Cities that want to encourage foot traffic, public transit, and getting around on bicycles are starting to remove parking spaces in favor of mini parks big enough for a couple planters and benches where passersby might read, chat, or eat a sandwich.
Eric Moskowitz writes in the Boston Globe: “The program, boston.PARKLETS, follows the lead of San Francisco, which boasts 30 parklets, and New York, which unveiled the first of what it calls ‘curbside seating platforms’ in 2010.
“They are part of the growing movement to reclaim urban space for pedestrians and bicyclists and promote public transit. Mayor Thomas M. Menino has proclaimed ‘the car is no longer king,’ citing the environmental, aesthetic, and health benefits.
“It remains to be seen how willingly Bostonians, known for fiercely coveting and protecting their parking spots, receive the parklets.
“Vineet Gupta, planning director for the Boston Transportation Department, said the city will work with merchants and neighbors to find appropriate spots, with the first parklets probably appearing next spring. They would scarcely put a dent in the city’s 8,000 metered spaces and untold thousands of unmetered and resident-permit spots, but they would enliven areas with heavy foot traffic otherwise lacking in public amenities, he said.” Read more.
If you have actually seen where this has been done, do send a photo.
These two parking spaces in Boston could become a parklet — a tiny patio with benches and planters. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)