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Parklet Proposed for South Fourth Street

Walker Evans Walker Evans Parklet Proposed for South Fourth Street
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The temporary conversion of on-street metered parking spaces into public greenspace is not a new one. The national Park(ing) Day event launched in San Francisco in 2005, and Columbus officially took part in 2008 and 2009. Since then, the movement pushing for new Downtown greenspace has waned in part due to the completion of Columbus Commons and the Scioto Mile.

But a team of enthusiasts are ready to bring the idea back in a spot in need of additional pedestrian-friendly park space: South Fourth Street, which is home to Dirty Frank’s, 16 Bit Bar+Arcade, Little Palace and El Camino Inn.

“Whenever I go to San Francisco, I always visit a parklet,” says organizer Jess Mathews. “The parklet has become a destination for me. That’s what we want for parklets here. We want these creative public spaces to draw people and become destinations for people.”

Officially known as the ‘Columbus Parklet Project’, the pop-up greenspace would only displace two parking meter spots and would accommodate outdoor seating for a dozen people, providing additional patio space to the collection of restaurants and bars that now call this area home.

“The businesses also on that stretch of Fourth are all supportive of the project and plan to help with promoting as well,” says Mathews. “The health of cities relies on ‘street life’. The Short North has incredible street life but that can’t be the only neighborhood in the city with that kind of vibrancy. It needs to be sprinkled all over.”

The Fourth Street parklet would be a temporary installation, serving as a pilot project for a month upon launching in late May or early June.

“This is a great ‘quick to implement’ project to give people a taste,” explained Mathews. “During the month of the pilot, we will collect data and pictures so that as we approach other neighborhoods to expand the project, we have the ability to tell a story. Ideally, we’d like to see parklets as another ingredient used in creating long-term transformations on our streets.”

Organizers of the Columbus Parklet Project are still in the process of raising permit funding. One fundraiser held at 16-Bit in February raised “a really good chunk” of the money needed, according to Mathews. A second fundraiser is planned for April.

For more information on the project, visit www.facebook.com/columbusparkletproject.

Renderings by Brianne DeRolph.

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21 Responses to Parklet Proposed for South Fourth Street

  1. Jason Powell
    jpizzow February 25, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm

    Very cool. The loss of one parking space should not be an issue. Temporary spaces like this can be flexible making for a “permanent” space that can be changed fairly easily keeping it fresh.

  2. Liner Notes
    Liner Notes February 25, 2014 1:21 pm at 1:21 pm

    Cool idea in general, but I’d rather see it used more as park/green space than an expansion of patio space for the restaurants.

  3. agolden February 25, 2014 1:58 pm at 1:58 pm

    Good point Liner Notes, that is actually the purpose of the Parklet, to expand public pedestrian space. The Parklet will not be extended patio space for the restaurants on that block.

  4. aaronblevins February 25, 2014 2:26 pm at 2:26 pm

    Love the brains and hearts behind this project. We have such a great group of people in our city who aren’t willing to settle only for empty talk about good ideas. But rather, our people actually get out there and take massive action together to bring these good ideas to life. And that freaking pumps me up. This project a shining example of this and I can’t wait to see how it comes to life.

  5. Walker Evans
    Walker February 25, 2014 4:16 pm at 4:16 pm

    Sorry if my patio wording was confusing. I didn’t mean that the parklet would literally be patio space managed/serviced by a restaurant or bar, but instead a more general use of the word patio — implying that visitors to these locations would have more sidewalk accommodations to utilize when hanging out in this area.

  6. columbusmike February 25, 2014 4:43 pm at 4:43 pm

    Perfect location for this. However, the “tiki bar” look is, uh, a little tacky. What about opening the design of this up to some of our local designers, architects, etc?

  7. Mike88 February 25, 2014 6:04 pm at 6:04 pm

    Very cool idea, I love that little block and like the energy in this project.

  8. PJMcFlur February 25, 2014 6:07 pm at 6:07 pm

    Who is paying for it?

  9. ehill27 February 25, 2014 6:35 pm at 6:35 pm

    Looks cool, but seems dangerous. Is there some protection from cars plowing into it head-on or from the side?

    • corrums April 14, 2014 8:03 pm at 8:03 pm

      Also, the small hills in it, seem like a recipe for disaster. Most likely there will be people that have been drinking using this space, since it’s located outside some great bars….and I can see them stumbling over those!

      • Walker Evans
        Walker Evans April 14, 2014 8:34 pm at 8:34 pm

        If anyone is drunk enough to stumble over a little hill like that, then they’re also going to stumble over curbs, into parking meters, over their own feet, and every other object between the bar and their bedroom.

  10. mbeaumont February 25, 2014 7:19 pm at 7:19 pm

    I think this idea is fantastic. I really applaud everyone involved. We can quibble over the design (I kinda dig the kitschiness of it) but the overall idea is awesome. I’d definitely attend the second fundraiser, sorry I missed the initial one.

  11. Ned23 February 25, 2014 7:40 pm at 7:40 pm

    Cool idea.

  12. Walker Evans
    Walker February 25, 2014 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm

    @ehill27 – It looks like there are functional meters on both sides of the parklet, which means parked car buffers during the busiest hours (that’s prime parking, so I imagine they would stay pretty full.

  13. geary@acm.org February 26, 2014 9:16 am at 9:16 am

    The text says: “the pop-up greenspace would only displace one parking meter spot”. But all the pictures show two spots occupied.

  14. Walker Evans
    Walker February 26, 2014 9:33 am at 9:33 am

    Oops, fixed. That typo was my fault. ;)

  15. smartmug February 26, 2014 3:14 pm at 3:14 pm

    Has thought been given to how it will impact street drainage during rainy days?

  16. heresthecasey February 26, 2014 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm

    Nice proposal! It would be great to get some of these set up across the city in different neighborhood business districts.

  17. AMEEKER February 27, 2014 5:02 pm at 5:02 pm

    How is this not just a way for those four restaurants to get around not having a patio / outdoor waiting area? Given the proximity of those restaurants, that’s what it will be used for. Which I’m not complaining about bc it will be nice to have a different place to wait/more seats to eat.

    It’s funny how I can LOVE the idea, but when executed there, it feels off somehow.

  18. heresthecasey September 24, 2014 8:18 pm at 8:18 pm

    The parklet has now been installed on S 4th St

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