Extensive outdoor dining applications

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NEW YORK – Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday an extension of the Open Streets program for restaurants.As of Monday, restaurants will be able to request permission to essentially take over an entire block for outdoor dining.

Restaurants could use sidewalk spaces for tables and also spread out across the street.

The street itself would be closed to traffic, with the exception of emergency vehicles.

The idea is to create more business for restaurants that are limited to the number of customers they can serve.

The expansion would begin the weekend of July 4 and would not be allowed until the following weekends.

To date, more than 5,000 restaurants have applied for outdoor dining permits, so the city is expecting more requests for this next step.

“They have to do it safely with the right configurations, and we obviously want to work with PD and FDNY to guarantee emergency vehicle access, but we think it will give restaurants another chance to have more outdoor space. ”

The city expects to have up to 20 block-wide restaurants during the weekend of July 4.

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