A little bit of parking for a little bitty park
There’s a lot of parking out there, and it seems some people think we could turn over a few spots for the greater good. Minneapolis has just kicked off a pilot program for turning parking spaces into little parks, or “parklets.” According to an article on BringMeTheNews.com:
Jon Wertjes, the director of Traffic and Parking Services with the Minneapolis Public Works Department, told BringMeTheNews that the city will be spending $75,000 from its traffic and parking services operating budget related to pedestrian safety and livability improvements to introduce two to three public parklets as part of this pilot program.
I suppose this move could be seen as antagonistic toward parking, but it doesn’t have to be. Create a gathering place and you create a need for parking – in fact, you create a demand for parking.
Minneapolis is taking a careful approach to the addition of these parklets by making them portable. They’ll be set up for the summer, measured for use and popularity, and taken down for the winter. Eventually, they will be turned over to the community.
Minneapolis Pedestrian Planner Mackenzie Turner told the Southwest Journal that the city will develop design standards for the parks so when the pilot program ends, businesses and community sponsors will maintain them instead of the city. Parklet sponsors will be able to apply for permits to design and build their own parklets, Turner says.
Parklet programs have been created in San Francisco, Seattle, New York city and Dallas. Click here to read the rest of the article.