Café Streets

Cafe Streets

This legislation will: 

  • Bring cafe streets and food trucks to more communities by reducing fees and red tape. 

  • Enhance these spaces by requiring accessibility for people with disabilities — improving designs and creating protections from traffic. 

  • Encourage more walking by creating vibrant and welcoming streets. 

  • Help us continue to build relationships with small businesses, which have historically been some of the most skeptical stakeholders in converting street space for uses other than moving and storing cars. 

  • Help us create pedestrian-only streets for Pike Place Market, Ballard Ave, The Ave in the U-District, Capitol Hill and more!

We're building on the success of pandemic programs that kept small businesses open and enlivened our streets and communities.

Seattle has 1.6 million car parking spaces (five for every household), and one fourth of our land is used for streets. With imagination and political will, we can build a future where everyone can get where they need to go, safely — and  where our streets provide public spaces to gather and build community.



Cafe streets (& food trucks) are here to stay!

More than 300 small businesses have benefited from the cafe streets program since we advocated for its launch in 2020. Our win comes after a multi-year effort to reform costly, difficult and inequitable rules blocking the use of cafe streets. And the final victory didn’t come without an additional fight -- as Councilmember Pedersen pushed to undermine the rights of food truck vendors.

Not only will businesses now get to keep their spaces open, more people – including those operating food trucks – will be able to participate.



We want to thank Councilmember Dan Strauss for his leadership on this issue and Mayor Harrell for his continued support.

Why is this important to them?

Councilmember Strauss:

“We know we create a more vibrant city when we use our public spaces as places to come together, gather, dine, and engage one another. Ensuring outdoor dining remains a feature of our city is incredibly important to increasing vibrancy.

We are on the pathway to making outdoor dining permanent and I am thankful to everyone who continues to work towards making this possible. Still more work to do and I look forward to doing the work with you!”

Mayor Harrell:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused considerable hardship for small businesses that for years have served as mainstays in our communities and shaped the character of our neighborhoods. One silver lining in this challenging time has been seeing how these small businesses take and run with new opportunities to activate Seattle’s streets with outdoor dining and retail activities.

Furthering Safe Start permits means continuing to provide an important tool for supporting Seattle’s small businesses, keeping communities healthy, and creating a future that is vibrant, welcoming, and flourishing for all neighbors.

I am committed to achieving that future; and grateful to Councilmember Strauss for his consistent and determined leadership supporting these outdoor spaces and all of the proponents that reached out to our office in support of the extension.”