How a business can turn a parking space into a park (Pavement to Parks Program), 2010
San Francisco, CA
HOW IT CAN BENEFIT YOU
Before 2010, San Francisco streets were designed to accommodate cars more, which was unsafe and unwelcoming to pedestrians and bikers. So the Pavement to Parks Program was created in 2010 as an inexpensive and non-permanent way to turn a street parking spot into a park with benches, tables, chairs, landscaping and increased bike parking.
WHY IT'S A LEADING PROGRAM
San Francisco was the first city in the country to introduce parklets. It currently has more parklets than any other U.S. city.
To encourage people to bike and walk more.
WHO CAN TAKE ACTION
Businesses can apply to create a park-like, pedestrian- and bike-friendly area entrance.
As of 2015, more than 60 parklets have been built in San Francisco. The first trial Parklet in San Francisco brought a 37% increase in pedestrian traffic in the area during weeknights and a 350% increase in people walking with bikes during the weekend.
PUBLIC SUPPORT & OPPOSITION
Parklets are one of the rare initiatives that enjoy widespread public support in San Francisco. Residents and merchants are mainly concerned with the enforcement of loitering laws and delivery truck logistics. Public hearings are only scheduled if objections arise during the 10-day posting of public notification signage.
The Planning Department published the Request For Proposal, but the program’s success relies on collaboration between the Mayor’s Office, the Department of Public Works and the Metropolitan Transit Authority. The temporary nature of a Parklet allows the City and County of San Francisco to rate whether the success of the space warrants a more long-term investment.
Ideal criteria for parklets:
- The potential to increase pedestrian and bike safety
- A lack of public space in the surrounding neighborhood
- An underutilized roadway
- Sufficient community support
Permit Holders are responsible for the design, construction, maintenance and programming of the Parklet. They are required to sign a maintenance agreement and provide evidence of at least $1M in liability insurance. Though the permitee is often a business adjacent to a Parklet, required signage reinforces that patrons do not have priority to occupy the space. Since temporary developments don’t require traffic or environmental studies, the permitting process is simplified to green light construction.
BUDGET TO COORDINATE THE PROGRAM
Once a permit is approved and ready to be issued, a business pays the Department of Public Works and the Municipal Transportation Agency:
- $791 for all applications
- $650 to remove up to two parking meter s .
The business might also pay around $5,000‐$15,000 to build the parklet.
Ilaria Salvadori, Pavement to Parks Program Manager, San Francisco Planning Department, (415) 575-9086, firstname.lastname@example.org
July 15, 2015