In June of 2020, City Council approved new easier permitting rules that allow restaurants to use sidewalks and parking lanes for outdoor dining, or even close streets to cars in some cases.
Under the new temporary program, permits are granted within 3 days of the initial application, and there is a much lower bar to receive a permit than under the city's official parklet program, or the normal process for requesting sidewalk seating, which in most places would require a City Council ordinance.
This map shows the distribution of where those new temporary permits (in blue) have been granted to restaurants, along with the places (in red) that had received permits under the old system.
So far, over 460 permits have been issued under the new temporary rules, and the applications have come from a much broader geographic area, suggesting a possible relationship between laxer permitting rules and greater use in more neighborhoods beyond greater Center City.
There were more than 200 applications in June, and over 200 more in July. No single month in the last 15 years has seen more than 12 applications, and prior to June there were only 250 total active seating permits citywide. See the data, which is updated daily.
Use the toggle option on the right side to select 'Sidewalk Cafe' (old) or 'Sidewalk Cafe/Streetery' (new) to view each type by itself. You can also click each City Council District for information about the number of permits issued per district.
If you like this new system and want to see it extended beyond 2020, make sure to call or email your City Council members.