Update: The Santa Monica City Council unanimously approved three locations for the city’s pilot parklet program. The three locations include the two recommended by staff and a third at Main and Hill in front of Finn McCool’s.
The Santa Monica City Council next Tuesday will consider giving the go-ahead to the beachside city’s first two parklets — small public open-space expansions of the sidewalk that usually replace on-street parking stalls.
If approved by the City Council, the parklet pilot program will begin with two locations on Main Street — one of the city’s most popular commercial districts — and will be a public-private partnership in which the city constructs the parklets and contracts with local businesses for operation and maintenance. The city is proposing the parklets be roughly a block apart with one in front of Holy Guacamole (at Ashland and Main) and the other in front of Ashland Hill, formerly Wildflour Pizza (between Ashland and Hill on Main).
“The pilot would be a public experiment with the Main Street community to temporarily test this new concept in the public realm,” according to the staff report. “The parklet design would be temporary and easily reversible, should the pilot demonstrate the need for design changes.”
As proposed, the parklet pilot program will last a year, “but may end earlier if public safety issues arise,” according to city staff.
“‘Parklets (transforming small urban spaces such as on-street parking stalls into public space and/or landscaping) has become increasingly common across America, but has not yet been authorized in Santa Monica,” according to the staff report. In the report, city officials point to the success of parklet programs in San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle.
Los Angeles, through its People St. program, has seen a number of parklets pop up in recent year, including the one on York Street pictured above. In Downtown L.A., there is also a parklet on Spring Street.
“Parklets introduce new streetscape features such as seating, planting, bicycle parking, or elements of play. Parklets encourage pedestrian activity by offering these human-scale ‘eddies in the stream,’ which is especially beneficial in areas that lack sufficient sidewalk width or access to public space,” according to the People St. website. Read more…