San Francisco's Parklets Become Part of the City

Parking spaces in San Francisco are being repurposed as small patio-like park spaces and out door seating areas. John King of the San Francisco Chronicle looks at how they've become part of the city.

"Some are no more than platforms lined with planters; others have a sculptural look or tie in to the landscaping of the adjacent sidewalk. Some feel genuinely public. Others emphatically do not.

What began last year as a form of ad hoc urbanism is emerging as a distinctive feature of neighborhood commercial districts, particularly on the eastern side of the city. Even the most compromised parklets are of value, if only to show what's at stake as the experiment evolves.

'Every circumstance is different,' said Jane Martin of Shift Design Studio. 'It gets people talking about design and comfort on the street.'"

14 of these parklets have already been built and 12 more should be complete by the end of summer.

Full Story: S.F. parklets emerge as neighborhood fixtures



Irvin Dawid's picture

Question on 'Parklets' (those now done in SF)

I'm breakfasting at my regular spot in Redwood City, CA - just down the Caltrain line from 'the City' (SF). Outdoor tables are strewn over the sidewalk - making for a 'sloppy' appearance that also creates a navigating nightmare for the sight-impaired and those using mobility devices.

I asked the owner about taking out a parking space or two of the angle parking directly in front of the shop - he told me he had asked a year ago and was told:
1. He would have to pay for the construction of the sidewalk extension into the street.
2. He would have to replace the lost parking spaces.

I wonder - did SF or other progressive cities that recognize the value of people-occupied spaces over those reserved for autos, have the same requirements?
Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

Paying for Parklets

Irv, they have to pay for the construction, but they do not have to replace the parking.

When he says "pay for the sidewalk extension," it sounds like he is talking about paying for new concrete to expand the sidewalk. In SF, they use cheaper methods to build parklets.

SF staff in charge is Andres Power. You can find him on the city web site and email him with questions.

Charles Siegel

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