Clayton testing “Parklets” idea that’s sweeping country

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CLAYTON, MO (KTVI)-Parklets have come to Clayton. The new urban idea being used across the country is being tested out. Many are worried that the new sitting area could be taking up valuable parking, but those working around and using the parklet think it's a great idea.

A parklet is a deck or patio like structure that is open to the public for anyone to sit, relax, maybe have something to eat. It is about the size of two parking spaces.

The parklet was installed Wednesday in front of the Barcelona restaurant on Central Avenue, which adds more outdoor seating for the restaurant. But you don't have to be a customer to sit there.

Frank Schmitz, Barcelona’s owner, says, “The public can sit down and enjoy the doughnuts from Vincent or Starbucks and sit down. And, in the meantime though, because this is the city’s property and it is sitting on the street, I am asked to not chase anybody away basically.”

Schmitz saw parklets in other cities and he approached the city of Clayton to do the same thing.

Mayor Harold Sanger says, “If this is as successful as we hope it is, they will be spread out on both sides of the street.”

The parklet is an experiment for the rest of year. The goal is to make downtown Clayton more vibrant and more pedestrian friendly.

The city of Clayton spent more than $30,000 to build the parklet. If more are built it will likely mean fewer traffic lanes but more sidewalk space.