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‘Take Back the Boulevard’ Celebrates PARKing Day (VIDEO)

For eight hours on Friday, two metered parking spaces on Colorado Boulevard were turned into Eagle Rock’s first parklet.

Members of the Take Back the Boulevard steering committee celebrated PARK(ing) Day on Friday by taking over two metered parking spaces on the southeast corner of Colorado Boulevard and Eagle Rock Boulevard and converting the space into a temporary parklet from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Eagle Rock residents and TBTB members Allen Compton and Chloé Renée Ziegler, accompanied by Occidental College Adjunct Professor and Policy Director of Urban & Environmental Policy Institute Mark Vallianatos, camped out in chairs and sipped coffee under the shade of umbrellas in the first two parking spaces roughly opposite Dave’s Chillin-n-Grillin.

The spaces were paved with Astroturf and several planters loaned by Swork owner Patricia Neale Vuagniaux served as an aesthetic barrier from the traffic whizzing past. A similar celebration was underway on York Boulevard in Highland Park.

Except for the business owner of Michele’s, a hair salon next to Dave’s deli, nobody appeared to be ticked off by the makeshift parklet, which not only happened to be the first of its kind in Eagle Rock but coincided with the historic flight of the Endeavour space shuttle overhead. “Why don’t you do this in the back?” the irate entrepreneur complained, evidently objecting to the loss of two parking spaces that might have been occupied by potential customers.

Just what kind of impact, whether positive or negative, the parklet had on local business is hard to say. But this much was clear: The city didn’t lose any parking revenues. The PARK(ing) Day activists dutifully fed the parking meters for the entire eight hours they were camped.

Click here to read more about PARK(ing) Day and Take Back the Boulevard.

EagleRockMom September 23, 2012 at 12:43 PM
@Rebecca and Severin I am all for making Colorado and Eagle Rock Boulevards more pedestrian friendly. I often walk with my family to patronize local businesses and I do experience a bit of stress every time we must cross the street at this intersection. And even if I come off as being critical of PARKing Day, I do appreciate those of you who are working to make Eagle Rock a safer place.
Bob Arranaga September 23, 2012 at 03:41 PM
As a member of TBTB, there are some facts that need to be known. This one day example of what a Parklet could look like was discussed ahead of time and the direclty affected businesses were alerted. There was one parking space taken, not two. The corner was picked due to its visibility to create a community awareness and it did create it. The committee checked with the City for any issues or concerns. Parklets are only one component of the TBTB, and it came to fruition because of the success of a parklet in Silver Lake. As a committee, we took a chance to create conversation with the local community. The idea of a parklet at this location in the future is not a good idea and there are other, less traveled areas that could be considered. Your comments all admit to the traffic being a factor and another component is to reduce speed on Colorado. Along with Swork, Dave's also did business as we bought our lunches from him. TBTB is working towards solutions from your input and you have spoken....and may continue to speak on this thread. Our intent was to educate and not to offend.
Bob G September 23, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Well said Bob Arranaga. One more point - all of the merchants potentially impacted - Swork, Beautiful Flowers, Michele's Salon and Dave's Chillin and Grillin were all totally supportive of the demo parklet. An additional plus was a visit from Jacob who owns the building where Dave's place is located. Jacob is very enthusiastic and supportive of the goals of TBTB. Finally, a big thanks to Swork, Sir Michaels and Collaborative Eagle Rock Beautiful for all pitching in to help TBTB stage this demo parklet for one day.
Ajay Singh September 23, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Thanks for correcting my error, Bob—the parklet occupied one parking space, not two—although the entire spread did somehow give the fitting illusion that two spaces were used.
Rebecca October 03, 2012 at 06:14 AM
This is so cool! Wow Eagle Rock definitely rocks! Thinking outside of the box is what makes the city great. We're in escrow on a house in the neighborhood and look forward to moving to the greatest partk of L.A. very soon. THANK YOU TAKE BACK THE BOULEVARD! I love parks and I love this idea. It looks like you thought about the businesses and are really putting a lot of effort into making a better place for everyone.

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