With "Street Seats," City Turns Public Parking Spots into Private Cafes


love the idea.

call me pessimistic and faithless in my fellow drivers (because i am), but, man, them chairs are pretty close to that road -- cars going by at 25 or 30mph (if they're following the law), within mere inches of chair-sitters.

i hope nobody gets a side-view mirror to the head.
Looks to me like this is just a bad accident waiting to happen.
Private business use in a public right-of-way. So, who carries the liability can if a bus clips that fence, four people end up in the hospital, and those people start looking for someone to sue? The City or Wafu? Division is somewhat narrow and definitely traffic busy during the hours this space is most likely to be used by Wafu customers.
If the bus hits a legally erected fence, the bus driver is at fault and Trimet is liable. As long as Wafu followed the rules, Trimet would be the only potentially liable party in that scenario.
Sounds like a great idea, as long as no one who sits there drove a car that they parked somewhere else.
I don't care for this idea at all, much as I don't care for the city closing down the bridges to all auto traffic in favor of bikes, or block parties that want to close down the street to public traffic.
I realize this opinion certainly won't be popular in this forum, but hey - I bike too and love parties just as much as the next bloke.
I just don't see why one has to inconvenience others to have a good time - and restricting public parking is an extension of this.
@frankieb, I bike and drive, and if there's one thing drivers could use, it's a reminder that 99.99999% of urban layout is centered around making driving cars ludicrously convenient, so 0.00001% inconvenience now and again is something to just suck up and STFU about.

I can understand the debate about SW Ankeny, because it is a narrow side street that actually could function as truly public space. But how successful would a tiny "parklet" alongside traffic on Division really be? Outdoor restaurant seating, on the other hand, is a perfect use for that space. Many years ago, they removed parking along Sandy in Hollywood to widen the sidewalks, and they put a bunch of benches on the edge of the sidewalk right next to the road. No one ever sits on those benches, because they are right next to speeding traffic. That should be an example to avoid.

I also think the issue of public vs. private is silly because the parking spaces were never public to begin with--they were used for the storage of private cars. Letting a business use it rather than a private car is just a different kind of subsidy, not a new subsidy. If people want the city to charge market rate for the business, the city should also charge market rate to every driver who parks on the street. Also, this article implies that Wafu does not pay the $450 permit fee--that is false, they do have to pay it.
If it's able to be used by the public, such as a parking space is, it's public, not private. That's like saying a park bench becomes private property when someone sits down, or that laying down a blanket at a park makes that area of the park no longer private. It's a fun little misdirection the BikePortland crowd likes to use when discussing parking. It's a canard.
Btw, I've got no problem with this program. I'm not sure why someone would want to eat lunch on the street, but that's neither here nor there.
Eating on the street provides maximum visibility. "LOOK WHERE I'M EATING!!" I'm sure these will soon be up and down Alberta too, so the tourists can occupy parking intended to be used for residents. I hope their bone marrow flavored ice cream tastes like biodiesel.
So Chuck, you are saying that a car is the same as a human being? I did not know that!

Let's try this thought experiment: I have a sofa that I don't have room for in my house, but there is plenty of room in that public park over there! I'll just go set it down in the park. I'll store it there when I'm not using it, and I'll put a cover and lock on it so no one else can use it except for me. From time to time, I'll go the park and sit on it. Maybe I'll periodically move it to a different spot. This is all OK, right?

No, it's not OK, because public space is for people, not people's private stuff! You can't store your things in a park, and if you could it would be reasonable to charge you for that privilege. It's the same with cars and parking in the street. This is not a "canard" from the sinister bikeportland lobby, it's just the definition of public space. Again: people, not objects. Your car is a privately-owned object, not a person. By the way, before you accuse me of hypocrisy, I think bikes should be charged for public bike parking too, albeit at a very low rate because they take up so little room and do not cause other externalities the way cars do.