Site ConsiderationsSite aspects to consider when planning a parklet
Once you have gained local support for your proposed parklet and checked with local authorities that a parklet would be permitted in your locality in principle, you need to pay special attention to any regulations specifying where they can be positioned and what factors might influence the outcome of your permit application.
Proximity to existing city utilities, bus zones, handicap parking zones, intersections and street corners, nearby driveways and mature trees is all taken into account, as well as the slope and crown of the street, speed limit, one vs two way traffic, accessibility by disabled persons, water drainage, space for safety buffer zones, future streetscape projects anticipated by the city, and finally the opinions of those who believe they would be impacted both negatively and positively by your proposed parklet.
Key Site Considerations
- Parklets are generally public spaces and the public has a voice. Part of your application process will entail gaining public approval for your proposed location.
- Parklets are generally permitted on streets with a running slope of 5% or less. The primary reason is to ensure safe access for wheelchair users along the length of the deck. The maximum allowed slope across the width is typically 2%.
- Parklets must be handicap accessible with a safe transition ramp from curb to parklet deck, and a sufficient radius allocated for wheelchairs to pivot and maneuver comfortably to exit the parklet.
- Parklets are expected to have perimeters of a specific height and strength that create a safe buffer to the street and passing traffic.
- Parklets must be easily and quickly movable for city maintenance, elevated for street drainage, and in some locations, able to be deconstructed and stored seasonally to provide access for snow clearing.
- Parklets are not permitted to block fire hydrants, manhole covers, storm drains, city utilities, or street signs, and cannot be next to a bus stop.If your parklet site currently has parking meters, part of your application process will be to request their removal.
- Parklets are commonly restricted to the width and length of a parking space which is typically 8′ x 20′. A 4′ setback defined by a wheel stop is required at both ends, and quite often the outer edge must have a 2′ clear zone from adjacent traffic, meaning the actual decking size for a single parking space would be roughly 6′ x 12′ and 6′ x 24′ for two spaces.
- Parklets must sit at least one parking space in from a street corner or intersection to avoid them being positioned in blind spots to vehicular traffic.
- Most cities will not permit parklets to be on streets where the speed limit exceeds 25 mph and in some cases where traffic is not limited to one direction.
- If the city anticipates future streetscape changes due to population growth or necessary improvements in the area of your proposed parklet, your application could be affected.