Raleigh officials make no changes to outdoor dining
Posted September 27, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — The city of Raleigh has decided not to make any changes to ordinances involving outdoor dining following a wreck earlier this month that injured three women and damaged a restaurant at Cameron Village.
A committee examining the issue on Tuesday found that the city has plenty of safety measures in place for public areas. Private restaurants have to deal with the liability themselves because they are considered private property.
Sidewalk cafes in public areas in the city tend to be on streets that have parallel parking, so cars are not headed directly toward diners, the committee found.
During Tuesday's meeting, a police officer testified that he has seen a car plow through an open dining area only once or twice in his 20 years on the force.
On Sept. 4, Raleigh police said that Betty Jo Boykin Sledge, 55, of Raleigh, was pulling into a parking space outside the Noodles and Company restaurant when she accelerated, driving over the curb and into the outdoor seating area. She was charged with careless and reckless driving, police said.
Sledge's 2003 gold Lexus sedan struck Suzanne Vogel, 31, of Raleigh, Karallen Haire, 31, of Garner, and Judith Igelman, 68, of Wake Forest, at 10 mph, tossing them from their seats. The car then struck the restaurant. It's unclear what caused Sledge to lose control of her car and jump the curb.