UTICA, N.Y. – Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri says due to safety concerns, the City of Utica will not be closing Varick Street to increase outdoor dining.
The city will allow restaurants on Varick Street to extend outdoor dining areas onto the sidewalk in front of the businesses, but will not close the street to traffic as some suggested.
Palmieri says several city departments met to discuss the idea of blocking the street to extend dining into the roadway, but determined it would create public safety issues and cause problems with traffic flow.
The City now says the restaurants can use the public sidewalks for outdoor dining, but must rope off the parking areas on the street as pedestrian right of ways to allow for six feet of separation between people walking and people dining.
If businesses decide not to extend dining onto the sidewalk, they do not need to rope off an area for pedestrians.
On June 12, the Mohawk Valley entered Phase 3 of reopening, which allowed restaurants to open indoor dining, but can only serve at 50% capacity.