“Parklets” are publically accessible transformations of a parking space into a public outdoor space. Each parklet is different, but they typically consist of a platform located level with the sidewalk, and include seating areas, landscaping/planters, art elements, and bike parking.
Parklets create additional public open space, available to everyone to use, but sponsored and maintained by nearby merchants and/or business organizations. Because they leverage private resources to build, maintain, and steward the space, they can create improvements much faster and cheaper than traditional sidewalk widening. They are also temporary, and can be removed for storage (during winter months, for example) or entirely based on the outcome of the project. Parklets can create a more vibrant street life and support new pedestrian and bicycle amenities, enhancing the local business environment and providing a place for public engagement and gathering.
Parklets programs have been successfully instituted in San Francisco, Oakland, Chicago and Los Angeles with strict standards for design, traffic safety, and accessibility.
Oakland's Pilot Parklet Program includes requirements for layout, location, and dimensions of parklets. They rate applications on the availability of replacement parking, community support, and commitment to maintenance as well. Projects will be evaluated after one year as to their sucess. The first project has just been completed on Grand Ave. near Farley's Coffee through a "crowdsourcing" campaign. To read more about that project, follow this link: http://oaklandlocal.com/article/crowdsourcing-works-farleys-campaign-funds-first-city-parklet
For more information on Oakland's program, follow this link: http://www2.oaklandnet.com/oakca/groups/cityadministrator/documents/memorandum/oak032610.pdf
For more information about SF's Pavement to Parks Program and and photos of the over 22 completed projects, please follow this link: sfpavementtoparks.sfplanning.org/
These programs and the resulting projects have served as models for several concept drawings that have been created by volunteer designers working with local businesses for parklets along Shattuck Avenue in North Berkeley. The North Shattuck Association, the business and property owner group in the neighborhood has approached the City of Berkeley about instituting a pilot parklets program under which some of these parklets concepts can be completed as community projects with donated labor and materials.
The goal of this survey is to gather feedback from local residents, customers, and merchants about parklets as public space, and to help inform the process of developing a pilot parklets program for Berkeley which would provide a framework for parklets in neighborhoods across the city. The survey has 10 questions and will take less than 10 minutes to complete.