As part of the City’s effort to bolster restaurants and other small businesses, SDOT will begin accepting applications for limited street closures today.
Mayor Jenny Durkan announced the plan last week, saying the street closure permits will be free and will give restaurants and retail stores more space to operate. The street closure permits will build upon the free sidewalk cafe and curb space permits that opened up last month.
Since it launched, SDOT has received 92 applications for the free sidewalk cafe permits. Businesses can still apply for the permit, which is available for up to six months.
Seattle District 6 Councilmember Dan Strauss raised the idea of closing Ballard Ave so it could become a cafe street back in May.
“I first heard the desire to have cafe streets from businesses in my district, who were thinking creatively about serving their customers while protecting public health,” Strauss said in a statement.
“I expressed my early interest in seeing our city use our existing public space and rights-of-way to create a safe place to see one another and promote our small businesses. It is important to maintain sidewalk space for people with mobility challenges while we promote economic activity. I believe we can do both, and I’m hopeful cafe streets will be a success for everyone using these pedestrianized spaces.”
In order to apply, businesses will need to, “notify and demonstrate support from neighboring businesses and residents of proposed street closures.” SDOT will waive permit fees, but applicants will be responsible for additional expenses such as road barricades, temporary no-parking signs, and tables and chairs.
SDOT has outlined some guidelines around what type of streets will be eligible for closure. For example, non-arterials, streets without bus routes, and single block applications will be easier to review and approve. For the full list of guidelines and to apply, click here.
SDOT is offering coaching for applicants; email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Photo: Skål Beer Hall on Facebook