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Parklets Open in Santa Monica


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By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

June 26, 2017 -- Santa Monica joined a growing national trend on Sunday with the introduction of three miniature public spaces on Main Street known as parklets.

A small ceremony with speeches and a ribbon cutting featuring City Councilmembers Gleam Davis, Terry O’Day and Sue Himmelrich took place at the parklet in front of Holy Guacamole.

The other two parklets are located next to Ashland Hill and Finn McCool’s.

Parklets are located at former parking spaces and were first created in San Francisco in 2010.

Los Angeles introduced them the following year, and they have appeared in various cities throughout the nation and even in other parts of the world since that time.

The Santa Monica parklets are part of a one-year pilot program costing nearly $71,000 that was approved by the City Council in 2015.

Among the supporters of the program is the Main Street Business Improvement Association (MSBIA).

“Parklets on Main Street will fit hand in glove with the outdoor dining already on the street in the form of several patios at restaurants, furthering the streets’ reputation as a place to relax in the sun or under the stars,” wrote MSBIA executive director Gary Gordon in an email to the council.

The parklet concept has received a mixed reaction from local activists in the lead-up to their official introduction (“Parklets to Debut in Santa Monica,” April 4, 2017).

City staff will release a report evaluating the parklet program after the one-year pilot run is finished. If deemed successful, more parklets could be created in the city.


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