The first parking space turned mini-park in Capitol Hill will be in front of the Montana bar on E Olive Way, the Seattle Department of Transportation announced.
CHS reported on the city’s efforts to create new types of public space earlier this summer: Capitol Hill’s first parklet — trading parking for park space — coming in August
In addition to the parklet, Montana will also put in an adjoining sidewalk cafe where bar-goers will be allowed to drink outside (drinking is prohibited in parklets). If all goes according to plan, the parklet and patio will be open by the end of August.
Montana co-owner Kate Opatz said she approached the city about the parklet after hearing about the pilot program from the bar’s architect. Opatz said the response from nearby businesses was overwhelmingly positive.
“It was appealing because it’s another way to make the street really cool,” Opatz said. “We think it will be a real draw.”
Since next door’s Crumble and Flake has no seating, the parklet could be a convenient place to take your coffee and pastry.
According to SDOT’s Jennifer Wieland, who heads up the parklet program from the city’s end, the 28-ft Montana parklet would remove “one and a half” parking spaces on E Olive Way. Technically parking spaces are 20-ft long, but the city stopped marking parallel spaces, so smart cars and other small vehicles could cram into the half-space.
Montana is completely responsible for the planning, construction, and maintenance of the parklet and patio. In all parklets, businesses sponsor the mini-park by asking the city for permission to change a right-of-way for a parking space (or other small public space) in front of its business.
The Montana parklet will feature a bike corral, canopy for the winter months, a stroller/wheelchair ramp, stools and counter space around the edge of the parklet’s railing. Optaz said the patio will have tables and chairs, some type of covering, and possibly a barbeque.
Wieland said Montana could have pursued a sidewalk patio without the parklet. However, the parklet allows the patio to double in width — without it, the patio would have to be three feet from the curb to allow enough space for opening car doors.
The Montana parklet is one of three that are a part of a pilot program the city is rolling out this summer. A 60-foot parklet will be located in Belltown in front of City Hostel Seattle at 2nd and Battery St. Another 20 ft. parklet will be in Chinatown/ID in front of Fuji Bakery and Subsand at 6th and S King St.
Later Wednesday, SDOT is expected to release an environmental impact report on the parklet program, which Wieland said found no significant environmental issues. There will be a 2-week public comment period on the both the environmental report and the specific parklet projects.
The individual parklets do not have to go before an official design review or public meeting. Wieland said SDOT will likely hold a public meeting after the pilot project is completed to decide whether parklets should be expanded.