NYC: Eating More Important than Parking

Photo: Michael Drury

Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) New York City continues to give less space to cars, more pursuits. Lower Manhattan's street grid is the only part of New York that still looks like Amsterdam, and businesses there have been pining for outdoor cafe space. Now, the city has converted five parking spots to a "pop-up cafe," where residents can dine and chat.

The spaces contain wooden platforms that support steel planters with with herbs and 15 folding tables with two chairs apiece. Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said the experiment was about creating "high performing streets that work for all user" -- and that this location works out, the City will expand the program next summer.

The platform is located directly in front of two restaurants Fika, a cafe featuring Swedish cuisine and Bombay, an Indian bistro. The two businesses paid for the modular platform that will be stored over the winter when the five parking spaces will be restored. The DOT stresses that the seating will be open to everyone not just restaurant patrons.
-- With reporting by Michael Drury