Visitors to North Beach will enjoy a little more elbow room on the notoriously crowded sidewalks, thanks to the city's latest parklet.
Parklets are small slivers of pavement that have been converted into patios with temporary seating and planters. rather than squeezing people onto the sidewalk, where there's little room for tables and pedestrians to coexist, the parklets extend the sidewalk into what were once parking spaces, giving everyone a little more room to stretch.
And don't worry, drivers: there's still plenty of parking in the garage just a two minute walk away. The city won't lose much meter revenue, since parking laws were rarely enforced in that area. And the increase in sales that the parklet is expected to generate for nearby stores will be an economic shot in the arm for both merchants and The City.
Merchants who initially resisted the amenity are now lining up to get one of their own.
The new parklet is a perfect match for the Italian neighborhood, since it echos a casual public-space culture that hearkens back to Europe. It joins a handful of other newborn green spaces around town, such as 17th and Castro, 22nd Street, Divisadero Street, Guerrero, and Showplace Triangle.
Construction was funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and Illy Coffee, as well as neighborhood groups.