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Do you think more sidewalk dining areas would improve downtown Lawrence?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on March 26, 2005

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Photo of Sharon Heigele

“No. We have plenty of them right now, and one of my favorite things to do as a townie is walk up and down Mass. Street.”

Photo of Nathan Deel

“I think it’s perfect already. Every shop that’s here should stay the way it is.”

Photo of Matt Patterson

“I don’t see them as being too out of control at this point. I don’t see a few more hurting anything.”

Photo of Jay Hill

“I personally like them. Especially with the smoking ban. They also create a more friendly environment. The only time I mind is when it’s raining and I’m trying to stay under an awning.”

Comments

skeeterus 9 years, 9 months ago

NO when is enough a enough, I have been a nonsmoker all my life and I have had to smell the odor on my person and my clothes any time I went to a bar or a restaurant that even had non smoking areas. so here we are, now as the summer season begins and the out side dinning areas become a smokers hangout, where do the non smokers that enjoy the outside area do, its time for the smokers to suck it up and realize that there are other humans that live in the same space, give it up and smell some clean air, and live longer.

lunacydetector 9 years, 9 months ago

Gee, another moratorium? This one applies to outdoor eating areas on the sidewalks downtown?

These commissioners are complete Fascists with a capital "F" if they pass this moratorium. Whatever happened to free enterprise in this town? They impose THEIR will, almost killing the bar/restaurant business all over town, now they want to pull the feeding tube on any stragglers because the Hysterical Society doesn't like sidewalk dining?

Gimme a break.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 9 months ago

Will more sidewalk dining improve downtown Lawrence? Not significantly if at all. What about the debris problem? It will further add cost of clean up for the city. If space is available to the back allow it there. Between securing pets and bicycles things may get a little tight here and there.

I think more downtown living space would have a greater positive impact.

It is very important that we keep retail shopping downtown for many reasons. Look around and notice that the big cities are having to spend big bucks to restore downtown retail. Balitmore,Kansas City, Chicago,Wichita and Tulsa are good examples. Encouraging people to live downtown is but one tool being used to restore downtown...hence the loft style living.

Some of the most striking architecture is commonly downtown.

lunacydetector 9 years, 9 months ago

the influx of retail sales taxes are not generated from the downtown. the lofts downtown aren't significant in numbers to get the masses to live downtown. the $150 per sq. ft. price unfinished is insane and i don't see people beating down the doors to get in. to re-do an antiquated 1800's building to modern safety standards will be even more expensive than brand new.

sidewalk dining or more of it will not hurt the downtown but encourage more businesses to succeed. how many months of the year are warm enough for people to use outside dining anyway?

Hong_Kong_Phooey 9 years, 9 months ago

Well, as expected, there were only two people who responded to my challenge to 'smitty' and his comments about the police department yesterday. Thanks to those two people who were interested in a debate outside of friggin' dodgeball...

As for today's question - I think that they should allow any business that wants a sidewalk section to open one. I am absolutely loving the smoking ban, but I am willing to compromise to the point that I think when we're outdoors, smokers can do what they want - unlike 'skeeterus'.

Furthermore, I agree with Mr. Schumm that the city should look at tightening up requirements on Mass. St. so that it doesn't become a purely bar district.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 9 months ago

I would have preferred a 10PM -5AM compromise however neither side was interested at the time. Pro smokers people did not want the matter put to the voters.

Many many cities are restoring older buildings I would assume due to the wonderful architectural designs and there is value in retaining the "old" look. If people are willing to pay restoring is good.

I venture to say that more lofts will begin appearing as it make good sense especially for those who do not want to or cannot drive yet love downtown ambiance.

The dog and bike are things to be considered however I do not feel it would be a problem at this point in time. More bike racks around downtown would be helpful.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 9 months ago

I too am with Mr. Schumm. Not only that I like his $2 Fat Tire on tap.

Outdoor smokers no problem. Please keep it cleaned up. After all ash trays were provided inside...why not outside. However I do believe the city will need to become involved more so with keeping downtown tidy because of the night life boom which occurred a few years ago. Yep it's getting trashed.

Has anyone noticed the black upright ash trays around town like the one in front of the Replay? I guess they could be called "butt sculptures".

Cadday 9 years, 9 months ago

I lived in San Diego where outdoor dining is everywhere especially at the Gaslamp District. I loved it and thought it was a nice alternative to eating indoors all the time.

kshaff03 9 years, 9 months ago

You wanted a smoking ban? You got it...

Deal with the consequences people. You can't have it all. If you don't like people smoking outside, then lift the smoking ban. Don't want people smoking inside? Then deal with them smoking outside. Buisnesses have a right to choose how they run their buisness, and people have the right to choose where to work, and where to dine.

BTW, keep making laws. Laws solve all our problems. I love living in a city of regulation. Where do I get those permits that allow me to wipe my butt?

Even a compromise would be nice. I don't like to eat around smoke, but I have no problem having a drink at a bar late at night around smoke. It is part of being in a bar. Why not allow smoking after 9:00 pm? That is when most people smoke anyway.

I don't even know why I feel so passionate about this subject. I don't even smoke. I guess I just don't like being bossed around by the government.

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