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.