Shop Locally, Visit Safely: Burlington Is Getting Back to Business


For immediate release:

June 12, 2020


For more information, contact:

Robert Goulding, DPW Public Information Manager



Shop Locally, Visit Safely: Burlington Is Getting Back to Business

Restaurants & Retail are open for business

Parking Garages & Enforcement to resume operations

Public health remains top priority


Burlington, VT - The City of Burlington has continued its focused efforts - organized through the multi-departmental work of the Resource & Recovery Center (RRC) - to support the community. In addition to food, housing and healthcare assistance for residents, the City has worked to offer businesses a low-cost opportunity to expand outside. With state regulations changing, business beginning to pick up and employees coming back to the downtown, parking  garages and enforcement will also return to standard operations. Public health, public safety and economic vitality have guided these recent efforts by the City.


“There is no better mix of excellent, locally owned dining and shopping than right here in Burlington,” said Church Street Marketplace Director Kara Alnasrawi, who is also leading business support for the city’s Resource & Recovery Center. “We’ve been working to help businesses expand into the right-of way and have more efforts underway to reconnect our residents with business. From the New North End to downtown, Church Street and the South End, we encourage Burlingtonians and visitors to go to their favorite establishments and to do so safely. We’re encouraging businesses to apply for outdoor seating, outdoor vending and curbside pickup zones and will help them navigate the process.”


“We’re all working hard to help Burlington’s businesses and their employees to succeed and hope Burlingtonians and visitors come enjoy our city,” said Public Works Director Chapin Spencer. “We have eliminated permit fees for safe right-of-way expansion and expedited the approval of grab and go pickup zones. Burlington is a special place in the summertime, even more so when you can enjoy your time here outdoors. While public health remains the City’s priority, we want people to have safe ways to enjoy their favorite restaurants and shops.”



The Department of Public Works (DPW), Church Street Marketplace (CSM) and the Community & Economic Development Office (CEDO) have put forward a three part initiative -- “Making Space for Restaurant & Retail Recovery” -- to support area businesses, give them the outdoor space they need and help the community feel even safer visiting their favorite establishments. This initiative includes:


  • Expanded Street Seats & Sidewalks: Building on the successful Street Seat pilot last season, DPW, CSM & CEDO have been working with the business community on expedited, low-cost, no fee ways to expand dining options and retail onto the greenbelt and into the parking lane (platforms are optional). See the current list of locations below.
  • Grab & Go Zones: With pick-up options increasingly popular during this period of social distancing, DPW is working with the business community to determine where free, temporary, short term parking can be placed to allow safe, efficient pick-up of Burlington's excellent cuisine and retail. See the current list of locations below.
  • Open Streets: Building on this popular community event where select streets are closed to cars and open to businesses and residents on the weekend, the City is working with the business community to support safe outdoor dining and retail this summer. Much more info is coming soon.



On March 17th and in accordance with State of Emergency regulations, DPW raised the gates at city-owned garages and stopped collecting parking fees. The Burlington Police Department (BPD) also stopped on-street meter enforcement. These efforts coincided with providing Burlingtonians a temporary respite from parking fees and to have regular, easy access to their vehicles during a period of uncertainty.


Parking turnover is vital to a vibrant downtown. It allows regular and fair access to parking which translates into more people visiting area businesses. With business picking up and regulations changing to allow more “non-essential” work, city owned parking garages and meter enforcement will return to standard operations on June 15th. This includes:

  • 2 hours of free parking at city-owned garages (see Park Burlington Municipal garages on the map below for locations). See note below about potential future changes at Marketplace.
  • Free parking in city-owned garages and at on street meters on Sundays
  • Free parking after 5PM at the City lot on Elmwood and all day on weekends
  • Resuming to charge for parking at city-owned garages beyond 2 hours Monday thru Saturday beginning on 6/15
  • Meter enforcement which will begin with a warning campaign by BPD beginning on 6/15. Beginning on 6/22, cars parked at expired meters are subject to ticketing and/or towing
  • Ticketing and/or towing is still occurring at all prohibited parking areas, such as unlawfully parked cars in accessible spaces or in front of fire hydrants



During this down period, DPW garage management has continued to refine operations to best serve Burlington.


  • Maintenance crews painted the stair towers at Marketplace, abandoned cars were removed and crews worked to remove graffiti.
  • Schedules were refined to provide 24/7 customer service and Ambassador coverage at the garages for the reopening.
  • Due to the CSM Commission’s recommended 50% reduction in the Downtown Improvement District assessment which funds the 2 hour free parking program at our 3 garages, the DPW Commission will be considering a proposal at their June 17 meeting to eliminate 2 hour free parking at the Marketplace Garage (MPG) only. Nearly 80% of all transactions at MPG are free and the garage is often at capacity  3-5 days per week. This proposal seeks to reallocate demand from over-utilized MPG to the underutilized garages 3 blocks away, which will continue to offer 2 hours of free parking.  (see more at
  • Other refinements are in the works and continue to advance, including discounted business employee parking and validation.



While the City is encouraged to see residents and visitors going back to their favorite places, public health remains at the forefront of its work. Steps to help combat the spread of COVID-19 continue to be:


  • Maintaining social distance
  • Wearing masks
  • Exercising proper hygiene and sanitation
  • Staying home when sick
  • More resources are available by contacting the Burlington Resource & Recovery Center






A Single Pebble

133 Bank

Greenbelt Seat

El Cortijo

189 Bank St

Street Seat

Kens Pizza

170 Bank

Street Seat

Dobra Tea

80 Church St

Street Seat

The Gryphon

131 Main Street

Street Seat

Bistro De Margot

126 College St

Street Seat

Simon and Pearce

157 Bank

Grab & Go Pickup Space


139 North Champlain

Grab & Go Pickup Space


197 College Street

Grab & Go Pickup Space

Honey Road

Church & Main

Grab & Go Pickup Space

A Single Pebble

139 Bank Street

Grab & Go Pickup Space




Press Release Date: 
Attached Press Release: 
City Department: 
Public Works Department