Expanded Outdoor Dining Must Make Room for Public in Public Spaces

Publication Date


Document Type


Organizational Units

Sturm College of Law


Outdoor dining, COVID, Open streets, Social distancing


In recent weeks, states and cities have begun to adopt “open streets” rules that will expand outdoor dining options in the wake of COVID-19. The idea is that even if restaurant dining rooms are still closed, people can safely socially distance while eating outside, thus allowing restaurants to rehire some staff and stay in business. In order to facilitate these goals, some cities are expanding existing sidewalk dining permit programs, sometimes waiving or reducing fees. Others are closing off certain roads to cars and allowing restaurants to place tables in parking spaces and streets. While some business owners worry about lack of parking affecting curbside pickup or shopping, most restaurateurs and public space advocates seem to support these changes.

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved.

Publication Statement

User is responsible for all copyright compliance.