Tarrytown to close Main Street for dinner on 12 Saturday nights and possibly approve parklets
May 15, 2021
By Barrett Seaman—
At their May 17 board meeting, Tarrytown trustees are expected to approve the closure of Main Street from Washington Street to Broadway on Saturday night on June 19 starting June 19.e. The closures would be consecutive until August 28e, then skip Labor Day weekend to have the twelfth and final street food night for the summer season on September 11e. In case of rain, the closing will take place the following Sunday evening.
The section will be closed from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Traffic would be permitted on Main Street in western Washington, with gates in front of four restaurants just below the Washington intersection to allow them to participate without blocking exit from the fire station on the south side of Main. The cost to the village of setting up roadblocks 12 weekends is estimated at $ 14,000.
A proposal to allow restaurants to create “parklets”, extensions of their catering services in designated parking spaces in front of their establishments, is also being discussed in Council, but not so close to the resolution. These would be more permanent – and not overnight as with the entire closed street – in that they would stay in place throughout the summer season.
Several communities in the area already allow parklets, including Ossining and Dobbs Ferry in rivers. In Dobbs, three or four restaurants along Cedar Street and three more on Main Street already have spaces in front of them blocked off by orange plastic barriers that can be filled with water to weigh them down to provide greater protection if a car turns in them. Some of the Dobbs restaurants have up to three contiguous blocked spaces. The village charges them $ 50 per month for each parking space to recover lost revenue from parking meters. Scott Broccoli, owner of The Rare Bit on Cedar Street, which has three gated spaces, believes the additional dining space more than makes up for the expense.
Besides the loss of parking spaces – or rather because of it – not all merchants are in love with overnight street closures or parklets. Finding parking in one of the riverside villages can be aggravating even when all the spaces are available. Tarrytown Music Hall management is concerned that weekend street closures will make it difficult for customers with disabilities to get in and out.
Tarrytown has calculated that if they approve the use of parklets, they will charge users $ 75 per month for each space, based on annual meter revenue.
Other questions remain open and Council wants to hear more from the public, including restaurateurs and shop owners on Main Street. Among them:
Should there be a limit on the number of parklets? There are 19 food establishments on Main Street, not all of which rely on table service. If even sit-down restaurants only set up one park, there would be hardly any street parking left. If there is a quota, what criteria should determine who gets one – or more than one?
Should we exempt the 15-minute pick-up / drop-off or places for disabled people?
Should we also allow Food Emporia on Broadway to have parklets?
Is $ 75 per month the right rate? According to the village, the use of meters exceeds this number and parking revenues currently offset property taxes. The village estimates that the loss of 20 places in high demand could cost up to $ 40,000. Should restaurants or village owners pay for the additional dining space? When Dobbs Ferry launched their parklets last year, they initially charged $ 400 per month, but then lowered it this year to $ 50.
Should barriers be uniform? There are several types of portable barriers, including Jersey barriers and “Yodocks”, both of which are orange plastic structures that can be filled with water. There are also Mafia blocks, more likely concrete, which are arguably safer but much harder to move. At Dobbs Ferry, some restaurants have decorated the tops of their orange plastic barriers with flower planters or other distinctive features. Tarrytown administrator Doug Zollo spoke favorably during last week’s work session on the portable floorboards placed at the same height as the sidewalk and extending another protective foot to the outer edge of the l ‘space.
If the village approves the parklets, and if as many restaurants as possible adhere to them, are the 12 complete street closures even necessary?
Either way, diners, local residents and visitors will have at least a dozen chances to dine outside in Tarrytown this summer – and maybe more.
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