Tulsa City Council expanded a program to allow downtown businesses to use parklets for outdoor seating.
The owners said giving their customers extra space for social distancing and helping their businesses to survive had been of great help.
Que Gusto’s Rafael Serrano said their parklet brought them extra business during this difficult time. He is happy that the city will extend the waiver.
“It’s a small business, Tulsa is a very supportive community,” said Serrano.
The waiver’s renewal would run until April 1, 2022, helping places like Que Gusto expand their seating capacity outdoors at no additional cost. Serrano said his parklet allows the restaurant to seat about ten people.
Parklets replace a parking space on the street, sometimes more.
“The Parklet program was already in the works, but we pushed it over the finish line during the pandemic,” said Maggie Hoey, deputy director of the Downtown Coordination Council.
Prior to COVID-19, Hoey said the fee would offset the loss of revenue from reducing the number of parking meters collected.
Francheska Alcantara cycles to work every day. She is not a fan of the parklets as they are only a few inches away from her bike path, at least as a cyclist.
“Something that we have to balance is a give and take to be safe in restaurants and to be able to drive,” said Alcantara.
Companies can customize their parklet. Serrano said Que Gusto plans to add a roof soon.