The city's wildly popular parklet program is set for a massive expansion, with businesses all across the city clamoring for permits to install new seating areas.
Everyone benefits when parklets go in: businesses like cafes get some extra seating area, and stores attract more customers with an attractive environment outside the door. Pedestrians get a nice place to sit, and neighbors get improved greenery and bike parking.
There's been some concern about businesses "taking over" nearby parklets, which are intended to be public space. Restaurants will have to agree not to provide table service to anyone sitting in a parklet, which is a bit of an inconvenience for everyone. If you order food at a cafe, they can bring it out to you but they can't actually hand it to you. Instead, they'll have to place your order on a cart, and then you can pick it up.
Last year, nearly 40 businesses applied for permits, according to Streetsblog, and most were approved. This year, they're capping the permits at 25, for unknown reasons.
Parklets are also getting a little bit cheaper, with a $450 reduction for certain locations.
One of the highlights of the upcoming designs is a parklet in the Tenderloin, which will stand in for a park that's closing for renovations near Eddy and Jones. It's expected to appear sometime next year.