Traffic and Jam: Tel Aviv Turns Parking Spots Into Dining Areas Post-quarantine

Naama Riba
Naama Riba
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Two diners sit outside a restaurant in Tel Aviv in a dining area that used to be a parking spot.
Two diners sitting outside a restaurant in Tel Aviv, in an area that used to be a parking spot.Credit: Kfir Sivan / Tel Aviv-Yafo Munic
Naama Riba
Naama Riba

À la car-te: As Tel Aviv prepares for reopening restaurants and cafes on May 27 after weeks of lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis, it will allow them to expand their dining areas to sidewalks, gardens - and even parking spots.

So far the city has allowed 115 food establishments to use public areas for dining, including six that will be permitted to place tables and chairs in a number of street parking spots, which will be marked and fenced off by the municipality. This will enable the businesses to maintain social distancing rules, which restrict the number of diners who can sit in an enclosed space.

Two diners sitting outside a restaurant in Tel Aviv, in an area that used to be a parking spot.Credit: Kfir Sivan / Tel Aviv-Yafo Munic
Credit: Kfir Sivan / Tel Aviv-Yafo Munic
Credit: Kfir Sivan / Tel Aviv-Yafo Munic

The city will also close 11 streets to private traffic in a bid to encourage commercial activity.

Other food establishments interested in placing tables on the street, in adjacent public gardens, squares or parking spots may apply to the municipality for a permit, the city said.

The Jerusalem municipality, which has issued a similar statement, is closing 13 streets to public traffic on different days and during varying hours. These include Hillel, Shamai, Emek Refaim, Agripas and Gaza streets. While the streets are closed, public traffic will be diverted to other routes.

These moves are part of several steps local governments worldwide are taking to use existing public facilities and parking spots for restaurant and cafes and to widen pedestrian and cycling routes.

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