Parklets: A new kind of public space in Boston

Mission Hill's parklet is located at 1538 Tremont Street. Photo by Courtney Sacco/Metro
Mission Hill’s parklet is located at 1538 Tremont St. Credit: Courtney Sacco/Metro

Boston has opened its first two parklets, which swap parking spots for outdoor seating.

Officials on Thursday unveiled Boston’s first parklets: one at 1528 Tremont St. in Mission Hill, and another at 351 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain.

Metro first reported on Boston’s plan to design and install the public urban patios last October.

“These new parklets provide great outdoor seating options for local residents and customers of our small business,” said Mayor Thomas Menino. “I hope everyone will pay a visit to this newest addition of open space to the Mission Hill business district.”

Students from Mission Hill Grammar School performed a ribbon cutting for the three-space parklet Thursday, then eagerly spread out at the space’s bistro tables and benches.

Adjacent businesses Mike’s Donuts and Lilly’s Pasta will serve as “parklet partners” to provide day-to-day maintenance of the space.

According to city officials, the public spaces are designed to bring activity to neighborhood and commercial districts by offering people a plact to sit, relax and meet for conversation.

Parklets run between $5,000 and $15,000, according to the city’s Transportation Commissioner Thomas Tinlin. The first round of parklets will be paid for with city funds, Tinlin said, however officials hope to create partnerships with local businesses to help fund future parklet development.

The space is created by building a platform to extend an exisitng sidewalk into one or more on-street parking spaces. Benches, tables, chairs, landscaping bike parking stalls and other amenities are placed on the platform to create a “patio-type” gathering space.

Parklets will be open seasonally, with the temporary structures set up mid-spring and taken down in late fall.

Roxbury resident Rafael Gutiérrez, who passed by Thursday’s Mission Hill unveiling, said he approves of the new addition.

“I think it’s very good because it feels like downtown. You can sit and relax, like Newbury Street. It makes sense,” said Gutiérrez. “It feels welcoming.”

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.