OAKLAND (KCBS) – Hoping to replicate San Francisco’s success in establishing small parks, or parklets as they’re known, on city streets, one Oakland business owner is pushing City Hall to move faster on allowing similar public living spaces in his city.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

A parklet is a mini-park complete with seating and plants, but it sits in the street. Sal Bednarz, owner of Actual Cafe at San Pablo and Alcatraz built one.

“It’s a little mini-park that reclaims basically a parking space in the street. We built one here which is intended to sit in a disused bus stop outside of our café,” said Bednarz. “In between the planters are suspended several benches, so it’s a six-foot wide by 20-foot long structure. You know, there’s enough seating space on it for a dozen people or so and it’s all wood and looks beautiful.”

Bednarz said he’s watched San Francisco successfully establish sitting areas with plants in the street and he wants the same thing for Oakland except that there’s no permitting process yet.

This weekend Bednarz is holding what he calls a “parklet love in,” setting up his parklet in a defunct bus stop in front of his cafe to demonstrate the functionality.

“Parklets in the neighborhood just creates more of that feeling of good will,” said Bednarz.

City Hall already appears to be listening. Last week, it set up a task force to look into the permitting process. Bednarz hopes to have the first one built by the end of the year.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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