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Raleigh officials make no changes to outdoor dining

Posted September 27, 2011

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— 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.


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  • common_sense_plz Sep 27, 2011

    If you are going to have outdoor dining area then there should be no parking spaces directly in front of the area. will this be hard to do in the Cameron Village area, yes it will be as this shopping area has been there forever.

  • Chuck U Farley Sep 27, 2011

    Simple risk management

    Probability of ATM being rammed by car * (value of ATM + contents) > cost to put up barriers : DO IT

    Probability of diners being rammed * settlement costs < cost to put up barriers : DONT

    For more information, watch the movie "Fight Club" :-)

  • mfarmer1 Sep 27, 2011

    > "Why aren't they required to have metal/concrete poles in place to protect patrons just like ATMs?"

    ATM's cost more money than people

    But really are we going to put a cement barrier every 3 feet to protect someone?

  • Chuck U Farley Sep 27, 2011

    "Why aren't they required to have metal/concrete poles in place to protect patrons just like ATMs?" - Those are there to protect the ATM and its contents, not the patrons.

  • Chuck U Farley Sep 27, 2011

    Good! Almost every tragedy breaks an existing law - there is rarely a need for a new one.

  • avidreader Sep 27, 2011

    Where's your story about Bev wanting to suspend elections? That should be your head line!!!

  • Screw WrAl Sep 27, 2011

    What changes would they make, have people only eat on the left side of the road? Stupid. The change that should be made for the safety of all of us is to take away the driving privilege of the lady you caused the problem!

  • themp Sep 27, 2011

    Need to check the vehicle for sudden acceleration: Sledge's 2003 gold Lexus sedan

    Was it part of the recall?

  • kornfan2448 Sep 27, 2011

    If I was that worried about it, I'd dine inside the restaurant. That, or find an establishment whose outdoor seating was located well away from any kind of traffic area, there are plenty of them. Problem solved.

  • nonPC Sep 27, 2011

    OGE those metal/concrete poles are called bollards and they can also be planters that are both functional and pleasing to the eye (cost per $200->$500 + installation) and yes the view of the city is a bit myopic. This review process has not stopped with this setback as a discovery and awareness process that hadn't existed before has now begun.

    what would you have us do? who pays? should we just charge the private buisnesses after we force them to have them? should we raise the taxes so we can afford them? cut spending on some other frivelous thing like no smoking signs in parks so we can pay? maybe just grab everyone earning money by their ankles and shake it from their pockets....but it must be my myopia cause I just dont see spending the money