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Dear PoPville – Is Outdoor Seating Getting Out of Control?

by Prince Of Petworth March 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm 86 Comments

Dear PoPville,

Now that spring is upon us, restaurants throughout DC are opening up their sidewalk seating. I’m all for outdoor eating (and seating), but it has to be set up in a rational way.
Presumably the restaurants have obtained permits to use X square feet of sidewalk space for outdoor seating. But i have a feeling these outdoor seating areas quickly become larger than authorized, or are configured in ways that block the entire sidewalk. For me, it’s a minor inconvenience to have to slow my pace and squeeze through a single file line to get through the sliver of open sidewalk that remains, along with other pedestrians. But for someone in a wheelchair, the scenario in the attached pic would mean crossing the street to continue. What is the cleaning lady pushing the rolling cart going to do? In fact, the guy in the blue shirt is actually just a pedestrian, not a restaurant customer. He walked straight through this table config at America Eats Tavern.

What’s the best way to officially voice concern about some of these out of control outdoor seating areas?

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