City Council Bill Would Allow Restaurants To Use Sidewalks, Streets For Dining

Steve Burns
May 28, 2020 - 2:31 pm

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A bill was introduced on Thursday in the City Council looking to help restaurants move outside once they’re able to start up in-person dining again. 

The City Council is looking to push Mayor Bill de Blasio into action, on letting restaurants tale over sidewalks and streets for a social 

Melba Wilson has been watching the restaurants close around her place, Melba's, in Harlem.

“When restaurants cant re-open, communities can't re-open,” she tells WCBS 880’s Steve Burns.

She says the new legislation can be a lifesaver if she is allowed to reopen with outdoor dining.

“For so many of us this is the shot in the arm that we need,” Wilson said.

The bill would streamline the process for restaurants to take over sidewalks, streets or even parking lots for people to eat outdoors, six feet apart. 

“This is a diverse city, we know that a one size fits all solution won't work,” City Council Speaker Corey Johnson says.

The bill tasks the City Department of Transportation with figuring out the best places for street closures.

“We know that it is critically important to New Yorkers and to our economy to get this industry up and going again and we are going to do what it takes to keep it going at  a time when it needs our help,” Johnson said. 

Mayor de Blasio says he is working on the same issue, though some members of the council say he hasn’t been working fast enough.

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