Pick It Up, Cambridge Campaign and Outdoor Dining Expansion Supports Local Restaurants

Pick it up cambridge logo

In an effort to support local businesses and their customers, the City of Cambridge instituted two new initiatives in partnership with organizations and restaurants across the city, including the Cambridge Office for Tourism, Cambridge Local First, Central Square Business Improvement District, East Cambridge Business Association, Harvard Square Business Association, and Kendall Square Association.

The first is the “Pick it Up, Cambridge” campaign, which encourages people ordering from restaurants to call directly and pick up if they are able to do so. Ordering via this method can save restaurants as much as 25% per order by ensuring that restaurants receive the full amount paid. Even selecting pick-up in delivery apps can cost restaurants a significant portion of the order through fees.

The City of Cambridge is supporting the campaign by providing educational materials for businesses and for the public, and by installing 15-minute pick-up zones in requested locations to allow for more short-term parking near businesses.

The second initiative focuses on providing more space for outdoor dining to help support economic recovery. This work expands on the outdoor dining spaces that previously existed in Cambridge before COVID-19 and is made possible by increased flexibility in the State’s rules relative to permitting outdoor dining areas. In most places, the outdoor dining is installed on the sidewalk or in the parking lane.

“We worked closely with restaurants to make flexible use of public space in order to expand opportunities for outdoor dining. As we have done throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we will to continue to support our local businesses as much as we can, while protecting the health and welfare of our residents, visitors, and workforce.” said City Manager Louis A. DePasquale.

City Departments have collaborated with business associations in Central, Inman, and Harvard Squares to identify locations that would benefit from more significant changes, including the use of roadway space to create more space for outdoor dining.

The most significant change was made in Inman Square on Cambridge St from Springfield St to Prospect St where the street was converted to one-way for motor vehicle traffic; and a contraflow buffered bike lane and seven back-in angled parking spaces were installed. These changes allow restaurants on both sides of the street to provide outdoor dining, while also maintaining access for unloading to other businesses during the day time. Additionally, the Department of Public Works installed a floating bus stop to accommodate people riding the route 69 bus.

The City of Cambridge remains committed to helping local businesses while also supporting the health and safety of residents during these tough times. These changes to make space for outdoor dining are just one of the multiple approaches that the City is taking to ensure that our streets are used as efficiently as possible as we all work to stop the spread of COVID-19.

More information about these initiatives may be found at Cambridgema.gov/covid19/streets.

Page was posted on 8/24/2020 1:35 PM
Page was last modified on 8/24/2020 2:02 PM
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