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Parklets approved for Spring Street

By Kylie Reynolds
Published: Friday, August 24, 2012, at 05:44PM

An artist rendition of one of the pocket parks headed for Downtown

Spring Street’s roadway will soon get a facelift following the Los Angeles City Council’s passage of two street plaza projects at its meeting Friday morning.

The street plaza pilot project will convert metered parking along Spring Street at 6th and 7th streets into "parklets," or mini-parks -- featuring seating, greenery and entertainment opportunities.

The project, which was created by the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council with support from UCLA and Councilmembers Jose Huizar and Jan Perry, has been more than a year in the works. The idea is modeled after similar public plazas in cities like San Francisco and New York City.

The council also approved two parklets in El Sereno and Highland Park. If successful, these four pilot street plazas could kick-start the development of a city-wide parklets program.

"Community members have spoken and they want more pedestrian-friendly public spaces that support localbusinesses and neighborhoods,” Huizar said in a statement. “It's a marked shift back to community planning of decades past, where now, like then, we are emphasizing local, sustainable communities where residents can shop, relax and spend time in their own neighborhoods.”

At last year's Park(ing) Day, the neighborhood council set up a temporary parklet in front of LA Cafe at 639 Spring St. -- one of the future street plaza sites. The site re-purposed the parking meters in front of the cafe into a grassy park.

According to a survey taken during Park(ing) Day, 72 percent of downtowners said they would visit a parklet daily or weekly.

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