Parkmobile: Park-in-a-Dumpster in San Francisco


Photo: Mark Boster/LA Times

Drivers looking for parking space are going to be dismayed, but the many San Francisco residents are enjoying this clever idea, a tiny "parkmobile" made from modified dumpsters:

The two bright-red dumpsters, 16 feet long by nearly 6 feet wide and filled with greenery, have been placed in a busy downtown neighborhood where they throw a little shade, elicit regular double-takes and fill curbside spots that otherwise would go to cars.

The grandly named "parkmobiles" were rolled out earlier this summer, the first in a fleet of itinerant oases in one of America's densest cities.

"The more crowded a city is, the more new ideas come squeezing out of the ferment in a combination of need and opportunity," said Peter Harnik, director of the Center for City Park Excellence at the Trust for Public Land. "New York and San Francisco are two of the most innovative places."

Not everyone's into the it, though:

When parking spots began turning into parkland, retailers and drivers groused: "So where do we put the cars?" Those who advocate for more green space in the city worried that the miniatures would replace traditional parks. Even former Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr. got into the fray, deriding in a recent newspaper column the "overgrown flower boxes" that he said were a magnet for the homeless.

"The first one I came across had obviously been used as a bathroom," Hizzoner carped. "The second one I visited, a guy and gal were 'socializing' in the bushes."

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Great example of SF attempting a Better Streets policy. Some of you bring up great points, however other crucial points get overlooked. The alternative to place greenery within the sidewalk is great, but the planning involve will still leave car-parkers in a muddle. In order to make the alternative work, you're looking at expanding the pedestrian zone, which most likely include nixing some parking spots. SF is a pedestrian-heavy metropolitan. And in this era of a floundering economy, it's faster & cheaper to make use of what's already there, versus building & expanding.
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Great example of SF attempting a Better Streets policy. Some of you bring up great points, however other crucial points get overlooked. The alternative to place greenery within the sidewalk is great, but the planning involve will still leave car-parkers in a muddle. In order to make the alternative work, you're looking at expanding the pedestrian zone, which most likely include nixing some parking spots. SF is a pedestrian-heavy metropolitan. And in this era of floundering
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Plants in a dumpster are not pretty. It's still an ugly dumpster and you have to drive it around, creating more pollution and wasting parking spaces. If they want to make the city look nicer then plant permanent trees and install plant boxes along the walkways.
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@ Mr. Awesome

Jesus Christ man, what's wrong with trying to make the place look a bit more pretty? You say the same thing about somebody with a plant in the office or home?

If the opposite of hipsters is you, I'm choosing hipsters.
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Many cities plant trees along the sidewalks, but putting a bunch of plants in a dumpster and driving it around to different spots, taking up parking spaces, sounds like a much better idea.

Well no, actually it's just stupid.
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