CALISTOGA — Looking for somewhere to sit and eat your take-out 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 Americans with Disabilities Act compliance problems. 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.