As discussed in the September Commission meeting, Tavern In The Square wants to have outdoor seating. To do this and comply with state law, they need to take over the stretch of sidewalk in front of their business on Washington St.
This is the handout we were given at the meeting. I’ve added the color notations. The green lines are the paths of travel for pedestrians, wheelchair users and cane users down Washington St. from Front St. to New Derby St. The red area is the section of sidewalk that will be blocked to the public when the restaurant is open.
As I explained at the meeting, I wouldn’t be concerned if it were the only outdoor seating in downtown.
That stretch of Washington St. is congested with light poles, planters, sandwich signs and numerous other obstacles. The restaurant on the north end of the block also has outdoor seating, though it’s set off to the side of Front St.
The area at Washington and Front St. is particularly congested, as is the sidewalk in front of Tavern in the Square where it branches off to the crosswalk (the circular area in the lower left of the map.)
Halloween is coming up and it is a worst-case situation for sidewalk passage around downtown. I’m going to try to imagine it when Tavern in the Square gets its seating. Up the street, Rockafellas has had outdoor seating for some time, and it’s been a problem on a crowded day, even though they have the widest sidewalk available anywhere downtown, much wider than the space Tavern on the Square has available.