New “parklet” planned for 5th and Clement

The Chronicle reports today that the city will be expanding their pedestrian plaza plans after successful experiments with locations like 17th and Market streets in the Castro.

The program is part of a larger effort to convert “pavement to parks” and provide more recreational areas in our tight urban environment. “It’s pennies compared to a brand new park,” said Astrid Haryati, the mayor’s greening director. The Department of Public Works is responsible for setting them up and maintaining them.

Part of the expansion plan includes adding “parklets” in a few neighborhoods, where two or three successive parking spaces are turned into very small parks.

Toy Boat Cafe at 5th Avenue and Clement will be one of the locations for a parklet, which costs just $7,000 to install. Each parklet includes a raised platform to make it level with sidewalks for seating, planters and bicycle parking.

Look for the Toy Boat parklet to premiere later this year. Streetsblog SF has more details on the city’s plans, including conceptual drawings.

Sarah B.


  1. What is the “recreational” use of this “park” that is the size of 2 or 3 parking spaces? Toy Boat Cafe is getting a free outdoor dining area at the expense of the taxpaying public. Where and when was the opportunity for public input on this decision?

  2. I don’t get it… Besides, parking’s such a bitch in our neighborhood, I don’t see the point. But yay, publicity for Toy Boat, love them!

  3. Sounds like a great way to make our commercial districts more pedestrian friendly and more of a destination area. The Toy Boat is a good choice since its a place where parents can take their children.

  4. LOVE this idea! YAY! On the flip side, at the risk of being negative, I fear it will be taken over by the homeless and become an eyesore rather than an asset?

  5. Randy — I’m a little disappointed in your reaction. Toy Boat has been in the Richmond district for (I believe) about 25 years. WHY would anyone begrudge them — or any of our great business community citizens — a little publicity? Our local businesses need HELP — do you really want to see a street of boarded up buildings? I am reminded of the people who seemed to think B-Star should be punished for having been successful enough that they want to open a second location!

    How about we be HAPPY that we have such a good restaurant, wish them well and CELEBRATE their success. God knows the City does an awful lot to make success difficult – and to have your own neighbors begrudge your success is sad.

  6. Yes, this is a concern. Years ago there was a bench at the parking lot on Geary near 21st that became a magnet for panhandlers and people hanging out to drink. The bench had to be removed. Any seating areas need to be carefully thought out. It has to be family friendly in order to work.

  7. Hi Owen, thanks for the comment. I welcome opportunities for people to sit, relax, socialize. As you point out, it can become a problem — esp. when there is no ordinance that prevents “less-than-desirables” from taking over the spot. The police can’t discriminate based on whether a person has had a shower that morning, has a fixed address, a job, etc. (though people want to think they can). So I don’t have the answer… I just think that it’s good for all of us as a community to be walking, shopping, out in public together — anything that helps us break down the linguistic and cultural barriers that get in our way in the Richmond. I miss the Alexandria and the Coronet because it’s caused a decrease in the amount of street traffic at night.

  8. I was in Toy Boat tonight and some of the staff had just heard the news. They seemed pretty excited about it. After a short debate (among me and friends, not with the staff 😉 ), we figured it would be on the 5th Ave side of the cafe where it’s flat and less obstructive of traffic etc.

    Sarah B.

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