Tuesday, May 24, 2011

NOPA Gets a New Parklet on Fulton Street

New Parklet on Fulton in front of Tsunami Sushi Panhandle and Cafe Abir

Continuous benches and planting with concrete pavers the full length

Two, possibly, three new bike racks to be installed (the one in photo will be moved)

Ron Stanford (l) and Evan Bowman (r) of Step 3 Studio, contractor for the parklet

The North Panhandle's second parklet is under construction with completion expected within the next several days. Located on Fulton at Divisadero in front of the busy Cafe Abir and Tsunami Sushi Panhandle, the parklet replaces two parking spaces and provides a long, continuous bench for outdoor seating. Movable tables and chairs will be positioned on the smooth, concrete pavers that expand the normally crowded sidewalk. Another feature of the Fulton parklet design is the addition of a built-up corners for an enhanced sense of protection from traffic.

Ron Stanford, founder of the San-Francisco based collective Step 3 Studio, obtained the contract for the city's latest parklet, following his construction of the Greenhouse at the Hayes Valley Farm. He said the permit and approval process had been relatively easy.
It took six to eight weeks. A few people in the area expressed concern about the removal of two parking spaces, but no one officially objected so we didn't need to go to a public hearing.
An unexpected complication for parklet construction came with restrictions against using Brazilian hardwood for the planters and bench. (Harvesting Brazilian hardwoods is linked to depletion of the country's rain forest and exploitation of laborers). Stanford explained the difficulty he has encountered.
The city decided to no longer permit the hardwood. The other options -- redwood and cedar -- are too soft for a public project. We ended up importing compressed bamboo from China. Unfortunately, our container of bamboo was one randomly selected for close inspection, and it's still sitting in port.
Stanford said they were eager to get the product, finish the planters, and start adding the aromatic Tuscan rosemary, lavenders and succulents to the boxes.

The Fulton parklet is the first of dozens to follow now that the city's phase of demonstration projects has concluded. NOPA's first parklet outside Mojo Bicycle Cafe on Divisadero was among the first demonstration projects.

1 comment:

  1. When will they figure out that we live in the Western Addition. The Panhandle doesn't even start until Baker Street.