Streets and public rights-of-way make up a whopping 25% of San Francisco’s total land area–more land than all of the city’s parks combined. Many of the streets are wider than necessary or contain wasted space, and that’s where the Pavement to Parks initiative comes in. The recently-launched program puts plazas and seating areas in excess roadways by painting over the asphalt, installing tables and chairs, and putting up protective barriers.

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The program’s three new mini-parks–Castro Commons, Showplace Triangle and Guerrero Park–have already proved wildly successful, with a 29% increase in pedestrian traffic at Showplace Triangle alone. Now the city has announced it will install 12 new pavements-to-parks in 2010.

Next up: parklets at the Mojo Cafe on Divisadero Street and at the Revolution Cafe on 22nd Street near Bartlett. The Divisadero parklet will feature a wooden platform that, according to Pavements to Parks, “will bring the grade of the sidewalk out into the parking lane, providing space for sitting, enjoying the city, and parking one’s bike.” The Bartlett parklet, set to be installed by ReBar group, will take up 60 feet of space and feature modular elements that can be moved around. Both projects will be installed in early March.

Want to see a parklet in your neighborhood? Pavement to Parks projects are selected based on a number of criteria, including under-utilized roadway, lack of public space in the surrounding neighborhood, community support, and the potential to increase pedestrian and bike safety.

Via ABC News

+Pavement to Parks