Introducing the "Parklet"

The streetscape of San Francisco is changing, one tiny piece at a time. Planners are slowly taking over pieces of the streets and turning them into tiny "parklets" for pedestrians.

Mayor Gavin Newsom opened the new parklet earlier this week, a sidewalk extension in front of a café on Divisadero St.

Matthew Roth writes, "The new trial parklet was built into the space formerly occupied by two parked vehicles, providing several hundred square feet of public space and benches, tables, planters and bike racks.

"This is a change in philosophy and how we think of the public rights-of-way," said Department of Public Works Director Ed Reiskin, who noted that approximately 25 percent of the public space in San Francisco is taken up by streets."

Thanks to Matthew Roth

Full Story: San Francisco Mayor Christens New "Parklet" Sidewalk Extension, Pledges More to Come



Good concerns

I like this idea, but I suppose this presents a safety problem considering how close people sitting at these tables would be to the cars on the road, if there was an accident. I guess it is a risk you will be taking choosing to sit there.

The cars are a little too close for enjoyment in my opinion, but some people don't mind that.

^ It seems likely to me that

^ It seems likely to me that having the physical vertical element so close to the lane space will act to reduce vehicle speeds - I notice people drive more carefully/slowly in tighter spaces - or spaces that *feel* more restricted.

I have seen something similar (albeit private-sector initiated) in the city of Nelson, British Columbia (a very small city). I believe it is seasonal, but some restaurants are permited to place wood-deck patios over curbside parking spaces to create additional outdoor seating. It takes the curbside parking out of use for the summer. In the later fall, when the cold weather returns, and the tourists decline, the patios are lifted and the parking is reinstated. I think it is a great idea - but for public use would love to see some of the space dedicated to sheltered bike parking as well.

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