Austin looks to improve curbside food access, installs new "Food Pick-Up Priority" zones

( City of Austin )

The City of Austin is trying to assist restaurants and customers ordering food amid the recent health order to close restaurant dining rooms.

On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a public health disasterwhich enacts a ban on dine-in eating and gathering in groups of more than 10 as the state ramps up efforts to battle the coronavirus. 

In an attempt to improve community access to curb-side food pickups, the Austin Transportation Department is installing temporary customer pickup zones for local restaurants currently transitioning into take-out and delivery-only services. 

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These new zones have been marked with white and blue signs that say "Food Pick-UP Priority."  So far crews have established approximately 50 curbside customer pickup zones to make it easier for customers to quickly check in with businesses and receive their food.

"These pick-up zones will help our community practice social distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19 while still supporting our local businesses & maintaining access to food," the city wrote. 

Areas with a high concentration of restaurants in locations that do not have enough loading options and where off-street parking is unavailable have been chosen to be the first to receive the temporary customer pickup zones. 

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"Austin Transportation plans to install more temporary customer pick-up zones in the coming days based on needs evaluations and field observations," the city said in a press release. 

The city plans to install more of these zones in the coming days' based on-road evaluations. Restaurants can request an evaluation by filling out the online contact form.

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