People St Award Celebrated, Block Party in Downtown

The block of Hope Street, between 11th and 12th in Downtown LA became site to the People St Block Party held on the evening of August 23rd.  The National Planning Achievement Award for Best Practice bestowed to the People St program for the 2016 Excellence Awards was celebrated on this special city block: home of the Hope St Parklet.  The American Planning Association Los Angeles Chapter and the South Park Business Improvement District generously hosted the exciting evening featuring bites and beverages by the Briks, DJ music, and the award presentation featuring Councilmember Jose Huizar, Director of City Planning Vince Bertoni and LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds. A special performance by the S.H.I.N.E. Mawusi Women’s African Drum Circle, from the Leimert Park Art Walk and Festival of Masks graced the celebration and put the crowd to dance and sing.

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Hope Street block closed for the People St Block Party (Photo credit: LADOT)

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Award Presentation: (Left to Right) APA-LA Bonnie Hulkower and Ashley Atkinson, LADOT People St Program Brian Oh and Valerie Watson, LA City Planning Director Vince Bertoni, LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds and Councilmember Jose Huizar (Photo credit: APA-LA/ Stephen Payne)

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The S.H.I.N.E. Mawusi Women’s African Drum Circle got the crowd dancing! (Photo credit: APA-LA/ Stephen Payne)


August 25, 2016 -Parklets, -Plazas, News Permalink

Former President visits Bradley Avenue People St Plaza

People St Plazas host a wide range of community activities, from exercise classes to civic gatherings. The former President spoke to a crowd gathered for a political rally from the back of a pick-up truck parked at the alley end of the Plaza.

(more…)


June 14, 2016 -Plazas, News Permalink

People St Application Window Opening November 1st with Small Changes

Last year, the People St program opened its first ever application cycle re-purposed road space in Pacoima and Leimert Park for two new Plazas and will bring Parklets to Palms and South Park in Downtown LA soon. LADOT’s award-winning People St Program will open its second application cycle and begin accepting proposals for Plazas, Parklets, and Bicycle Corrals from potential partners starting November 1st! Community Partners will have 45 calendar days or until December 15th to submit their applications for all People St projects.

Ballet folklorico at July 30th Ribbon Cutting at Bradley Ave Plaza in Pacoima.

Before you start gathering your neighbors and friends to help you put together a proposal, here are a few things you should know about this year’s People St application cycle:

  • Apply for a Bicycle Corral: Instead of a on rolling basis, Bicycle Corrals are now integrated into the application-based process along with Plazas and Parklets! All applications for People St projects will be accepted during the application window period. This helps us prioritize Plazas, Parklets, and Bicycle Corrals all at once and lets us foster better communication between Community Partner applicants.
  • Updated Application Materials: As the People St program continues to grow, we would like to streamline the application process and make applying easier for Community Partners. We’ve made revisions and updates to our application manuals incorporating new information to better guide Community Partners!
  • Kit of Parts for Plazas Went on a Diet: Information from the previous ‘Kit of Parts for Plazas Technical Appendix’ has now been incorporated into the ‘Kit of Parts for Plazas’. Now, Community Partners can refer to the ‘Kit of Parts for Plazas‘ exclusively for information on needed furnishings and programming to construct and activate a Plaza!

  • Keep your Neighborhood Council in the loop: Community Partners are now required to present their proposed People St project to their neighborhood during one of their local Neighborhood Council’s monthly meetings. For a People St project application to be considered complete, a copy of the Neighborhood Council meeting’s agenda or official minutes must be included as proof of presentation.
People St 2015 Application Cycle Timeline.

Now that you are up to speed on the changes we’ve made and are interested in applying for a project in your neighborhood, start now! All Plazas, Parklets, and Bicycle Corrals application materials and information you need can be found at our one stop shop: peoplest.lacity.org. If you have additional questions, email us at peoplest@lacity.org.

We can’t wait to form new partnerships and work with our Community Partners to bring their project ideas to life!


October 14, 2015 -Parklets, -Plazas, News Permalink

People St Instagram Love: Sunset Triangle Plaza

We can’t help but notice on Instagram when People St is a backdrop for your beautiful days in LA. This month, we feature some select images from Sunset Triangle Plaza in Silver Lake. From sketch books and coffee to break dancing and piano playing, you’re helping us and our partners demonstrate the awesomeness of our largest public space asset – our streets – as places for people to enjoy.

If you have a particularly lovely photograph or experience at a People St Plaza or Parklet, make sure to tag the location and #PeopleSt on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter – we may feature your little slice of life on our website in a future post!

Keep it up with all of the #PeopleSt love!

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April 5, 2015 -Parklets, -Plazas, News Permalink

Meet Our New Plazas: NoHo Plaza

People St is excited to announce the installation and official opening of one of three People St Plazas approved under the inaugural application cycle for the program!

NoHo Plaza is located in an underutilized alley west of Lankershim Boulevard and north of Magnolia Boulevard in the heart of the North Hollywood Arts District.

This portion of alley has been repurposed as a public plaza space with tables, chairs, and umbrellas for people to enjoy. This cafe-style seating will allow NoHo Plaza the flexibility to become a destination for cultural activities, as well as a place for people to gather or relax on a day-to-day basis. A colorful surface treatment and perimeter planters define the Plaza bounds. People-scale identity and wayfinding signs feature a map with local destinations all within walking or bicycling distance of the site, such as the North Hollywood Metro Red Line Station.

NoHo Plaza is managed and maintained by the NoHo BID, who applied under the People St program and was selected to partner with LADOT. Leveraging their ongoing operational budget and other funds, NoHo BID is responsible for initial purchase of all Plaza furnishings as well as ongoing maintenance and Plaza programming. NoHo BID will work with an array of community organizations to host public activities and events at the Plaza. For more information on future happenings and a calendar of events, visit nohobid.com.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for announcements around the People St Plazas in Leimert Park Village and Pacoima!


February 24, 2015 -Plazas, News Permalink

People St Projects Coming Soon

Three Plaza Projects Coming by February, 2015!

We are pleased to announce that three People St Plaza projects are breaking ground by February, 2015. Together with four Parklet projects, these Plazas were selected under the first-ever application cycle of the formalized People St program, administered by LADOT. Here are the Plaza locations and their Community Partners:

Stay tuned for more information on plaza “grand openings” as installation continues. Exciting activities and programs are coming!  We hope you get a chance to visit these new projects as they come to life.

Parklet Update

The four parklet projects selected under the 2014 application cycle are currently working through design development, finalizing construction documentation for their sites, and conducting further community engagement. Tentative installation for these parklets is projected after Summer, 2015.

After much hard work and dedication, the Historic Core BID, Council District 14, and LADOT have collaborated to devise repair and modification plans for the Spring Street parklets, one of which was damaged in 2014. Anticipated re-opening by March, 2015!

 


January 9, 2015 -Parklets, -Plazas, News Permalink

People St Plazas and Parklets Approved to Enter Design Phase!

After rigorous assessment of each application by an all-star, interdepartmental team of City staff, we are very excited to announce the list of projects from our first-ever application window approved to be implemented! Check out the list of approved People St projects below, to be installed as early as this fall:

List of approved projects 

Project Type Location Neighborhood Community Partner
Plaza Bradley Avenue between Van Nuys Boulevard and alley Pacoima Pacoima Beautiful
Plaza Alley near Lankershim Boulevard at Magnolia Boulevard North Hollywood NoHo BID
Plaza 43rd Place between Degnan Boulevard and Leimert Boulevard Leimert Park Institute for Maximum Human Potential
Parklet 1111 S. Hope Street Downtown South Park BID
Parklet 15231 La Cruz Drive Pacific Palisades Palisades P.R.I.D.E.
Parklet 3272 Motor Avenue Palms Motor Avenue Improvement Association
Parklet 3370 Motor Avenue Palms Motor Avenue Improvement Association

Successful applicants closely reviewed the People St Application Manuals to ensure the completeness of their application materials, asked LADOT questions relating to site feasibility and application requirements early on in their process, and involved many local stakeholders in project development. The People St program has experienced a healthy amount of interest from community organizations and individuals seeking to transform their neighborhood streets into people-oriented spaces.

What’s next for these projects?

Prior to installation, LADOT will post public-notice posters at all approved project locations for 10 business days.  During this time, members of the public can submit public comments directly to LADOT via our website.

Additionally, LADOT will work with these Community Partners to collect baseline information about the site before project installation,  and guide them through the design development process.  People St looks forward to continuing to work with the approved Community Partners to create these innovative people-oriented spaces throughout the City!

Preliminary Economic Impact Report for Sunset Triangle

Parklet Studies released a Preliminary Report for the Economic Impact Study at Sunset Triangle Plaza. This study involved interviews with business operators at and around the Sunset Triangle Plaza for four successive quarters after the Plaza opened.  Here are some major preliminary findings from the study:

“In general, the study found positive perceptions of the Plaza.  Throughout the initial six-month period of monitoring and surveys, over 80% of surveyed merchants confirmed that they would ‘recommend a Plaza project to other neighborhoods [or business districts].’”

 Perceived Impacts:  “A majority of surveyed businesses reported perceived increases in business performance after Plaza installation, at both the 1-month and 6-month survey dates.  A majority of participants also reported a higher volume of sales from increased ‘foot traffic’ (or ‘walk-ins’).”

Business Confidence: “In general, responses indicated high levels of business confidence.  Confidence was measured by asking merchants about anticipated changes to revenue, debt, profit, number of employees, and number of customers for the year subsequent to Plaza installation.”

“The majority of businesses within the two-block catchment area anticipate an increase of the size of their customer base; an increase in revenue; and an increase in profits.  At the same time, most merchants anticipate either no change or a decrease in their debt.  This indicates the optimism of businesses within the two-block catchment area surrounding the Plaza.”

The complete preliminary findings report can be downloaded here.

“Experimenting with the Margin: Parklets and Plazas as Catalysts in Community and Government”

“Experimenting with the Margin: Parklets and Plazas as Catalysts in Community and Government” was published this month by the University of Southern California this month.  This graduate thesis from student Robin Abad Ocubillo resulted from interviews with over sixty parklet and plaza stakeholders in New York, San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles.  Parklets and Plazas – besides being novel new open spaces where communities gather – actually play a huge role in bringing neighbors together through the process of planning, fundraising, design and implementation.  From the Abstract:

Two related  typologies  of  small-scale,  experimental  urban  design  have  emerged  in  recent  years  as  a  synthesis  of  community  action  and  progressive  governmental  experimentation:  the  Parklet  and  the  Pedestrian  Plaza. The  Parklet  occupies  curbside  parking  spaces  while  the  Pedestrian  Plaza  reclaims  excess  roadway,  often  at  irregular  intersections. While  the  typologies  differ  in  physical  form,  both  emerge  from  a  common  thrust  of  experimental  action  redressing  the  urban  fabric  and  environment. Together,  these  two  typologies  –  and  the  city  programs  created  to  facilitate  their  implementation  –  begin  to  define  a  process  of  Heuristic  Urbanism:  a  collaborative  practice  that  engages  urban  design  through  provisional  programs  and  projects  that  are  continually  self-evaluating. This  thesis  illustrates  how  the  Heuristic  Urbanism  of  Parklets  and  Pedestrian  Plazas  necessitates  innovation  within  city  government  through  the  assimilation  of  grassroots  initiatives. A  literature  review  outlines  the  theoretical  and  practical  contexts  from  which  Heuristic  Urbanism  emerges;  suggests  the  evolutionary  heritage  of  Parklets  and  Pedestrian  Plazas;  and  examines  the  range  of  assumptions,  expectations,  and  outcomes  engendered  by  the  new  typologies  and  their  relatives. The  thesis  then  leverages  interviews  with  over  65  individual  stakeholders  from  government,  advocacy  groups,  design  and  business  communities  in  four  California  cities  which  are  in  various  stages  of  advancing  Parklet  and  Pedestrian  Plaza  programs…

The  discussion  then  moves  from  overarching  examination  of  program  development  to  circumstances  at  the  site  and  neighborhood  scale;  identifying  common  physical  and  social  conditions  as  pre-requisites  for  Parklet  and  Plaza  viability. This  set  of  conditions  is  generated  from  stakeholder  interviews  and  correlated  with  the  literature  review. Here  the  thesis  articulates  a  coherent  practical  framework  for  evaluating  future  potential  sites  of  intervention;  engaging  the  dialectic  between  action,  research,  analysis,  and  refinement  that  characterizes  Heuristic  Urbanism.  The  study  concludes  with  a  discussion  on  the  long-term  implications  of  Heuristic  Urbanism  for  urban  design  and  planning  practice. Significant  and  recurring  themes  emerge  from  the  interviews;  defining  a  territory  which addresses  public-private  tensions,  the  role  of  design  professionals  in  activism  and  governance,  and  the  catalytic  potential  of  Heuristic  Urbanism  for  re‐adapting  both  the  urban  fabric  and  modes  of  its  management.

Sunset Triangle Grand Opening

People St is proud to announce the opening of Sunset Triangle Plaza at Griffith Park and Sunset Boulevards in Silver Lake! Come join us on March4th, for a community celebration as we turn a street for cars into a street for people.

Although Sunset Triangle Plaza draws its inspiration from the successful pedestrian plazas created with a painted street surface, potted plants and moveable tables and chairs in New York and San Francisco, the original concept of a pedestrian plaza in Silver Lake was developed by community members in 2006.

Sunset Triangle Plaza will be located on Griffith Park Blvd between Edgecliffe Dr. and Maltman Ave and will be temporary closed to automobile traffic for the duration of the pilot project (approximately one year). Cars will continue to be able to use Edgecliffe Dr. to travel around the plaza.

At Sunset Triangle Plaza, the twice-weekly farmer’s market will continue to operate uninterrupted, additional parking spaces will be created along Sunset Blvd to accommodate for some of those lost, and all street furniture will be brought inside each evening to maintain its quality and cleanliness.

There has been increased demand in Los Angeles for safer and more welcoming streets for residents to play, walk, run, bicycle and rest. Sunset Triangle Plaza offers a destination for people of all ages, backgrounds and physical abilities to sit and relax, visit local business or engage with members of your community in a vibrant public space.

*Draft plan designed by Frank Clementi of Rios Clementi Hale Studios. Flier design by Janet Kim

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