After the tremendous success of the trial sidewalk extension, or "parklet," on Divisadero in front of the Mojo Bicycle Cafe, San Francisco planners set their eyes on 22nd Street near Bartlett Street in The Mission, where they have re-purposed three parking spaces in front of Revolution Cafe, Escape from New York Pizza, and Loló Restaurant to be the city's newest public space.
"It basically acts as a relatively inexpensive way to transform parking spaces into spaces for people," said project manager Blaine Merker of Rebar, an artist collaborative best known for instigating the annual Park(ing) Day temporary parking space reclamations.
"We're taking this relatively narrow sidewalk and taking out three pretty superfluous parking spots and we're increasing the value of the streetscape by making it a place for people to hang out, to enjoy themselves and use an informal public space," Merker said.
The sixty foot linear parklet (Rebar uses the term "Walklet") is composed of pre-fabricated modular sections, each three feet wide by 6 1/2 feet deep. The module foundations are welded steel frames with bamboo decking, each affixed to the curb edge. The modules have different components, some simple flat sidewalk extensions, others with seating. One variation has seating with a planter built into it; another is a high bar 40 inches above the platform. Two modules have two bike racks each and several modules will be deep benches that allow reclining."The idea was to have a magic carpet of bamboo," said Merker, describing the aesthetic. "It creates a sense of prospect and refuge for people who want to inhabit the street."