Parklets Headed to Midtown, Downtown?

by Mike Van Houten / Aug 10, 2015

Interesting, it appears parklets have to procure special events permits, because it blocks a sidewalk/street. In the Special Event Committee August 11 meeting agenda, which grants event permits, there is an application for a parklet from September 5 to December 31, 2015, on Martin Street in front of Craft. There's no link for the parklet itself but I contacted Craft to get more info and will pass it on when I hear from them.

The other parklet, on Roff Street, does have a link, and quite a bit of information on the parklet, though you will have to read some of the pages in the pdf sideways. A properly-rotated rendering can be found below.

A parklet is a sidewalk extension that provides more space and amenities for people using the street. Usually parklets are installed on parking lanes and use several parking spaces. Parklets typically extend out from the sidewalk at the level of the sidewalk to the width of the adjacent parking space. They are gaining popularity as a trend.

Above: Roff Street Parklet Concept  - Downtown Reno

Parklets are new concept to Reno, but are used quite extensively in San Francisco. Here's a great map of all the parklets in San Francisco.

Seattle's Dept of Transportation created a great infographic from public and business surveys on parklets, and also have a map of parklets in the city.

On the flip side, here's an interesting article that our city council members and planners may want to read, to avoid a similar fate for any attempt at a parklet program. It details Oakland's failed first attempt at a program and how its parklet program was recharged. San Francisco suffered a similar hiccup and made necessary revisions to code to ensure parklets are properly maintained and don't become neighborhood nuisances. I'm not sure if there's currently any city code applicable to parklets, but if there's not, it's something to look at.


Post your comments
  • August 11, 2015 - 9:07:17 AM

    Putting a parklet in front of a business seems like a defacto transfer of control of a section of a public right-of-way to the adjacent business. Certainly the adjacent business is who benefits most from the change. I have no particular problem with this, as I'm generally in favor of seating space and street life over parked cars. Still, it seems to me that the business benefiting from the conversion ought to bear the costs, as they do for instance when they obtain a special use permit to block off parking spaces and bring in a BBQ and kegs for a street party. If the parklet persists in one place for a long duration, I think it might also be appropriate if fees were structured to reflect what is essentially renting public space to put it under private control. On a related note, does anyone know who gave the Taphouse permission to extend their private seating into what is still technically a public road on Truckee River Lane?

  • August 11, 2015 - 11:06:22 AM

    On the special event application which is required to put one of these on a street/parking space, it says Rec NV is the one applying for the permit for the Roff Street Parklet and it has the Riverwalk District stamp on it. I am going to assume a combination of these builders and the Riverwalk merchants are paying for it and donating their time for the Roff Street parklet. That's a guess at this point I am in process of getting more info. So far, it seems like those benefitting from it will be fronting the costs, though I need to confirm that.

  • August 11, 2015 - 4:33:03 PM

    The parklet is funded by private entities and individuals involved. It will be open to the public but maintained privately as well. This is a pilot program we are creating with the city for others to apply & build on a regulatory basis. You can find out more at