alone tables and chairs on the street. 😳
Adding public safety barriers is something that restaurant owners aren’t willing to do, because of cost. Yet, restaurant owners want money from consumers, but don’t care about safety of patrons, NOR parking eliminated from residents, rats, noise, and extra garbage (quality of life). Right now, the only barrier IS the outdoor dining structure, which cannot withstand an impact from either cars, trucks, buses, nor even fighting persons, including with an axe, bat or guns. https://www.usatoday.com/videos/news/nation/2021/03/05/car-hits-outdoor-dining-structure-nyc-7-hurt/4595076001/
3. Debris thrown from cars, trucks, buses or even mopeds.
Or worse, debris or objects thrown from outdoor dining structures – trash, knives, forks, dishes, etc., or even hot drinks. Anyone ever consider this?
4. Animal attacks – stray pets, or wild animals.
For example, raccoons, which we have seen walking to/from restaurant areas at night, including as pedestrians are eating. There are also stray dogs, cats, and aggressive rats, all of whom know where the “getting is good” – food on tables and on ground below tables, or food which spills outside of some dining structures, from children or adults, throwing food.
5. Urine thrown on diners from mentally disturbed persons. 😳
There are no restaurant staffers, nor security, standing by to protect patrons eating outdoors. The customer’s food order is taken outdoors, then delivered to table, and in between you’re on your own, until it’s time to pay. Whereas indoors, if a person attempts to enter restaurant, they are stopped at the door, to protect patrons and staff (workplace safety).
6. No one has taken into consideration parking spaces removed from residents, for outdoor dining structures on residential streets.
Parking is already scarce in NYC, especially in Park Slope, while unlawful cars (fake registrations, out-of-state registrations, expired registrations) also take up parking spaces. Even persons with driveways and garages park on residential streets. Perhaps the city should resolve lawful residential parking with free parking passes, issued through New York State DMV at time of vehicle registration or renewal, for residents in their zoned area to assess the availability of outdoor dining structures. Persons who get New York State insurance discounts based upon driveways or garages should not receive parking passes. They’re also committing insurance fraud. Then, perhaps parking meters would be used for cars not authorized to park on residential streets, to avoid towing and related costs.
That brings up another issue: has anyone evaluated loss of parking meter revenue with removal of parking spaces for outdoor dining structures? Perhaps parking meters should be removed altogether in areas with outdoor dining structures – such as 3rd Ave (from North to South Brooklyn), 5th Ave (Manhattan and Brooklyn), 2nd Ave (Manhattan), Madison Ave (Manhattan), and other major metered parking streets with an abundance of restaurants, given there are now more outdoor dining structures than metered parking spaces.
See, this is why I’m not Mayor, I’d do research before setting up something irresponsibly – profits over responsibility to others, especially responsibility to residents (consumers, taxpayers), as many restaurant owners don’t live in any of the 5 boroughs, and drive home to their street with ample street parking for their guests, with a parking driveway and/or garage always available for restaurant owners, at their home. Can you imagine restaurant owners’ outrage if anyone took up their parking spaces at their home, to set up a for-profit business, which doesn’t benefit them at all? 🙄
Or… how about restaurant owners pay residents for their inconvenience? 🤣 LOLLLLLLLLLLLLL 😂 That will never happen, as restaurant owners want hundreds of residents around their restaurant to suffer for their hundreds+ in profits per day.
The list of “what can go wrong” from unsafe structures on busy NYC streets, not built for outdoor dining structures, is endless. —>> https://twitter.com/JCAndersonNYC/status/1560455898404896768/
There are also public officials-supported restaurants. One restaurant in Bay Ridge hasn’t used its outdoor dining structure since last year. When the eyesore structure – U-shaped, dilapidated 2×2 boards only, with no cover, and with 4 parking spaces removed from a residential area – was in use, smoke began to filter up to apartments above the bar, while noise permeated the corner from drunk patrons. The residential area now has limited parking because of outdoor dining structures on residential streets. The city’s corner trash bin on 3rd Avenue is constantly overflowing from restaurant patrons, while persons walking about during day, cannot toss their trash properly. Rules won’t ever apply to those types of restaurants, while all others are inconvenienced.
Doing the right thing isn’t hard! It simply requires ethics, which is hard for some!