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Maxwell X Lab

Project Report

New Orleans Parklet/Curbside Dining Pilot Evaluation

May 2021

Project Description

  • Partners: City of New Orleans
  • Intervention: Evaluate Curbside Dining and Parklets pilot program by looking at quantifiable variables (street characteristics) and qualifiable variables (interviews with business owners)
  • Method: Mixed method (qualitative interviews and predictive modeling)
  • Outcomes: Bars and street corner locations more likely to apply for the permit, Insight about experiences relating to the parklet

Project Report

The Maxwell X Lab partnered with the City of New Orleans to evaluate their Parklet/Curbside Dining Pilot. The goal of this program was to allow restaurants and bars to remain operational while minimizing the spread of COVID-19. The evaluation took place in two stages. The first stage focused on quantitative analysis to understand which geographic and building characteristics made a business more likely to apply for a parklet permit. To do this, we built a dataset of 140 restaurants and bars in New Orleans, including those that have applied for or received a permit, as well as restaurants that have not applied. For each business, we created variables on their characteristics and the conditions of the street they are located on. We included type of business (restaurant, bar, café), neighborhood, number of parking spots available, etc. The results of the logistic regression ran showed that bars and having a street corner location were significantly associated with applying for a permit.

The second stage focused on conducting interviews with businesses in New Orleans to collect information on their experience with the pilot program. This included interviewing businesses that have already received permits and those that have not applied. The permitted restaurants were asked a series of questions about how they perceived the application process, direct experience with the parklets, and thoughts on a permanent parklet program moving forward. Results from these interviews showed that most restaurants reported easy experiences with the application process, overall positive experiences with the parklet, and varied opinions on the parklet program moving forward to a permanent solution. The non-permitted restaurants were asked about their barriers to applying for the permit and their perceptions of parklets. Some reported barriers to applying were that they were not eligible due to their location, had little demand, and concerns about traffic and parking. Still, a majority of these businesses believed a parklet would be beneficial to their business.

Maxwell X Lab
426 Eggers Hall