Westfield’s Sidewalk Cafés Don’t Leave Enough Room for Pedestrians, Resident Tells Town Council

A photo of the sidewalk cafe in front of Cosimo's taken Aug. 9 shows how much room pedestrians and people in wheelchairs have to get by. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
Greg Kasko at Tuesday night's town council meeting. Credits: Jackie Lieberman

WESTFIELD, NJ — There isn’t enough room for pedestrians, especially those with disabilities, to pass in front of the tables and chairs set out in front of some of Downtown Westfield’s restaurants, resident Greg Kasko told the town council at Tuesday night’s meeting. It’s a problem that’s being going on for years, he said, but this is the first time he’s brought it to the council.

Kasko’s wife was recovering from neck surgery, he said, and she needed to hold his arm for support as she walked. He explained that as they recently walked down Quimby Street, they could not pass in front of Fiama because the tables were placed too far out into the sidewalk.

On another recent day, he said, he noticed the same issue in front of Cosimo’s on East Broad Street.

Sign Up for E-News

“There were tables placed such that you were lucky if you could get a person through the trees, parking meters, tables,” he said. “And I get it — we want our downtown to flourish. We want more people coming. We want people to be able to sit outside and enjoy themselves when they’re eating. I get all that.”

Both times, he said, he sent emails to officials. He asked the council why a town ordinance limiting how much space the cafes can take up on the sidewalk is not being enforced.

“And what I mean by that,” he said, “is you go to the town ordinance on the website, it clearly details what is expected of these restaurants and all almost all of them, except for possibly Turning Point, which has a large enough sidewalk, are in violation one way or another … I want this town council to please, please see to it that this ordinance is enforced.”

Town Attorney Russell Finestein told the council that the fire department enforces sidewalk café rules.

“We’ve generally had 100 percent voluntary compliance by the store owners once they are aware of the problem,” Finestein said.

Later, Kasko said that he filed a federal ADA complaint after the meeting.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Students Lead ‘Die-In’ at Congressman Lance’s Westfield Office; Summit Boy Arrested

June 13, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Seventeen-year-old Summit High School student Ben Schachter was taken away in handcuffs Tuesday during a gun safety “die-in” protest led by local high school students at Congressman Leonard Lance's Westfield office. Lance was not present at the office at the time.

“We are organizing this ‘die-in’ at Congressman Lance’s ...

Get Empowered to Help Prevent Suicide

June 9, 2018

Over the past week social media and the news have been filled with stories and articles encouraging people to seek help if they’re in emotional distress. There have been countless articles about the need to break the silence around the topic of mental health and suicide, and I am encouraged by the support people are extending to others.

Often, the death by suicide by prominent ...

Gov. Murphy still pushing a millionaire's tax, won’t say when he'll sign sports betting, weed bills

June 8, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - With a showdown on the state budget looming just 22 days away, Gov. Phil Murphy today re-emphasized his call for a tax on the state’s wealthiest households while hoping to avoid another shutdown of state government.

“Do I still want a millionaire’s tax? The answer is ‘yes,’ “ Murphy said at a press conference at the John ...

Beatles Lecture @ Union Public Library

June 18, 2018

The Union Public Library will be hosting an interactive lecture about the early years of the Beatles on Monday, July 9th at 6:30 p.m as part of its “Libraries Rock!” summer series.  Presenter Paul Groom, who lived the first 17 years of his life in Liverpool, England and went to some of the same schools as the Beatles, will discuss the lesser known Beatles story about their days ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, June 18, 7:45 AM

17 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit

Monday Morning Yoga

Health & Wellness

Mon, June 18, 9:00 AM

The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary, Short Hills

June Mini-Camp at the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum - ...

Education Green

Mon, June 18, 9:00 AM

The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary, Short Hills

"Pre-summer" Camp at the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum ...

Education Green