Mad River Union Covers Living Plaza Proposals

From the Mad River Union:

Picture a Plaza free of cars on Eighth and Ninth streets, the vehicles replaced by bistro dining. A playset full of squealing children is surrounded by picnicking parents noshing on items from an array of food carts. Musicians perform from a small stage, while a chess game is played on a giant board with fireplug-sized pieces. Tourists pluck brochures from an information kiosk, their visit untrammeled by day-campers of the smoking/yelling/fighting variety. Surrounding businesses are thriving with walk-in business, thanks to the restored popularity of the Arcata Plaza. 

Idyllic, yes, but achievable, according to the McKinleyville-based Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities (CRTP), representatives of which outlined their ideas Tuesday, Oct. 12 during a presentation in the Plaza View Room in Jacoby’s Storehouse….”

Read the full article here.

New York Times: Converting Parking Spaces into Parklets

Eureka has led the way locally with the development of parklets, but other communities can and should join in easily. Transitioning public space from vehicle-serving to people-serving is good for human health, community, the economy and the environment. From the New York Times:

“While each street seat typically takes up two parking spots, the benefits of serving hundreds of people a day — versus a handful of cars — have outweighed any concerns over lost parking, said Shari Gold, a senior manager in the transportation department’s public space program.”

Read the full story here.

Eureka Replacing Parking with Parklets!

The City of Eureka is making its parklet program permanent, allowing businesses to turn traffic-inducing parking spaces into community-inducing mini-parks. From the Times-Standard:

“…Despite the positive feedback he has heard from the business owners and community members the pilot program was extended for six months in January to address concerns about parklets taking over too many parking spaces.

Over those six months volunteer interns would “spy” on the parklets for four-hour periods at different times throughout the day for those businesses’ operating hours. Every 15 minutes the volunteer would do a head count of people in the business and people using the parklet as well as the number of parking spots taken up and free on that block, Holmlund said.

“Even at lunch times in all those hundreds of hours of data collection there were only two instances, two 15 minute periods, that all parking spaces were taken,” he said….”

Read the full story here.