New burdens on outdoor dining: NYC bureaucrats’ latest bid to kill restaurants
As if city restaurants and bars weren’t already dying left and right, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Department of Transportation just dropped a phone book of new regulations on their outdoor-dining shelters — a whole host of added hoops to jump through if they want to keep serving as the winter sets in.
By Dec. 15, they need to beef up their curbside huts to make them heavier but also more mobile. Most have to add a whole new layer of water-filled plastic “bumpers.” And all must tack on reflector tape and other bright markers.
The idea is to make them safer as cold weather adds to risks from passing traffic — while also ensuring the structures can be removed during snow alerts. The DOT says it will supply sandbags, shiny tape, plastic bumpers, etc. free of charge, though you can be sure it will quickly run short (especially if one of the mayor’s donors gets the contract to provide the stuff).
This comes as the new 10 p.m. curfew is kicking in, and as eateries wonder if indoor dining will ever be expanded to the half-capacity allowed in the rest of the state — or again banned completely. And after the city already rewrote the rules at least once.
Plainly, DOT bureaucrats don’t have enough to keep them busy, so they spent a few hundred man-hours brainstorming the new regs. If de Blasio ever dares to actually lay off any city employees to start addressing his multibillion-dollar deficits, these guys are begging to be the first to go.
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