A walk-up window in Seattle.
A macaron shop looking to open in a small space in Georgetown is proposing to sell their sweets from an open window facing the sidewalk, rather than from an interior register. Customers wouldn’t actually go inside the shop, they’d merely stop outside it, and order through a large window. More activity on the sidewalk is a good thing. We want it. Sidewalk activity is what makes for good cities.
Hopefully the store will be approved, because walk-up windows are great urbanism. How so? Let me count the ways:
To be fair, there are occasional places where adding a walk-up window would be troublesome. Especially narrow sidewalks that already have especially heavy pedestrian traffic, for example. A hypothetical walk-up window at the corner of Wisconsin and M Street might get in the way, and ultimately harm walkability by inconveniencing too many other people. That’s a legitimate concern.
But 99.9% of the time, walk-up windows are great. The proposed walk-up macaron shop in Georgetown is way up Wisconsin Avenue, well north of the busiest area, on a stretch of sidewalk with plenty of room for existing shops to put out clothes racks and wicker furniture. It should be approved.
And hopefully there will be even more proposals in the future for these great features of urbanism.
More activity on the sidewalk is a good thing. We want it. Sidewalk activity is what makes for good cities.