Starts & Stops

Parklets debut in JP and Mission Hill, but what’s with the $15,000 price tag?

The Jamaica Plain parking spot mini-park is located on Centre Street.
The Jamaica Plain parking spot mini-park is located on Centre Street.Credit: (Michael Levenson / Globe Staff)

Finally, they’re here: Two parklets (parking spots converted into small outdoor hangouts) were installed last week in Jamaica Plain and Mission Hill. Check out the photos below:

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It’s a cute idea — bring a swatch of beauty to urban spaces — but each parklet comes at the cost of two parking spots, a significant trade-off in a city already short on parking. Judging from the photos on Twitter this past weekend, it doesn’t exactly look like people are clamoring for the seating.

And last month, when news broke about the parklets’ imminent arrival, many readers balked at the price tag: $15,000 to $25,000 per parklet.

“The city is PAYING to have FEWER parking spaces!!” wrote one commenter. “This is ridiculous beyond words.”

For comparison’s sake, San Francisco estimates that each of their parklets cost $5,000-$15,000 in design and materials expenses.

I asked the Boston Transportation Department to provide more details on exactly how that sizeable chunk of change was being spent. Vineet Gupta, the department’s director of policy and planning, provided this itemized list:

• Deck/floor: $3,000

• Railing: $5,000

• Planters: $1,500

• Furniture: $5,000

• Plants: $500

Total: $15,000

Now that the parklets are in their new homes — they’ll be there until about Thanksgiving — what do you think? Are you planning on becoming frequent parklet users? And are these new neighborhood additions worth the money?

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