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As I See It

La Crosse should clear the way for more outdoor dining

Scott Robert Shaw

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Bars and restaurants have been among the businesses hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Many were shutdown for a time, while some are just now reopening. In between, they tried takeout and curbside delivery to try to stay afloat. La Crosse should consider doing what other cities, like Madison and Milwaukee, have done to throw pubs and eateries a lifeline. They are serving things up al fresco, converting sidewalks and parking lots to patios where food and drink are served. Some, with the city’s permission, are even turning parking spots into a place to grab a quick bite to eat by placing tables and chairs there. Finally, a use for those parklets. In Madison, they call them “streateries.” Not only is the city not standing in the way of such efforts, they are encouraging it by lightening requirements and waiving fees. In La Crosse, business groups have asked city hall to make it easier for their members to do business outside, but no rules have been changed yet. The clock is ticking. Soon it will be too cold to sit outside. La Crosse should help local bars and restaurants stay afloat, before it is too late.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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