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Spring Street parklets now open for sitting, foosball and stationary cycling

By Hayley Fox
Published: Thursday, February 07, 2013, at 12:21PM
Hayley Fox/blogdowntown

The Spring Street parklets are now open between 6th and 7th streets in DTLA.

Two parklets opened today on Spring Street where parking spaces used to be. Now, these approximately 40-foot-long, enclosed mini parks are bordered by colorful fences and wooden planters filled with succulents and other drought-resistant plants.

All of the speakers at today's event praised the project for helping to create a more pedestrian, public transit-friendly Downtown. Valerie Watson, who used to be a member of the Downtown L.A. Neighborhood Council (DLANC) and is now a Pedestrian Coordinator with L.A.'s Department of Transportation (LADOT), said the parklets were one ingredient for creating a "complete living street."

"A Complete Street is essentially a street that really strikes a balance between all modes of transportation," said Watson.

She went on to explain that this means having generous sidewalks, space for bikes and bustling storefront activity. Spring Street is well on its way to becoming one of these "complete streets" said Watson, with its wide green bike lanes, the new parklets and incoming continental crosswalks meant to improve pedestrian safety.

Area Councilman José Huizar said these mini parks were really a "community-driven" improvement. He said that with the help of Mayor's office, LADOT, DLANC and other participating groups, they were "changing policy in the city of L.A. that's been promoting cars over people."

Both Spring Street parklets have tables, stools, padded wood bench seating and an activity component. One has two stationary bikes and the other has a foosball table.

According to the LADOT, parklets can cost anywhere between $20,000 and $50,000 depending on the design and size of the parklet. Money for the materials to build the Spring Street parklets was donated by the Gilbert Foundation, and what still couldn't be purchased was donated by other vendors; including graphic designers and landscape architects who donated their time and skills to the project.

The mini-parks, located between 6th and 7th streets, will be maintained by the Historic Downtown Business Improvement District (BID).

These parks, along with those in Highland Park and El Sereno, are part of a citywide pilot program to to implement parklets across L.A.


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