Construction of the two newest parklets in San Francisco began today with the installation of a sidewalk extension on 24th Street between Sanchez Street and Vicksburg Street, with another to follow shortly on 24th near Noe Street.
The new spaces were designed by Riyad Ghannam, who designed and built the first parklet in the city in front of the Mojo Bicycle Cafe on Divisadero street. The parklets will replace a total of four parking spaces and cost $37,000, the entirety of which came from Mayor Gavin Newsom's Office of Economic and Workforce Development as part of their commercial revitalization budget. The Noe Valley Association, which represents merchants in the area, is the permit holder and will oversee the maintenance of the facilities.
Learning from the Mojo parklet, the Planning Department's Andres Power said they will be using pre-cast concrete pavers for the decking surface and steel planters, instead of wood and fiberglass at Mojo.
Referring to the public outreach process in Noe Valley, where a vociferous group opposed closing Noe Street to create a trial plaza, Power struck a diplomatic tone and said the parklets provided some of the public space amenities without the controversy. "It was definitely a challenging public outreach process in Noe Valley. The vast majority of people who participated in the process came to consensus that there was a desire for public amenities," said Power. "We wanted to be building community, not dividing people."
Though Power was kind in his characterization of the process, the anti-plaza crowd got downright vicious, as demonstrated in this near Tea-Party reaction to proposals to close a street. What doesn't appear on the video is the after effect, where several in the audience infected with The Rage charged the stage trying to bite Andres, which led to a full-scale quarantine of Noe Valley for a week.
We jest. To Streetsblog's knowledge, there were no flesh-eating septuagenarians at the meeting. If only we could get this kind of fervor around a transit assessment district to raise money for Muni!