Downtown Pleasanton is set to receive two new public amenities in the place of three roadside parking spots, at least in the short term, near the corner of West Angela and Main streets next month.
The Pleasanton City Council last week unanimously approved an estimated $31,850 proposal to temporarily convert two public parking spaces on West Angela Street into a parklet -- an outdoor seating area open to the public -- and change one car-parking spot across the street into a corral for bicycle parking.
The combination pilot program, aimed at addressing community and council interest in more outside seating and bicycle parking downtown, will be in place for at least a year to allow city officials to gauge their effectiveness, according to Gerry Beaudin, the city's community development director.
"We're excited to give both the bike corral and parklet concepts a try in downtown Pleasanton," Beaudin said in an email interview. "City crews are completing all of the preparation and installation work for both projects."
Both amenities could also help increase pedestrian volume, improve accessibility and business activity, and in the case of the bike corral, stretch the limited parking supply by encouraging people to cycle downtown instead of drive, according to Beaudin.
The parklet will take the place of two street parking spots on the north side of West Angela Street, at the northwest corner with Main Street. Open to the public, the fenced-in seating area atop a prefabricated deck will also be a place where Cafe Main could serve food to its customers sitting there.
Those parking spots remain open for the time being, but across West Angela work has already begun on the new bicycle corral to accommodate eight to 16 bikes adjacent to the Peet's Coffee and Tea plaza.
The single parking spot has been closed off on the south side of West Angela at the Main corner, with city crews last week creating the concrete pad on which to mount the new bike racks.
Beaudin said the bike corral is on track to open some time next week while the public parklet won't come on-line until later in July. The prefabricated parklet is due to be delivered the week of July 10, with assembly and installation on-site to follow, he added.
The new corral will be a welcome sight for Vice Mayor Jerry Pentin, an avid cyclist and bicycling advocate.
"For me, having the bike corral -- or possibly more than one -- is an opportunity for our residents to feel comfortable about riding their bikes to our downtown, have a safe visible place to park their bikes and do their shopping or dining," Pentin said by email.
The vice mayor said he hopes the bike corral concept will "start a sea change as to how to get to downtown."
"We're a car-first community and a culture change to a bike/pedestrian community will take time, but starting with a bike corral, again, visible and safe and appropriately placed so it will be used is a great start," he added. "Each bike in the corral or locked up to a bike rack represents a car not in the downtown. That is a good result."
The five council members approved the pilot program with little fanfare during their meeting June 20, endorsing it without discussion as part of their consent calendar -- a collection of items deemed routine and voted upon all at once unless pulled for separate consideration.
The $31,850 pricetag includes the prefabricated parklet, furniture for the parklet, site preparation for the bike corral, the bike racks and painting the bike racks, according to Beaudin. Relevant signage will be made at the city's sign shop.
The parklet and bike corral are scheduled to remain in place through summer 2018, with city staff monitoring how each perform during the year-long trial. Those review efforts could include surveying users, collecting feedback online from residents and polling adjacent businesses, Beaudin said.
If they perform well, city staff could propose making the amenities permanent on West Angela Street after next summer or expanding the program elsewhere downtown.