In San Francisco, the Pavement to Parks program has launched an initiative that may someday alter the way many dense U.S. cities decide to treat the streets of their commercial strips.
Taking the PARK(ing) Day concept to a more permanent, logical level, the Parklets Program has begun experimenting with trial spaces allowing businesses to convert parking spaces into outdoor public spaces and cafes. The first was installed in March outside the Mojo Bicycle Café on Divisdero Street where two parking spaces were reallocated to people-space; now cafe tables & chairs, benches, bike parking, and plants sit over a raised platform over the asphalt. If all goes well thru the evaluation period, the idea is to eventually turn the process into a regular permitting process that business groups and communities can apply for. It looks good: owners of Mojo say business is up 30% and they have had to hire more staff.
The Pavement to Parks program has already transformed a number of community spaces in the Castro, Showplace Triangle and Guerrero Park. We briefly look at those at well in this video.