Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New In The Hood: French Quarter Parklet

 Have you ever thought about what else we could be doing with the space we designate for one or two cars to park in on the street? Imagine if you could change how much space is allocated for vehicles & convert it to another use, like, say, a park. If you saw the installation that happened on Robson Street a summer or two ago or you've ever been to the intersection of 14th Avenue & Main Street, you'll know what I'm talking about. A parklet. Here's a great definition of a parklet, if you haven't come across the term before:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A parklet is a small space serving as an extension of the sidewalk to provide amenities and green space for people using the street. It is typically the size of several parking spaces. Parklets typically extend out from the sidewalk at the level of the sidewalk to the width of the adjacent parking space, though some have been built at the level of the street with access from the sidewalk.

Parklets are intended for people. Parklets offer a place to stop, to sit, and to rest while taking in the activities of the street. In instances where a parklet is not intended to accommodate people, it may provide greenery, art, or some other visual amenity. A parklet may accommodate bicycle parking within it, or bicycle parking may be associated with it.

I occasionally use the parklet on 14th Avenue at Main Street, outside JJBean cafe & was pretty excited to hear it was going to stay long-term. I've got some good news for you: the VIVA Vancouver Parklet Pilot Program, launched in June 2013, is bringing another one to the neighbourhood.

Chocolaterie de la Nouvelle France is hosting the parklet outside their shop on 21st Avenue at Main Street. The project team of building owners, landscape architects, & contractors have assembled all the funds, plans, & skills to frame the parklet, build the benches, & fill the planters.

Watch the Video

The chocolaterie will sponsor and maintain the parklet, but shop owner Anne-Geneviève Poitras ran a Kickstarter to cover extra features for this fully public space. One of the best things about it: this parklet will also be the first in North America to have a BIKE BAR. Here's the artist's rendering of what it will look like:

So... What do you think? Do you like these parklets, or do you wish that you could have the two parking spaces back? Have you seen them elsewhere?

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