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Calistoga parklet

The new parklet installed on the corner of Washington Street and Lincoln Avenue in downtown Calistoga provides a shady place to sit for locals and visitors.

Looking for somewhere to sit and eat your takeout sandwich from Cal Mart or Palisades Deli? A place to take a break from shopping? Or maybe a place to meet a friend before grabbing coffee?

Now, there’s a shady spot in the center of town to do just that. In case you’ve been wondering what that boxy-looking thing with the red umbrellas is on Washington Street and Lincoln Avenue, it’s the town’s new parklet, designed for any number of uses including those previously mentioned.

The parklet is modeled after the success of such “mobile” public areas in San Francisco and elsewhere, said Chris Canning, Calistoga’s mayor. It’s mobile, meaning it’s not permanently affixed to the roadway, to comply with regulations from Caltrans, but it likely won’t be moved any time soon.

The intent of the parklet is to create a socializing area. Parklets have also been proven to have a “traffic-calming” effect, Canning said, as drivers of cars and trucks slow down at the sight of them.

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The parklet has been in the works for five years. Cost to the city was $22,500, and one parking space was forfeited, Canning said.

The sidewalk, curb and gutter were also replaced at the same time, due to separate ADA issues. Cost for that construction was $70,000, said City Manager Mike Kirn.

The city is also considering the possibility of adding a couple more parklets in the downtown area, and other accommodations for bicycles.

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The Weekly Calistogan Editor

Cynthia Sweeney has been editor of The Weekly Calistogan since July, 2018. Previously, she was a reporter for the St. Helena Star, and North Bay Business Journal. She also spent a significant amount of time freelancing in Hawaii.