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Is there a problem with sidewalk patios downtown?

Walker Evans Walker Evans
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UrbanOhio Forums wrote Downtown Columbus sidewalks: WTF?

Posted by UrbanSurfin on: April 29, 2008

In Columbus, apparently, it’s all or nothing. It used to be almost impossible to have sidewalk cafes, leaving wide sidewalks for pedestrians. Now the sidewalk cafes are increasingly permanent (even in snow), leaving little room for pedestrians. Until 2003, restaurants had to pay a $27 fee per chair over the 180-day “outdoor dining season” — unless they had a liquor license, in which case the fee was $63 per chair (35 cents per chair per day). Starting in 2003, there was a $500 “cafe-table lease” (leasing the sidewalk space) per business the first year, renewable for $50 each year thereafter.

But the leased space soon became permanent, blocked off with fences bolted to the sidewalk. Even in snow and ice. Even when the storefronts became vacant. Here is a tour of sidewalks in the block immediately north of the Ohio Statehouse:


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