Newton’s mayor said Monday that the city will expand outdoor options for restaurants as part of efforts to reopen the state and local economy as the coronavirus outbreak wanes in Massachusetts.
Restaurants will be allowed to serve customers at tables set up in on-street parking spaces in front of their businesses, Mayor Ruthanne Fuller said in a statement.
“This next phase of Newton Al Fresco, allowing tables in parking spaces on the street, helps restaurants stay in business with more options on where to serve meals,” Fuller said in the statement.
Safety is “top of mind,” Fuller said: Protective barriers are required along sides of outdoor dining areas that face the street. Restaurants will need to provide movable access ramps to assist customers with mobility issues.
“Protective barriers can be expensive, but they’re necessary. We’re working hard to provide as much of this safety equipment as possible to restaurants to use, free of charge, on a first-come, first-served basis,” Fuller said.
The city also is applying for a state Department of Transportation grant to purchase more traffic safety equipment, including ramps, protective planters, and flower pots, she said.
Guidelines for reopening restaurants in Newton have been posted online by the city.
Newton officials previously allowed restaurants to serve diners at tables on sidewalks and in private parking lots, as well as at picnic tables provided by the city.
According to a separate message from Fuller included in the city’s restaurant reopening guidelines, 24 picnic tables have been installed in eight of the city’s village centers.
John Hilliard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.