New Yorkers weigh in on proposed changes coming to outdoor dining

New Yorkers weigh in on proposed changes coming to outdoor dining

Earlier in October, the city announced that outdoor dining structures would become a permanent fixture in New York City with some revisions and new rules. 
Now, the public is weighing in on those proposed changes that could be coming to outdoor dining. 
Ydanis Rodriguez, the commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, spoke with New Yorkers on Tuesday on those newly proposed rules on how restaurants can operate their outdoor dining and what the seating areas may look like. 
There is a roadway option for restaurants, which would remain open for diners from April to November annually. 
The material for these structures is more temporary in comparison to many of the wooden or tin structures that are often seen. 
The second option is for restaurants to offer sidewalk dining, which fits under the more traditional cafe-style seating layout with umbrellas overhead. 
This sidewalk seating proposal does have some restaurant owners in busier foot traffic areas concerned. 
"In this area, I don't know if I'd be able to use the sidewalk. That's one of my concerns," said Francisco Martinez, one of the owners of Vega Alta Sports Bar. "We only have like 20 feet of space, we're not allowed to contact the restaurant on the other side."
DOT Commissioner Rodriguez says the city wants to hear from restaurant owners and the public on the future of outdoor dining. A public hearing on these new changes is set to take place on Nov. 20.