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Downtown parklet damaged in hit-and-run

Original post made on Apr 18, 2018

The city's pilot program to try out a parklet downtown came to an early end this month thanks to a hit-and-run driver.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 1:15 PM

Comments (35)

Posted by Purl
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 18, 2018 at 9:48 am

Maybe this should be taken as a sign that a parklet is probably not a good idea. Luckily no one was sitting there when this happened.

Posted by Parking is already too tight
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2018 at 10:39 am

Just because SF does stupid things is no reason we should!

Almost as dumb as giving the developer the street across from the BART electric Train Station.

Posted by Who proposed this anyway?
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 18, 2018 at 10:50 am

Someone hates automobiles, and as a result hurts the downtown businesses.

Several cities have spent fortunes,
making their downtowns "pedestrian friendly" by spending a fortune to kill auto traffic, and parking,
then after most of the businesses failed,
spending even more money to tear out the so called street "improvements!" a few years later,
when more responsible minds prevailed.

Watch what happens if Livermore goes thru with their anti-auto anti parking downtown!

Wonder if this idea is from the same misguided person who reduced three lanes to one,
and then claimed they'd "study" it until the righteous anger died down?
Maybe they think people will forget?

Posted by Dave
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 18, 2018 at 11:01 am

Every study I have read indicates that a bike and pedestrian friendly downtown affects business. But it affects in a positive manner. It's not about hating cars. It's about creating a better downtown. Read the studies!

Web Link

Having said that, there are no plans to eliminate on street parking on main street that I'm aware of. Simply creating a public use parklet and some bike parking seems like an overall good idea.

Posted by dknute
a resident of Golden Eagle
on Apr 18, 2018 at 11:03 am

Sure sign the the Parklet Must Go and Never return. Thanks to the hit and run....just happy no one was injured. Another sign that the Parklet was not used for anything except take up much valued parking space downtown.
Good Riddance...

Posted by Matt
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 18, 2018 at 11:21 am

I agree with Dave. And I'm wondering when Big Brother will be coming to Pleasanton (in a positive way) to help track down criminals, like the hit & run crowd.

Posted by Dan
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 18, 2018 at 12:44 pm

I agree with Dave. Vibrant downtown areas are sustained through pedestrian friendly spaces. I frequently walk or ride my bike to downtown with my family and the improved pedestrian friendly infrastructure is very welcome. The Parklet and bike parking outside of Peet's have improved the utility of the Angela and Main corner. We need to do more to create pedestrian and biking friendly spaces, not less.

Posted by JohnH
a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Apr 18, 2018 at 1:21 pm

So some person smashes into the parklet with a truck and then also crashes into another parked vehicle further down the street but folks somehow think the parklet is to blame? Eh? Is the parked car also to blame too? Should parked cars be removed to give idiots like this more space to be reckless? Of course not. If anyone ever used this space - as I did, to sit and meet up with friends, then I'm sure they would testify first hand that it was a pretty neat place to sit & chill out. Kudos to the city for trying new things that encourage sharing our downtown space. Making the downtown more conducive to pedestrians, dog walkers and bicyclists is a good thing, a very good thing! - it also (as many studies have shown) helps promote local businesses (anyone who doesn't appreciate this should read some of the published data that is out there). Often on here people like to quote how Livermore have turned things around with an exciting fresh vibe to their downtown - recall when their downtown was divided by a wide, busy road. The local outcry that reducing the road width and slowing drivers down would be bad news didn't transpire- actually the opposite. Yes parking is important and serious consideration on how to use our downtown space is key - but as well as accommodating a nice parklet seating area you can get 10-15 bikes in the same space as one or two cars and it is everyone's space to share. We all pay for it - yes even those pesky pedestrians and cyclists!

Posted by Gevorge
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Apr 18, 2018 at 1:34 pm

Taking 2 parking spots does not affect business, there is plenty of parking spaces in downtown within 1 block of where parklet was. Livermore did wonderful job in making their downtown walk/bicycle friendly and moving most parking to outside of downtown with parking structure and old car sales lots. Business in downtown Livermore benefited from that immensely just go and see how vibrant is the downtown in Livermore compared to Pleasanton.
I ride my bike and walk to downtown with my family, we used bicycle corral and parklet very often, good place to socialize and have your ice cream/food from dairy/restaurants.
Some comments above suggesting that driving your pick up truck into public structure is ok if you do not like it, just think about it if everyone decides to do that, because they do not want to walk 30 yards to park their car. That type of mindset is so shortsighted, are fire hydrants, 2 hour parking limit signs or disabled person parking signs are next?

Posted by Karl
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 18, 2018 at 2:01 pm

I always thought they should block the entire street in that area and setup a nice, shady area for people to meet and sit.

Posted by Jo
a resident of Danbury Park
on Apr 18, 2018 at 2:07 pm

So that’s what happened to it. What a shame, didn’t it have a book swap box too? There isn’t anywhere to hang downtown, just to grab a coffee and people watch, except the Peet’s front yard. Adding the parklet was a great way to add more seating to this busy corner. Personally I’d stop parking on that whole intersection, just block cars for the first two spaces at the stop signs. The sidewalks are way too narrow and this would free up space. It’s particularly practical for farmers markets and I think a much needed hang out.
This town is not completely inhabited by people who love pasta and find it hard to walk more than five steps to the front door of a restaurant. This town has families with young kids who would love a place to hang out and watch peopl go by. The parklet was a great spot for this, and I was disappointed to find it gone yesterday.
After working in landscaping, I find the $32,000 price tag ridiculous. It wasn’t an ancient grove of redwoods just a few pallets and seats.

Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 18, 2018 at 2:20 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Going from a straight four lane divided into a two lane with visible parking along the sides with added parking garages to absorb the loss is a far cry from sticking a giant box on an existing narrow two lane road immediately after a right hand turn (somewhat blind or limited visibility).

I agree the driver is to blame, but this idea, while good, was executed in the wrong location. Should have picked a less busy, wider location.

And yes, we should continue to encourage and applaud the city for trying these ideas before just implementing, to gain learning to ensure a more effective implementation.

Posted by Nate F
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 18, 2018 at 2:31 pm

I think it's a great idea to encourage pedestrian & bicycle traffic downtown, and provide a good atmosphere & amenities for both of those. Accidents happen & we have ways of dealing with that. Pleasanton is doing a great job encouraging more bike riding in town.

Posted by Kris
a resident of California Reflections
on Apr 18, 2018 at 3:10 pm

Seriously remember thinking "someone is going to slam into that or seriously hurt someone" Personally I think these were installed and across from Pete's too to get rid of the motorcycle riders....Cause you know they are such bbbaaaaadddd people hahaha! NOT !!! Glad it didn't work! HA

Posted by Brahim
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 18, 2018 at 3:45 pm

I agree with Dave. It is not about hating cars as Some people think but rather it is about the quality of life that bikes bring to those who use them. If Down Town can acomodate Parking for cars I am sure there is room for bicycles parking.

Posted by Diana
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 18, 2018 at 3:49 pm

Pleasanton has such a nice downtown, and it would be beneficial to businesses and quality of life to have this parklet, and other spaces for pedestrians to appreciate the small town sense of community.
One drunk driver is not a sufficient reason to abandon the city's vision for higher quality of life for Pleasanton residents.

Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Apr 18, 2018 at 4:44 pm

Was the idea to see if we'd use it, and if so, it would be replaced by a more permanent solution?

I regularly saw people using it. A more permanent solution, with buried posts for protection from the narrowing traffic, could be very nice. They would have to figure out a better segregation from the Cafe Main seating.

Posted by Claudette McDermott
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2018 at 5:12 pm

The best way to keep it safe is to make it a Street that is open to pedestrians only. A NO DRIVE THROUGH street, with tables and chairs.

Being safe is being smart, because it is a risky turn that is way too close to people sitting down and not paying attention to the traffic that might run right into them.

Posted by Mary
a resident of Siena
on Apr 18, 2018 at 6:45 pm

When my boyfriend and I first saw this sitting area, we both looked at each other and agreed what a stupid and unsafe idea this was. We knew we would never sit there. I hope it is removed permanently!

Posted by Dan
a resident of Hacienda Gardens
on Apr 18, 2018 at 7:14 pm

I work in Walnut Creek and their parklets are amazing. The streets are viabrant day and night, weekdays and weekends.

This should be encouraged as away to increase multimodal opportunities downtown (walking, biking, public transportation). Keep the cars on the perimeter and make downtown accessible.

Posted by PaulC
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 18, 2018 at 8:08 pm

That hang-out spot was a really cool idea ... such a a shame that it is temporarily (I hope) lost for all of us due to one reckless idiot who probably shouldn't be in charge of a motor vehicle.

If some folks don't want to sit out there (I'm talking to you Mary) then that's fine ... no-one is forcing you to use it :) However, speaking for myself I loved to use that spot. It was a tiny tiny step towards making Pleasanton's downtown a little bit more like the vibrant, happening community that Livermore's downtown has become since embracing easier pedestrian access a few years back.

I only hope that the experiment is revived and many many more similar spaces get created around our beautiful town.

Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 19, 2018 at 9:00 am

The problem is not that the street is too wide, but that the buildings are too close to the street. So the solution is not narrowing the street. Frankly, narrowing the street is pretty stupid. It just makes traffic a nightmare and reduces the amount of non-local visitors.

If they want to gain some ground in front of the buildings on Main, then get rid of Main altogether. Then improve all of the roads in back of the buildings and provide a plan for parking so we don't need to drive around searching for a spot.

Posted by Jim Van Dyke
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 19, 2018 at 11:51 am

Jim Van Dyke is a registered user.

I applaud our city leaders for being willing to try new things, even as parklets are clearly successful in improving quality of life in other cites around the world. There's no need to insert false arguments about 'cars vs. bicycles/pedestrians' when a $5 measuring tape proves the following to be true. The average car–which typically has just one person in it– weighs 4,000 pounds and takes up about a 12'x6' parking space, a space which could also hold room for ten or more curbside diners or parked bikes. If one carefully-selected auto parking space is converted for more productive use, even auto drivers spend less time searching for a place to park their car or sit with friends under shade. It seems like everyone wants to live in Pleasanton because of our high quality of life, and one of the best ways to keep our community healthy, friendly, and connected is to make is safer and more enjoyable to take more than just one mode of transportation. No one wants to ban cars (and especially for elderly people or parents with young children). I've lived here for over 30 years, and my opinion is that we just have to be willing to think outside the box some of the time (and I'm referring to 4,000 pound boxes here).

Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 19, 2018 at 2:06 pm

Hi Jim,

Please don't take any offense. I really need more clarification on your statement.

- How will taking away a parking spot reduce the time spent looking for a parking spot?

- Ten diners will fit into a 12x6 area? Considering that they'll need at least a 4x4 table, and 1 chair on each side of each table, I think the number is probably closer to 4 (maybe a tight 6). Personally, I've never been able to remain within a foot of a table in my chair when dining. So it would be either 2 3x3 tables with 2-3 at each, or 1 3x6 table with 6. Please describe how you arrived at this estimate.

- I guess it could allow 10 bikes, but why put bikes in a limited area in front of a building when it would be much less intrusive in back?

- I don't understand why the weight of a car matters. Does 4000lbs make a car a worse option? In fact, cars weigh about 2800lbs. on average. Note that this is about the weight of 10 average American diners that probably should be encouraged to ride a bike ;)

Posted by Jim van Dyke
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 19, 2018 at 9:57 pm

Steve, No offense taken. Downtown has a significant bike parking shortage, and lack of adequate parking is one reason people don’t bike more. The more people bike, the more auto parking spaces are opened up. One auto parking space is generally found to free up room for 10-12 bikes, if the most efficient designs are used, so selective conversion of one auto parking space to bike parking will actually benefit drivers faster than it will benefit cyclists.

With my numbers, I was underestimating the potential numbers of bikes and possibly overestimating the number of diners (therefore just trying to find something in the middle). The point I think we can all agree on is this: most motor vehicles carry one person, and a LOT of bikes or diners need that space in downtown at peak periods.

On putting bike parking in back, it won’t get used. Bikes are too easy to steal, as just one reason, and with them being so much more space-efficient, why relegate them to an inconvenient location?

Weight matters tremendously, because (as just one reason) it affects the safety of pedestrians and cyclists who might get hit. Most everyday cyclists have frequent stories of having to take evasive maneuvers to avoid getting hit, so this is a major concern. To arrive at the average 4,000 pound weight for a car or truck, Google “how heavy is the average motor vehicle?” (the first answer is 4,079 pounds). America’s most popular vehicle is a Ford F-150, so you can imagine what our preference for huge vehicles is doing to the quality of air we all breathe as well.

Posted by Ndna Jnz
a resident of Mohr Park
on Apr 20, 2018 at 9:37 am

First, the idea of a pedestrian "hangout" such as this one was an interesting idea for downtown. It was a trial by the city. I don’t thing their plan was to put one on every downtown street. Having 2 or 3 of these would make it nice to hang out. However, this was not the appropriate street to use as a trial. This is one of the narrowest streets downtown, with constant traffic - everyday. Plus, there are many large food/restaurant supply trucks going down this street. The bike racks were definitely a good idea and should stay. They are nearly filled every day of the week. It would be nice to close this street to through traffic; the problem with that is, it would be a nightmare for the delivery trucks.

Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 20, 2018 at 3:13 pm

I find little reason to use Main Street these days because of the traffic. I only use First Street when I'm headed to Stanley (and then Livermore). I usually use St. Peters, and never park on Main.

Like I suggested, close Main Street to vehicle traffic, and temporarily open it to delivery trucks at only certain times of the day until the buildings can be configured to allow deliveries in back. Then add bike lanes down the middle and extend sidewalks about 5-8 feet on either side.

I find the parklets to be a bit hokey. I spend a lot of time in Walnut Creek and the Pleasanton version does not compare. You need a MUCH wider street to do the same thing here. We need a better idea.

Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 21, 2018 at 1:01 pm

Keep Main St. open but as a 1 way street flowing North to South- No more illegal u-turns and as an added benefit no more afternoon cut thru commuter traffic

Posted by Alberto
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 24, 2018 at 10:08 am

When, I saw the Parklett being installed my first thought was that it will not work because what fool would sit where cars are rounding the corner. I don't know how much it cost to build it but it looks cheap and tacky, any amount of money would be too much, and losing parking which we don't have makes it even worse.

Thankfully nobody was sitting there when it was hit, Come on folks, you are elected to serve the community, do your job and stop with the cutesy stuff.aren't there more important places to spend our money ?

Posted by Hansen Curious
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 24, 2018 at 10:50 am

Hansen Curious is a registered user.

I've always been an advocate of making Main street one way, north to south. This would calm traffic, increase parking, increase sidewalk and outdoor seating space, and allow for more parklets and bicycle parking.

What are the downsides?

Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 24, 2018 at 8:19 pm

I think the one way flow is a good option

Posted by Practical solutions
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Apr 26, 2018 at 10:50 am

One way flow only works when your parallel side streets can support the overflow. They currently cannot. Nor can the streets that feed into Main Street. Main Street is an extension of Santa Rita Road so major planning and work would have to be done for that to happen costing the city millions and potentially over a billion dollars. For what? A parklet or two? More bicycle parking? If you want to increase downtown retail, you need more parking for cars, not bicycles. It’s pretty obvious why. I’ve never thought we had a downtown parking crisis but if you want to eliminate parking to build parklets or bicycle parking, that’s exactly what will happen. If you want a vibrant downtown, people need convient parking. This could happen, dare I say, in a garage Livermore has both a vibrant downtown and a very effective and very convenient garage. And last time I checked, don’t we have two major parks downtown and a few minor ones that are pretty awesome? There is also more than enough space there to build enough bicycle parking for all.

Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 30, 2018 at 6:43 pm

Speaking of the parking garage in livermore check out the top level of that garage when the sun goes down and you will find out it’s the local hangout for all those really bored teenagers who have nothing better to do than climb on our cars parked up there

Posted by Parker
a resident of Amador Estates
on Apr 30, 2018 at 7:10 pm

Don't park on top.

Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on May 2, 2018 at 10:00 am

“Don’t park on top”. Great idea, didn’t think of that, just make it a dedicated playground for the teenagers!

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