The city approaches local businesses to encourage them to install parklets (a sidewalk extension that provides extra space for people using the street to sit, eat, rest, chat, park bikes, strollers etc).
Only one business takes up the offer and follows through to completion. Spending $10,000 on the structure and process. All the plans are approved by the city. The business owner will donate all the revenue generated to local charities.
Is this person being applauded? No, he’s getting a hard time! Seriously?
I find it hard to believe that someone spending a lot of money and responding to a city request to improve the livability of the downtown area is getting a hard time.
The aesthetic of the structure might not meet everyone’s approval, but nothing is going to appeal to everybody’s taste. The fact that the structure is sturdy can only be a good thing. After all, cars will be driving along the street and parking next to the structure. Surely the structure of the parklet should offer some degree of protection to the people using it as they do in other cities that are forward-thinking enough to allow them.
I know I’ll enjoy my beer much more with a bit of steel and wood between me and the street.
I hear concerns that the parking spaces next to the parklet are now a little tight. Well, that depends on what you plan to park there! Why can’t we think beyond the private motor vehicle?
Too tight for a car. Great, let’s park bikes there then. The experience is just getting better and better.
Now I’m having a beer and feeling safe behind a bit of steel and no smelly, noisy cars pulling in and out right next to me. I’m not anti-cars. I own and use a couple of them. However, I do feel we should be open to utilizing alternatives that are appropriate for the task. Going downtown is normally much more enjoyable and efficient by trolley, local bus, bike or on foot and you won’t give a care about the size of parking spaces.
Alessandro, thank you for putting your hand in your pocket, helping to fund local charities and trying to make Forest Avenue a nicer place for people.
Max Isles, Laguna Beach