Parklets returning to downtown Terrace

Modular, portable patios were a hit last year, City says

The City of Terrace is inviting local businesses to construct parklets — portable patios that can be placed in roadside parking spaces.

A pilot project last summer saw a City-owned parklet installed in front of Bert’s Delicatessen on Park Ave. Now, the City is seeking applicants interested in hosting the City’s parklet in front of a business, as well as applicants interested in constructing their own.

Jack Cherniawsky, a city planner, said parklet applications are being reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure the parklets aren’t placed too close together, are sturdy and leave sufficient parking in a given area.

“We want to ensure it’s safe, durable and can’t be moved easily or subjected to vandalism,” he said, noting the pilot project parklet last year did not face any vandalism.

The City is not directly assessing aesthetic elements of parklet designs. Cherniawsky said he’s seen fantastic parklet designs in various other cities and regions.

“There’s some pretty great designs that would be awesome to see in the city of Terrace,” he said.

Parklet hosts will be responsible for any movable elements such as chairs and tables. Hosts will also be responsible for ensuring physical-distancing measures are followed.

“This summer is obviously going to be unusual for the [parklet] program with physical distancing requirements related to COVID-19,” he said. “However, the City’s efforts to create an attractive and thriving downtown are based on much longer timelines. We hope to see parklets and other seasonal programming in the downtown for years to come. “

Cherniawsky said the City’s parklet is modular and can be configured in a small format or a large format, and it’s likely the large format would be used this year as it is more conducive to physical distancing. Plus, he said, the parklets could help with physical distancing in some scenarios.

“Potentially it could be a good way to provide additional waiting spaces for businesses, to accommodate physical-distancing,” he said.

Richard Kriegl, owner of Bert’s Deli, said last year he was originally concerned the parklet would take up a parking space for his business but now likes the idea after seeing it being well-used.

“I think it’s a cool idea. It gets people out and it has a more European vibe to it,” Kriegl said. “Everyone’s so happy to see this.”

-With files from Brittany Gervais

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