Department of Transportation Adopts New Curbside Commercial Policy

New Curbside Commercial Policy to go into effect starting July 1st

Baltimore, MD (4/21/2023) - The Baltimore City Department of Transportation (BCDOT) announced today the adoption of its new Curbside Commercial Policy, aimed at creating a permanent program for expanded outdoor dining. 

The BCDOT temporarily modified its outdoor dining program back in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Curbside facilities were temporarily approved for outdoor dining to promote social distancing and to provide hardship assistance for the hospitality industry which was heavily impacted at that time. 

Since the program's inception, the BCDOT has observed a widespread utilization of curbside facilities within commercial areas.  As a result, the department has been working for over a year with partner municipal agencies and stakeholders to create new regulations allowing for the permanent expansion of curbside dining.  The new policy will formalize curbside facility construction standards, permit holder responsibilities, and safety improvements for pedestrians, diners, and all roadway users. 

Consistent with the City’s Charter, the new policy will require minor privilege permits and fees for curbside commercial facilities and utilization of the public right-of-way.  The BCDOT is actively working to advance a new Curbside Commercial Fee Schedule through the Board of Estimates, aimed at establishing variable rates based on the location of the applicant’s business, with rates capped at $10 per square foot.

Curbside Commercial Policy drafting efforts were aided by public comments submitted to the BCDOT. The BCDOT has reviewed the public’s input for valuable information, and amendments were incorporated into the final policy for an improved program. 

The BCDOT will begin accepting applications for curbside commercial facilities on Monday, May 1st.  Applications can be submitted online directly at https://transportation.baltimorecity.gov/curbside-commercial-facilities.  

Existing emergency permits are valid through June 30th and enforcement of the new Curbside Commercial Policy will begin July 1, 2023.  Compliance with the new policy will require a minor privilege permit and facilities must be constructed to the policy’s design standards.  Unpermitted curbside commercial facilities are subject to removal by the BCDOT.  Questions regarding the new policy can be submitted to the BCDOT Right-of-Way Services Division at curbsidecommercial@baltimorecity.gov

A full copy of the adopted Curbside Commercial Policy can be found online at: https://transportation.baltimorecity.gov/curbside-commercial-facilities.

Definition of "Curbside Commercial"

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