SF Pavement to Parks Program

How a business can turn a parking space into a park (Pavement to Parks Program), 2010 

San Francisco, CA

 Fabric8 Parklet in San Francisco, CA.  Photo by San Francisco Great Streets

Fabric8 Parklet in San Francisco, CA.  Photo by San Francisco Great Streets


HOW IT CAN BENEFIT YOU

Before 2010, San Francisco streets were designed to accommodate cars more, which was unsafe and unwelcoming to pedestrians and bikers. So the Pavement to Parks Program was created in 2010 as an inexpensive and non-permanent way to turn a street parking spot into a park with benches, tables, chairs, landscaping and increased bike parking.

WHY IT'S A LEADING PROGRAM

San Francisco was the first city in the country to introduce parklets.  It currently has more parklets than any other U.S. city.

GOAL

To encourage people to bike and walk more. 

WHO CAN TAKE ACTION

Businesses can apply to create a park-like, pedestrian- and bike-friendly area entrance.  

OUTCOME

As of 2015, more than 60 parklets have been built in San Francisco.  The first trial Parklet in San Francisco brought a 37% increase in pedestrian traffic in the area during weeknights and a 350% increase in people walking with bikes during the weekend. 

PUBLIC SUPPORT & OPPOSITION

Parklets are one of the rare initiatives that enjoy widespread public support in San Francisco. Residents and merchants are mainly concerned with the enforcement of loitering laws and delivery truck logistics. Public hearings are only scheduled if objections arise during the 10-day posting of public notification signage.

The Planning Department published the Request For Proposal, but the program’s success relies on collaboration between the Mayor’s Office, the Department of Public Works and the Metropolitan Transit Authority. The temporary nature of a Parklet allows the City and County of San Francisco to rate whether the success of the space warrants a more long-term investment.

Ideal criteria for parklets:

  • The potential to increase pedestrian and bike safety
  • A lack of public space in the surrounding neighborhood
  • An underutilized roadway
  • Sufficient community support

LEGAL ISSUES

Permit Holders are responsible for the design, construction, maintenance and programming of the Parklet. They are required to sign a maintenance agreement and provide evidence of at least $1M in liability insurance. Though the permitee is often a business adjacent to a Parklet, required signage reinforces that patrons do not have priority to occupy the space. Since temporary developments don’t require traffic or environmental studies, the permitting process is simplified to green light construction.

BUDGET TO COORDINATE THE PROGRAM

Once
 a
 permit
 is
 approved
 and
 ready
 to
 be issued,
 a business pays the 
Department 
of
 Public
 Works 
and 
the Municipal
 Transportation 
Agency:

  • $791 

for
 all
 applications
  • 
$650 
to remove 
up 
to 
two
 parking meter
s
.


If
 the
 parklet
 includes
 three
 parking
 stalls
 or
 more,
 an
 additional 
$285 
base 
fee 
per 
additional 
parking stall
 and
 $325 
fee 
per 
additional
 meter
 removal
 
is 
required.   After
 the
 first 
year,
 yearly
 permit
 renewals
 are 
charged
 $245.52.

The
 business 
might also pay
 around
 $5,000‐$15,000
 to build the parklet.

CONTACT

Ilaria Salvadori, Pavement to Parks Program Manager, San Francisco Planning Department, (415) 575-9086, sfpavementtoparks@sfgov.org

LAST UPDATED

July 15, 2015