As you may remember us mentioning before, there was talk of a proposed law to make it easier for restaurants to attain permits to add outdoor dining patios. Everyone I talked to about it seemed very pleased. Outdoor dining = fun. Am I right? Well it seems the Seattle Community Council Federation doesn't seem to agree. The Council, which is made up of neighborhood activists, is voicing their concerns that the cafe proposal won't protect pedestrians. There are complaints as it is about the tree growing in the middle of the sidewalk outside of Shorty's on 2nd, and that if more cafe's are added to Belltown, pedestrians will have to "weave" even more than they do now.
I'm a little irritated with these concerns. It's not like restaurants would build the dining patios smack dab in the center of sidewalks. Come on. People "weave" around the cafe filled streets of Europe all the time, and they seem to be doing just fine.
I think this is turning into a bigger deal than it needs to be. Sidewalk cafes add flair and personality to a city and encourage people to get out more and mingle.
Click here for more information on "The Great Sidewalk Debate."