Café streets to continue for another year

Ballard Ave will continue to be a café street at least until 2023.

Councilmember Dan Strauss introduced the legislation to extend the café street pilot program until January 31, 2023—the current pilot program was due to end May 31. Strauss’s goal is to make the café street program permanent, but for now, the pilot gives the city time to craft and finalize permanent guidelines.

The pilot program allows restaurants and other retail storefronts to utilize streets outside their businesses for outdoor dining or displays.The city council approved the legislation with an 8-0 vote.

Ballard Ave has been transformed since the café street program started. More than a dozen businesses in downtown Ballard have taken advantage of the free permits.

“This is another meaningful step along the pathway to permanence I created last year after hearing from many small businesses about the success of café streets,” Councilmember Strauss said in a press release.

“We will ensure that these free permits continue to be available until the City Council, Seattle Department of Transportation, and Mayor Harrell establish permanent guidelines that are right-sized and meet the needs of our city.”