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Big cities are notorious for horrible parking. In fact, in some cities, residents will pay more than their rent to have a personal parking space. Additionally, finding street parking can feel near-impossible at times. However, with a global pandemic in full swing, restaurants have taken over thousands of parking spots – using them for outdoor seating. Despite parking being a source of animosity among city residents, most do not seem to mind. Rather than being bitter over lost parking opportunities, residents are embracing this new way of dining.

Camilla Domonoske of NPR reports about this phenomenon. Domonoke talks to a restaurant owner in Philadelphia who was hesitant about conducting business in parking spaces. Most city restaurant owners are aware how valuable parking spaces are and believed there would be too much backlash if carried through. Surprisingly enough, city governments are making it quite easy for restaurant owners to obtain permits to expand their seating areas. After obtaining these permits, restaurant owners have had essentially zero complaints. Instead, they are receiving positive feedback and compliments.

There are two main reasons why this is happening. First, most people are staying at home. There are less places to go therefore, less traffic. Secondly, when people do venture out of their house, they are just happy to be out. If restaurants did not obtain these permits and were abiding by CDC and city guidelines, less customers would be able to dine out. At the very least, wait times would increase significantly. There’s a good chance Americans are willing to sacrifice in some areas in order get some normalcy back in their lives.

What do you think about restaurants taking over parking spaces? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.