Bloomington restaurants might be able to continue using a few blocks of Kirkwood Avenue as restaurant seating, through Oct. 31.
That’s the effect of a resolution to be considered by Bloomington’s city council at its regular Wednesday meeting this week (June 2).
In mid-December last year, the council passed a resolution extending the measures through Aug. 6.
The resolution on the council’s Wednesday agenda would also ask the city engineer to issue another temporary order to allow for the continued use of pick-up-drop off (PUDO) zones and “parklets” through Oct. 31. Parklets are the metered parking spots blocked off with orange water-filled traffic barriers to allow for additional outdoor restaurant seating.
The PUDO zones, as well as restaurant seating in the street and in parklets, were conceived as a way to help the business community recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the provisions of the ordinance the council would be extending is the suspension of fees that would ordinarily be charged for seating and merchandising encroachments within the right-of-way.
No fees are currently being charged to business owners for parklets, PUDO zones, or Kirkwood seating, director of economic and sustainability Alex Crowley confirmed to The Square Beacon in an email last week.
Crowley’s confirmation that no fees are being charged came with a caveat: “For now.”
How the private use of the public right-of-way is regulated is fundamental to the policy question to be considered by the city council this week.
It’s the same kind of issue that appeared on the city’s parking commission agenda last Thursday—purely as a discussion item—in connection with motorcoach street parking for downtown hotels. Continue reading “Public right-of-way issues: Use of Kirkwood for dining through Oct. 31 mulled by Bloomington city council, motorcoaches get some parking commission talk”