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Postcard from San Francisco: How not to build a parklet

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014
bad parklet lead
A parklet on Powell Street in San Francisco.
(Photos by Michael Andersen/BikePortland)

I spent a few days in San Francisco last week, learning and sharing stories at the NACTO Designing Cities Conference. It’s not my favorite city (obviously) but it’s a lovely place.

Once in a while, though, they definitely screw up.

(more…)

Fearing parking loss, downtown business group stops ‘Street Seats’ program

Monday, April 15th, 2013
20121018-IMG_4324-2
The Downtown Retail Council, a Portland Business
Alliance affiliate, opposes parklets in the downtown core.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

After a successful pilot program last summer, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) recently announced an update of their Street Seats program. While the newly proposed guidelines show the scope of the program has broadened, a group that represents downtown businesses successfully lobbied to prevent the conversion of parking spots in the downtown core.

The Streets Seats program allows business owners and non-profits to convert public parking spaces into seating and patio space. For restaurants this means more dining tables, and for non-food establishments the program is an opportunity to use space for something other than private vehicle storage. In a PBOT survey published in January, 90% of businesses said Street Seats were good for their business and 80% of survey respondents said the program has a positive impact on street vitality. (more…)

‘Street Seats’ program extended after positive feedback

Friday, January 11th, 2013
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The Street Seat installation on N Mississippi Ave.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation says its ‘Street Seats’ program has been so well-received by business owners and citizens that it will be extended. The program, which allows cafe owners to extend their seating areas into the parking lane, was launched in August of last year and was originally set to expire at the end of December.

Now, PBOT says they’ve already extended one of the Street Seat installation permits and they plan to begin accepting new applications after the program guidelines are updated this spring. (more…)

As more ‘street seats’ pop up, thoughts about access impacts

Friday, October 19th, 2012
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New ‘street seat’ on Mississippi Ave makes
a future bikeway hard(er) to envision.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Two new ‘street seats’ installations have popped up around Portland recently. The City of Portland program allows cafe owners to pay for a permit (along with other fees) and then install a patio seating structure in the street. Instead of car parking, businesses get more human parking, expand their dining footprint, and (potentially) expand their revenue.

The other day I noticed one on NW Everett between 10th and 11th (outside Oven & Shaker pizza joint) and on N Mississippi north of Fremont (in front of Mississippi Pizza Pub).

The Oven & Shaker installation is pretty minimal at this point, with just the wooden structure and side railings. (more…)

Spotted: Portland’s first ‘street seats’ – UPDATED

Monday, August 20th, 2012
Wafu on SE Division is the first business in Portland to replace on-street auto parking spots with customer seating as part of PBOT’s new “Street Seats” program.
(Photos from anonymous BikePortland reader.)

(more…)

PBOT launches ‘Street Seats’ program

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012
Screen grab from PBOT website.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has launched a pilot program that will allow business owners to convert on-street parking spots into seating areas. The program, dubbed “Street Seats”, is PBOT’s spin on the idea of converting parking spots to mini-parks a.k.a. parklets. Parklets roared to popularity when they were first introduced by the City of San Francisco in February 2010. By August of that same year, a grassroots efforts bloomed to bring them to Portland, but the City never gave them the official stamp of approval until now.

PBOT has not made an official announcement (I heard about it via the Portland Transport blog and its publisher Chris Smith found about it via a Tweet from Sustainability at Work), but they have published a page on their website about it.

PBOT bills the program as “A pilot program to bring more outdoor seating to Portland streets.” Here’s more on their thinking behind Street Seats: (more…)

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