San Luis Obispo offers survey to public regarding parklets
The City of San Luis Obispo is asking the public for their opinions on whether outdoor dining on parklets should be made permanent downtown.
The city is faced with the dilemma that parklet spots are taking up parking spots.
The parklet spots are also allowing businesses to operate outdoors in a socially distanced capacity.
City of San Luis Obispo Active Transportation Manager Adam Fukushima said, “We’re looking towards a study session with our city council to see if there is interest in making some of the features of the outdoor dining program permanent.”
The parklets allowed businesses like Sidecar Cocktail Bar to remain open during the recovery from the pandemic.
Sidecar Cocktail Bar Owner Lauren Christensen said, “We’re super thankful for the parklets, they gave us a very large one which is amazing. We have a great spot right over the creek. The response from the public has been great and it’s really getting us through.”
Christensen said the bar would not have been able to survive while operating at 25 percent occupancy if they didn’t have access to the parklets.
“That’s about 12 people so had we just been operating with that we wouldn’t have been able to keep the lights on.”
Downtown San Luis Obispo has had as many as 30 parklet clusters.
The cost of the parklets is a legitimate concern the city has moving forward.
Fukushima said, “We estimate that it costs about $5,000 to maintain it and to keep it clean.”
While the parklets were meant to be temporary, the city now wants the public and local businesses to decide what the future holds.
Christensen said, “We have such beautiful weather in this town and everyone has always wanted more outdoor seating. This for us has been a silver lining and the public has also expressed that.”
Fukushima said, “I’m really happy to see the response we’ve had so far and I hope it continues.”
The survey has already received over 1,600 responses.
To fill out the survey, visit slocity.org.