Photo credit: Edgie168 licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

by Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Board of Directors, GrowNYC, and Co-founder, The Quiet Coalition

The pandemic hurt New York City’s businesses significantly and, thus, opening up the City is being welcomed by everyone, not just business owners. New York City Nightlife Director Ariel Palitz is now recommending that a pilot project be initiated that would permit restaurants, bars, and taverns to stay open 24 hours in low-residential density areas. She points to other cities that allow 24-hour openings. If this pilot program is allowed, the state would also have to consider whether it would allow liquor sales past 4 a.m. on weekdays and between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m. on weekends.

Palitz adds that 24-hour use of restaurants, bars and taverns in other cities, when implemented properly, actually helped people move about more readily at their own pace rather than having to “get it all in” by 4 a.m.

I would like Palitz to share the data she collected to support her request plus the guidelines that were employed by the cities to support the 24-hour use. The pilot project she is suggesting would require a set up guidelines for setting up the project as well as a set of criteria to assess the project’s success. With noise being a problem with regard to eating and drinking establishments, even in low-residential density communities, I would hope special attention would be paid to this issue. I would also suggest that citizens living in the communities selected for the project be part of the group designing and evaluating this pilot project.