San Francisco's New Plazas and Parklets (Image Source: SFGate.com)
The Chronicle reports:

The first pedestrian plaza opened in May at 17th and Market streets in the Castro and has become so popular that four more plazas as well as five “parklets” – two or three successive parking spaces turned into teeny parks – are slated to open by this summer. More are expected to be built this fall and next year.

New plazas open today at Guerrero and San Jose and Eighth and 16th while new plazas at Noe and 24th and Naples and Geneva will open later this year.
Parklets are planned for 22nd between Valencia and Mission, on Divisadero between Grove and Hayes in front of Mojo Cafe, on Clement at Fifth in front of Toy Boat Cafe, and of course a couple along Columbus in front of Caffe Roma and Cafe Greco.
S.F. plazas, ‘parklets’ spout, squeeze out cars [SFGate]
Make That 441,469 Spaces: Proposed Curbside Cafe Conversions [SocketSite]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by 45yo hipster

    Oh wee…and will they have the requisite blue bottle coffee carts, bacon-maple doughnuts and/or mini cupcakes? I sense a hipster takeover in at least half those locations pronto (for better…or worse.)

  2. Posted by Louis

    Funding these parks-etts will be one of the uses that the new fees developers pay for shadowing older parks go to, which will be part of the deal to avoid high rise downtown development shut down over the prop K law, if such a compromise is possible.

  3. Posted by Average Joe

    I love it. I live out near the planned Excelsior plaza, and the long-term vision for this area is very appealing right now. City College is building some very nice new spaces. The Eastern end of Ocean Ave and the Balboa BART station are going to be redeveloped. The Visitacion Valley Schlage redevelopment is underway. Do something beneficial at the Cow Palace site, add some higher density and “hipster takeover”, and — even though we’re far from The Real SF — it’s not hard to see the area really blossom. It’ll never be a premier address, but at least it’s no longer a forgotten corner of the City.

  4. Posted by tNOB

    I understand the necessity for the city to get involved in the larger “parklets” that occupy large portions of the roadway, which require analysis of traffic flow, emergency access, etc. However, I don’t get why they need to be at all involved with the raised platforms in the parking aisle. I really don’t get why everyone is so excited about this “new” concept. This happens in likely tens of thousands of locations all over Europe. Let businesses apply for a permit to occupy the parking spaces along certain corridors of the city, in front of their business. Then collect a nice fee for lost parking revenue. Everyone is happy.
    Of course not everyone will be happy. However, if the City is not involved, they cannot be seen by other businesses as “taking away parking, and their customers”. If they don’t like it, they can go to the business that applied for the permit and complain to them.

  5. Posted by joh

    Sounds great. I don’t mind lost parking spaces, but it should only be tied to improvements in public transit.

  6. Posted by tNOB

    joh… any excuse to improve transit is preferable, but if you try and link this minor program to the huge task fixing muni, no one wins. If that was the arguement, the same could be said for the white curb valet spaces in front of restaurants. Why should this process be any different?

  7. Posted by BobN

    If you factor in all the “analysis” and “planning” and the “approval process” and fretting and worrying about how this will affect penguins in Antarctica, these are probably the most expensive “parks” per square foot in the world.
    Meanwhile, a mere block from one of these parklets, a real park continues its slide into an eroding weed patch.
    Yippee!

  8. Posted by Po Hill Jeff

    For what it’s worth, the one at 8th and 16th, and probably others, has actually been open for quite a while now (months). I don’t understand how it can “open” today, unless it’s a photo op.
    As for the cost, I don’t have the figures, but they’re doing these on the cheap in a major way. They’re just bits of street blocked off with movable barriers. Most of the materials were from city surplus. More details on 8th/16th here:
    http://www.rebargroup.org/projects/pavementtoparks/

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