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Sidewalk Cafe - Siting: Clearances

Click on a category to review its requirements.
MTA structures
Elements with 5 feet clearance
Elements with 10 feet clearance
Elements you cannot block
Furnishing zone elements
Fire escapes
Utility clearances

MTA Structures

A sidewalk cafe must maintain the following clearances from MTA infrastructure:

  • 15 feet minimum from a subway stair entrance (open side)
  • 10 feet minimum from an elevator entrance (open side)
  • 5 feet minimum from all other sides (closed)
  • 3 feet minimum from an elevated structure

Objects that require 10 feet Clearance

A setup area must maintain 10 feet from the objects below. Review how to measure from objects that need 10 feet of clearance or view images of those objects below.

Objects that require 5 feet Clearance

Furnishing Zone Objects

Objects you cannot block

The objects listed below can be located within a sidewalk cafe, but the elements of the cafe cannot be located over or block access to the objects. No specific distance must be maintained. Review how to measure from objects you cannot block or view images below.

Fire Escapes

No portion of a sidewalk cafe can encroach upon, block, or attach to a fire escape. Review a diagram on how to not impact fire escapes or view an image of a fire escape below.

Utility Clearances

A sidewalk cafe must maintain 3 feet from a transformer vault. Review how to measure from a transformer vault or view an image of a transformer vault below.