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Right-of-Way Programs

Description

There are a variety of right-of-way permit programs offered by the City of Tulsa: Sidewalk Cafés, Tables and Chairs, and Parklets. The goal of these programs is to activate the public realm and create vibrant spaces. With proper design and management, sidewalk cafés, tables and chairs, and/or parklets add vitality to the street by encouraging walking, shopping, dining, and socializing, which in turn boost economic development efforts.

While the process of obtaining a right-of-way permit is fairly straightforward, not every business or location is right for these permits. Tulsa Planning Office staff is happy to talk you through this to make sure you choose the most appropriate permit program.

Steps 

  1. Review the chart at tulsaplanning.org/row to determine which program is best for you based on your existing conditions. Remember: a parklet permit uses the parking space(s) in front of your business, and a sidewalk café or tables and chairs permit uses the sidewalk in front of your business.

  2. Talk to your neighbors and property owner. You may be required to show documentation of their support for your application. For example, some people may be concerned about removing parking near their business. While this may be a legitimate concern in some areas, research has shown that parklets increase economic benefits even for surrounding businesses by increasing the amount of time people spend in the area. It would be helpful to conduct research on how sidewalk cafés or parklets are benefits to the entire commercial district before talking to your neighbors.

  3. Once you know what type of permit is right for you and have the support of your neighbors, start the permit application process. Visit our website to download the application forms. Be sure the read the entire manual before starting; otherwise, you may encounter costly delays.

  4. Hire an engineer or designer as needed for each permit program. The Tulsa Planning Office cannot recommend any specific designers, but there are many local firms who can do the work. Ask them if they have experience with these types of designs, and look at examples to make sure they will fit your needs.

  5. Be creative! There are requirements in each manual, but we also want to support creative ideas.

  6. Implement your project. Get people excited about these creative projects by tagging us at facebook.com/tulsaplanning and using #parklet, #sidewalkcafe, or #outsideseating.

  7. Evaluate your project! We want to know how our right-of-way programs are supporting businesses. Keep track of sales or foot traffic before implementation and compare after implementation. Email destinationdistricts@incog.org for a survey to use at your business. 

Resources 

Tulsa Planning Office Contact
Payton Wynes
Right-of-Way Programs Administrator
pwynes@incog.org
918.579.9449
Website: tulsaplanning.org/row

Downtown Coordinating Council
Maggie Hoey, Assistant Director
mhoey@cityoftulsa.org
The Downtown Coordinating Council supports downtown businesses and property owners within the Inner Dispersal Loop and may be able to connect you with funding opportunities or assistance in the development and design of your project

Other Resources
nacto.org/publication/urban-street-design-guide/interim-design-strategies/parklets 
aarp.org/livable-communities/livable-in-action/info-2015/how-to-create-a-parklet.html

Evaluation and Other Research
groundplaysf.org/wp-content/parklet-impact-study
smartgrowthamerica.org/app/legacy/documents/parklet-policy-toolkit.pdf