Almost every indulgence we’ve become used to has been taken away by the pandemic, or, at the very least, redefined and molded into new versions.
Slow Streets and Shared Spaces initiatives in San Francisco, the latter of which is responsible for the city’s plethora of parklets, have been among the few jewels created during the previous seventeen months.
Parklets, on the other hand, were formerly clinging to life by a thread thanks to a patchwork of laws.
The Slow Streets initiative in San Francisco was, and still is, in a similar dilemma, but a meeting of the SF Board of Supervisors next week may see some of the corridors become the city’s first permanent Slow Streets.
The destiny of the city’s parklets is now fully sealed after Mayor Breed signed legislation making them permanent on Wednesday evening.
This is the dawn of a new age of al fresco eating.
A signing ceremony, which took place at Etcetera Wine Bar’s outdoor space, ended a months-long struggle to keep the Shared Spaces program alive; the same initiative that helped many bars and restaurants stay afloat during the Covid-19 shutdowns; the same City-funded program that prompted TBI to devote entire articles (and awards) to San Francisco.
The signed measure, which was accompanied by other city notables such as SF Supervisors Haney and Mandelman, would enable companies to seek a permit to retain their outdoor eating structures forever.
The City is trying to streamline the approval procedure for such places, even if the permits system and application process have not yet been implemented.
All things considered, the long-term viability of some of San Francisco’s 1,500-plus parklets; many of which cost upwards of $20,000 to construct and install, have taken over parking lanes and walkways comes at a time when the Delta variant of Covid-19 is on the increase.