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Images Inside: Take a Look at the Designs for York Boulevard's Proposed Parklet

The project now has the full backing of the city and should be completed by Thanksgiving.

The Los Angeles City Council on Firday unanimoulsy approved a plan to convert sidewalk space in Highland Park, El Sereno and Downtown to small parks complete with benches, planters and public art.

The council approved a motion co-authored by Councilmember José Huizar to direct the Planning, Transportation and Public Works Departments to support the construction of the parklets. The project would be the first of its kind in the city, Huizar said, and if proven to be a benefit to their respective communities, would pave the way for more being built throughout the city.

"We are, to be honest, a bit behind the ball,'' Huizar said. "Hopefully this is the first of many.''

Highland Park resident Margaret Arnold was among dozen or so community members who attended the council meeting to state their support for the parklet program.

"It's very hard to do something creative in Los Angeles, you have to have every nut and bolt on a pre-approved list," Arnold said. "We are doing something creative."

The York Boulevard parklet, which will be located across a 30-foot-long strip of sidewalk and a designated no-parking zone outside Do It Best Hardware, was

"The important thing about this project is that we approved it in well attended meetings," Arnold said.

Despite the support shown for the parklets throughout those public meetings, which were held as part of Councilmember Huizar's "new York" vision project to spur development in the area, some Patch readers have expressed concerns about the project.

In previous Patch articles about the plan, Patch readers have left comments questioning the safety of the parklets.

Steve Rasmussen-Cancian of Living Streets LA, who was contracted by Huizar to facilitate the planning meetings, said that the parklets would extend six-feet into the street, be constructed from wood and concrete and be surrounded by Caltrans-approved planters.

"We looked carefully at safety and we think these parklets will be safest place to stand on the sidewalk," Rasmussen-Cancian said.

Cathi Milligan, the owner of the on York Boulevad and the Director of NELAart, said that residents need not worry about upkeep of the parklet either, as the organization has signed an agreement promising to maintain it.

"I'm very much looking forward to having this here to help our community," Milligan said. "NELAart has signed the maintenance agreement and will be maintaining the street porch."

The parks could cost up to $50,000 to construct, according to City News Service, and will be paid for out of the $100,000 budget Huizar set aside for "new York" projects.

The payoff for Highland Park, Rasmussen-Cancian said, will be a more pedestrian-friendly street that encourages neighbors to congreate and support local businesses.

"If you just create a small deck on the sidewalk you don't just have a shopping district, you have a community gathering space," he said. "It's an opportunity to go from car dominated streets to people dominated streets."

The two Downtown parklets will be funded by a $75,000 grant from from the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation administered by UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs' Complete Streets Initiative.

The grant requires those parklets to be built by the end of the year and to include two pieces of exercise equipment as part of the foundation's effort to prevent diabetes.

Friday's motion also requires that the city identify and support a future parklet project in Council District 15.

According to Ryan Lehman of Living Streets LA, York Boulevard's parklet will be built by Los Angeles Conservation Core and should be completed by Thanksgiving.

Punk Attitude August 24, 2012 at 10:14 PM
How do I submit a proposal for a commission to do public art for the new York parklet?
David Fonseca (Editor) August 24, 2012 at 11:16 PM
PA, that is a great question! Let me ask around.
chris watts August 25, 2012 at 03:22 AM
Will we be growing cannabis in the planters? We may as well, just about every storefront on york seems to grow or sell the stuff. Now that's what I would call 'taking back the boulevard!"
Just b Urself August 25, 2012 at 03:37 AM
Great, a "pretty place" for all the gangsters to intimadate and take over. Smoke their weed and congregate. Can't wait!
chris watts August 25, 2012 at 03:38 AM
I think you meant 'hipsters'.
The MOG August 25, 2012 at 06:35 AM
That's a great idea Chris, and I second it whole heartedly. Some young people, perhaps some local artists from the college can design it. I favor the hydrophonic method of cultivation. I invision a sort of mini "hanging gardens"...our own local, micro-wonder of the world. Only this will be One Of The Wonders Of Highland Park. (I'm sorry, I don't know how many other wonders of H.P. there maybe, or even what they are.) I suggest we grow some good ole fashion Humbult County Skunk Bud! That's what I say, alright. I've had it with all the new fangled hybrid canabanoids. That's for the kids... I want some good old dank, Humbult Co. Skunk. Right here on "new York".All in a hydrophonic hanging gardens wonder of Highland Park...with Koi Fish! Yeahhhh !!!!!
Bob Bailey August 25, 2012 at 07:02 AM
NO I think he said what he met.
The MOG August 25, 2012 at 07:22 AM
he meant shysters! there's a rumor a syndicate out of North Glendale, made up of secular Armenian lawyers are planning to take over the project once it's completed. Scuttle Butt on the blvd. is a local gang that goes by the handle of The newYork Java Loco-heads is ready to rumble should it come to that. Meanwhile, a private concern is working with planners for a small kiosk in the park, that will be selling locally grown organic ediables, and natural bebidas, juga, and wheat grass. Mexican Street Hot Dogs were nixed by Officials because "they're nasty", according to locals. The point was made at a recent nieghborhood meeting that Mexican Street Dogs were already on N. Fig., anyway. So. Of course it could all be just talk. You never know. But I'm pretty sure that's what Just meant.
jaclyn jones August 25, 2012 at 06:12 PM
York Blvd. is at times an artery between HP and Eagle Rock/Glendale. It is slow-going and requires extra care when driving near pedestrians and parked cars. Subtracting space from already tough parking and tight space to create "meeting spots" seems to be against enhancement of the area. People already know how to meet and bbq and visit wherever. I think the proposal sounds better than it will be.
HPLA August 26, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Can we (and by we I mean Huizar) consider ALL of HP, and not just the up and coming block and a half on York.
Nimby pimp August 26, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Eager to see the positive effect on commerce and community these additions are sure to have.
ErAmIrEz August 27, 2012 at 07:01 AM
Does any one have maybe like a sample picture of how this is going to look like?
Hippyluv August 27, 2012 at 03:30 PM
@hpla why should huizar consider all of Hp? He is not over all of hp. Talk to Ed Reyes who really doesn't give a crap about fig. At least huizar is adding value to the and has a vision for York. York will continue to improve with this parklet
David Fonseca (Editor) August 27, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Hey Eramlrez, you can look at the designs now. They're uploaded.
Punk Attitude August 27, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Did you find out anything about the public art?
Punk Attitude August 27, 2012 at 06:02 PM
I think the parklet should be down further near Galco's to encourage business to go further down on York. As for the parking issue that is being raised it's totally lame. WALK to YORK Blvd or ride a bike. I'm sure people raising issues about parking LIVE here. Park on the residential streets...... There's plenty of parking. Being close to the medical MaryJane facilities is a concern but I thought those places were being shut down. B U E L L E R ..... B U E L L E R... F E R R I S
jaclyn jones August 27, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Why are there no drawings 00?
ManSky August 28, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Not sure what you mean. The hardware store on York has over 60 parking spaces behind it, all the same price as the street. Having a micro park in one parking space won't inconvenience traffic at all (note that those 60 spaces are less than 10% filled most of the time).
ManSky August 28, 2012 at 12:23 AM
The title says, "image inside" -- where??
David Fonseca (Editor) August 28, 2012 at 12:33 AM
In the media box above, Jaclyn and Man. It is a .pdf file.
ManSky August 28, 2012 at 06:05 AM
no offense, but, even at full screen (and I have a very large screen) the plan is basically unreadable.
ManSky August 28, 2012 at 06:13 AM
The article pretty much says that the city intends to make more parklets, though there's no indication when or where. But the city should certainly work with business owners about where the parklets are, and whether businesses are willing to have them, or maintain them. That said, Galco's is an unattractive building, inside and out. People love their soda, but it might be a more welcoming site.
ErAmIrEz August 28, 2012 at 05:21 PM
So i took a look at the design.. thanks DFonseca and i really cant wait to see it when it is completed. Wow Hlp has really came a long way. I love what they are doing with York Blvd, with the new shops and the and the people now are so diverse its great. But what about Fig? I remember when i was younger Fig was always the place to go and be & like i said im all for York getting a make over but i think Figueroa has been forgotten i think it would be good for Fig to get an upgrade as well. So the Los Angeles City Council and Councilmember José Huizar please keep us residents on the this side of HLP in mind. Thanks!!
Mary L Gomez August 28, 2012 at 10:47 PM
wow...this is awesome....NOT..well guess we wont be driving down York..this is not..what we need..I love the business improvements..but c'mon..this is really not for the community..but for outsiders..anyhow good luck...hope i'm wrong..but doubt it..time will tell...

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