Fairfax officials are looking into experimenting with a parklet, a small urban park in the space of a parallel parking spot in the downtown area.
Would that be welcomed in Mill Valley?
Parklets, which are becoming increasingly common in San Francisco and other cities, include seating and sometimes planter-box vegetation, bicycle parking or tables.
“Parklets take a parking space and make public space,” Jim Moore, Fairfax Director of Planning, told the Fairfax Town Council at its Nov. 7 meeting.
Town officials will work with Fairfax business to determine the exact placement of the parklet and to see if any want to sponsor it or help with the design or implementation.
“We are hoping to get a collaborative relationship from sponsors and to reach out to businesses so there are no feathers ruffled,” Moore said.
Mill Valley is currently examining the parking culture downtown. On Throckmorton around the Depot Plaza, the city recently installed 30 new parking meters that take credit cards as part of a three-month pilot program.
A recently formed ad hoc committee will use the data collected from the meters to review downtown parking as a whole. Mill Valley has a total of 396 parking meters downtown.
Mill Valley Police Lt. Ken Dunkel said the idea of a parklet hasn't come up so far, but he wouldn't rule it out. The committee is exploring different technologies for meters, and reviewing both metered and unmetered spaces. Everything is on the table right now, he said.
"We're trying to start from scratch and see what's best for the balance of citizens, businesses and visitors," Dunkel said. "I think all options are open."
According to the San Francisco Pavement to Parks parklet permit in the attached staff report, parklets are “intended to provide space for people to sit and relax and enjoy the city around them, especially where narrow sidewalks would otherwise preclude such activities. They are intended to be seen as a piece of street furniture, providing aesthetic enhancement to the overall streetscape.”
Some cities that have experimented with parklets have said they attract more foot traffic, leading to a boost in commerce.
Do you like the idea of a parklet in Mill Valley? Where you put one? Let us know in the comments.
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