SF pushes their drinkers in the streets, the people rejoice!
  • SF pushes their drinkers in the streets, the people rejoice!
Seattle Transit Blog has a great post up (with video! watch the video!) about San Fransisco's pavement to parks program, which turns underutilized parking spaces and awkward street designs into small public parks and outdoor cafe space for restaurants and bars.

STB makes the case for this kind of program in Seattle:

... this is key for activating public spaces. Cafe and bar patrons are about the “hardiest” type of customer you can have. They’ll put up with just about anything, sit around for a long time, activate the space, and expand the time frame during which people are out. Add umbrellas and cheap blankets and outdoor seating becomes practical for a majority of the year, even in much colder climates like Stockholm. These types of establishments thrive 5-6 months a year there.

Off the top of my head that weird, deserted triangle at Westlake Avenue and 9th Street or that bizarrely large intersection at Broadway Avenue and E. Roy Street (near the Harvard Exit) could be reclaimed for something cool and pedestrian friendly. STB also smartly points out that if more bars and restaurants wanted to expand their seating areas into the street (as SF has done), the Washington State Liquor Control Board would have to loosen up about where, exactly, people can consume alcohol in public. The law currently stipulates that people can only drink outside if they're on a sidewalk hugging the bar or cafe and are leashed off from pedestrians who are using the sidewalk for noble purposes, like walking (bad influence spreads on contact, like a disease!!!!).

Clearly, we have some work to do before we can catch up to San Francisco.

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