Sunday, October 23, 2016

New parklet in the works for Highland Park

possible parklets

The new parklet will be based on a kit with suggested designs |LADOT

HIGHLAND PARK — Things have  not go well for the York Boulevard parklet. Last July, a hit-and-run driver smashed into parklet’s benches and planters that had created a public gathering space on the 5000 block of York. The damaged parklet was fenced off for several months as city and neighborhood officials tried to figure how to fix and pay for repairs. Now, after the parklet’s broken pieces have been hauled away, plans are being made to build a new parklet nearby.

The new parklet won’t look anything like its predecessor, which included custom-made planters covered with mosaics. Instead, the new York parklet will be based on a kit developed by the city’s People Street program, said Elizabeth Gallardo, an Assistant Project Coordinator with the city’s Department of Transportation. From this kit, the York parklet will use the “Sidewalk Extension” model that widens the sidewalk and provides a place to sit (the other, more elaborate parklet models or types include “The Cafe” and the “Landscape Lounge”)

The replacement parklet will be located further west down the street near The York bar and restaurant, Gallardo said in an email.

The Highland Park Chamber of Commerce, as project sponsor, assumes responsibility for covering the “full cost of design, construction as well as removal,” Gallardo said. The city covers the signage, administration, and technical advisement for the the project.

When will the new parklet be completed? Stay tuned.

Damaged parklet photographed last July

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  1. Does this space HAVE to be a parklet? There’s a big playground right across the street.

  2. Most of those spots just attract homeless people.

    • BS. This spot had way more regular folks on York than homeless people. And even if it does attract homeless people, it does much more than “just” that.

  3. I miss it. I would often get coffee at Cafe de Leche, sit at the parklet and chat with a friend. The park down the street is really a playground and it feels weird going there without a child.

  4. Can we get it right this time around? The previous parklet was NOT what we (attendees to workshops) envisioned!

  5. How about having the seating faced TOWARDS the street and on the sidewalk side of the parklet this time, so you have a chance to leap and tumble the next time some paisa wino decides to make a fast right into a storefront while looking at his freshly bought box of nachos from the truck in front of York Park just saying!?

  6. Yeah, How does the concept of sitting in the street not intuitively sounds unsafe? If the goal is to create a more pedestrian friendly atmosphere, you don’t just do that by having humans serve as obstacles to motor vehicle on the main drag.

    • Do you drive? You are sitting in the street every time you do. Does driving not strike you as intuitively unsafe?

      Do you feel concern over your car’s safety every time you park it? It is sitting in the street every time you park it there.

      Are you familiar with York or the parklet? It is pedestrian friendly and at no time has anyone in the parklet served as a human obstacle to motor vehicle traffic. I’m not sure if it is fair to call a street with two travel lanes a “main drag” as I would consider that description to be a street with very high speeds and/or volumes, which is not the case on York.

      If you don’t like it that’s fine. Seems to me like plenty of others do. Streets are not exclusively for cars. Streets are part of the public right-of-way which is intended to serve people.

    • Better question, why do our neighborhood streets have to be intuitively unsafe places at all?

      Something like this lets motorists know (intuitively) that they need to slow down and pay attention… obviously it won’t stop every drunk moron, but a lot of traffic engineering is psychological.

      The way I see it, this is a cost effective approach, and it creates a nice little “third place” in the middle of the neighborhood. Win/win.

      • No, corner soul, that is not so. You always make comments blaming drivers for everything and anything — and with nothing to back it up. You know, cars break down and go out of control. Pedestrians paying no attention and texting or doing other things on cell phones as they dart out into the street, and even at midblock, leave cars swerving to avoid hitting them. All kinds of things happen that are NOT the driver’s fault. And if you are stupid enough to be sitting in a stupid parklet in the street, you just might die — thanks to that pedestrian who was texting and paying no attention.

        There is no reason why cars going the scientifically determined safe speed limit need to slow down — you have never said anything other than that cars are all speeding down the streets like freeways, and it just is not so.

        Sometimes common sense is actually intelligent. And it is not as if there is no place for a small park area other than the street. That’s just stupid — unless, of course, the real reason has nothing to do with adding park space but actually is just a car-hating tool to eliminate parking in order to thwart cars.

        I hope when someone in of these parklets finally gets killed or maimed, as is inevitable, the city gets sued into bankruptcy for dong such an obviously dangerous thing and luring people to think it is safe.

        • I think you missed my point. There’s no reason a neighborhood street has to be such a high stakes place. The slightest human error (be it motorist, cyclist or pedestrian) needn’t result in carnage and tragedy. That’s a choice we’ve collectively made, not a foregone conclusion.

          As far as the “scientifically determined speed”, I assume you’re referring to the 85th percentile rule that traffic engineers commonly use to set speed limits? If so, that’s hardly a scientific absolute… more like a crude and arbitrary benchmark. Many cities have abandoned/ignored it for years.

          In reality, neighborhood design is both art and science. There’re a lot more to consider than easy motoring and subsidized storage of vehicles (i.e. public safety, property values, small business incubation, foot traffic, cultural benefits, local circulation, etc.)

  7. Any news about the parklet removed in El Sereno in February?

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