City officials in Clayton recently gave the ok for a parklet to be built on Central Avenue downtown. What is a parklet you ask? "A small space serving as an extension of the sidewalk to provide amenities and green space for people using the street. It is typically the size of several parking spaces. Parklets typically extend out from the sidewalk at the level of the sidewalk to the width of the adjacent parking space."
San Francisco has some of these and the story about Clayton and parklets at the link carries a bit of a cynical tone regarding Clayton and it's downtown streets. Here's a picture of a parklet from some other city and is included in the story along with other examples of Parklets. It seems they can be permanent or brought out for special occasions.
Kind of looks like the kind of area you'd just sit down and and people watch, or, if outside a restaurant, used for extra outdoor dining. With Clayton, I'd see the restaurant reason most likely. What surprised me most about the article is how strongly the writer believes Clayton's streets are too wide. He writes about the use of Central Ave: "North Central Avenue itself, often considered the most active commercial and restaurant strip in Clayton, is too wide. The sidewalks are too narrow. Here, a parklet isn’t the best answer. Narrowing the street from four traffic lanes to two is needed and would not adversely impact traffic in a meaningful way."
I wonder if this guy drives through downtwon Clayton very often. If they went from 4 lanes to 2 lanes, there'd be a lot of waiting at stoplights.
Ironically, if this is a coming trend for cities, maybe Collinsville shouldn't have widened Vandalia, instead created some Parklets instead.
I honestly don't know what to make of this parklet idea.