Mayor Durkan Announces New Measures to Facilitate Curbside Food Pickup Near Restaurants

Loading Zones Will Be Temporarily Added to Allow Residents and Delivery Services to Pick Up Food from Local Restaurants

Seattle (March 17, 2020) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced today that starting this afternoon the Seattle Department of Transportation is converting on-street parking spaces near restaurants to temporary loading zones to facilitate curbside meal pickup.

“We are encouraging individuals to stay home and use social distancing measures whenever they leave the house. As we adjust to a new reality for the weeks to come, we can make it easier for individuals to quickly and safely visit places like restaurants for takeout. Our small businesses, particularly restaurants, are bearing the brunt of our efforts to combat this pandemic. By facilitating easier takeout for restaurants, we can help support these businesses who make up the fabric of our City,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “Our expanded Small Business Stabilization Fund will invest in our most vulnerable small businesses and we are looking at every method possible to break down barriers for our community during this unprecedented moment in history.”

The first locations to receive temporary loading zones are areas with high concentrations of restaurants on blocks that do not otherwise have enough loading options. After an analysis of available data, the Seattle Department of Transportation selected the initial placement locations based on areas that have seen a reduction in paid parking traffic over the last several weeks.

“We are looking for ways to do our part to keep businesses operating in this public health emergency,” said Sam Zimbabwe, Director of the Seattle Department of Transportation. “Being flexible with our curbspace and making it easier for people to access our restaurants is one way we can help.”

The Seattle Department of Transportation will identify additional locations to place curbside pickup signs in coordination with organizations like the Office of Economic Development, the Seattle Restaurant Alliance and the Greater Seattle Business Association. Restaurants can request a loading zone near their establishment by calling (206) 684-ROAD.

“We need to do everything we can to support small businesses, which includes making it easier for everyone who can afford to get take-out meals from their local restaurants and cafes,” said Councilmember Alex Pedersen who chairs the City’s Transportation & Utilities Committee. “Small businesses employ our neighbors and provide the desperately needed paychecks that keep families going during this public health and economic crisis.  In addition to the many relief programs the Mayor and the City Council are working on — including financial assistance and waiving utility fees – I support our Seattle Department of Transportation’s efforts to create new loading zones throughout neighborhood business districts to enable Seattleites to pick up meals from their local restaurants and help our local economy.”

Through a combination of Passenger Load Zone signs on temporary easels and posts, most loading zones will be about 40 feet and allow approximately two cars to park for three minutes at a time.