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.
Hope Street block closed for the People St Block Party (Photo credit: LADOT)
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)
The S.H.I.N.E. Mawusi Women’s African Drum Circle got the crowd dancing! (Photo credit: APA-LA/ Stephen Payne)
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.
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.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can’t wait to form new partnerships and work with our Community Partners to bring their project ideas to life!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.”
“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.
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