- District "C" Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer will introduce a resolution (R-20-134) at the regular meeting on Thursday, May 21, encouraging Mayor LaToya Cantrell to design and implement a parklet program for restaurants and businesses located along commercial streets. Parklets are defined as a small seating area or green space created in front of a business alongside a sidewalk or within a parking space(s).
Restaurants are allowed to open during the City's Phase One COVID-19 reopening plan but must reduce indoor capacity to 25 percent occupancy. By activating open spaces such as parking spots, parklets would allow restaurants to increase occupancy with outdoor seating, generating additional revenue while adhering to social distancing requirements.
The resolution also requests that the administration strongly consider allowing parklets on Frenchmen Street, St. Claude Avenue, and commercial streets in the French Quarter.
"Parklets are an inexpensive and innovative way to allow restaurants to safely reopen and expand their serving areas. This concept has been implemented in other cities across the country, and creative, responsive policies such as parklets are necessary to support local restaurants and businesses through and even after the coronavirus health crisis, which has severely impacted the City's economy. Having a designated space could help create a more welcoming environment for locals to gather responsibly, while showing them what a progressive city can do to improve its physical environment. Mayor Cantrell has already started making progress for additional restaurant seating by suspending off-street parking and issuing temporary sidewalk use permits, and we would support her implementing a parklet program as well," said Councilmember Palmer.
Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer, District "C"