BTD clarifies parklet plans

September 12, 2012
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Contrary to a previous announcement, the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) will not hold a one-day trial for a parklet on Tremont Street this month.

Instead, the city is allowing community members to claim parking spaces as temporary parklets on Sept. 21 as part of a movement separate from the City’s program, called Park(ing) Day.

The City’s parklet program is expected to create a semi-permanent parklet in Mission Hill next year.

BTD spokesperson Rachel Szakmary had previously said during a community meeting to discuss the City’s parklet program that a one-day parklet trial would take place in Mission Hill on Sept. 21.

Sept. 21 observes “Park(ing) Day”, an international movement to reclaim parking spaces as temporary public parks for a day. Traditionally, community members create temporary parks or beaches from lawn furniture, towels, planters, umbrellas or similar equipment. It does not appear that Mission Hill has ever had a parklet before.

Park(ing) Day pop-up parklets need to be permitted through BTD, BTD spokesperson Tracy Ganiatsos told the Gazette. No permits have been issued yet.

Park(ing) Day has been observed in Boston since 2008, Ganiatsos said. BTD has helped groups file for their permits, even though it “does not have any sort of official position,” she added.

The City plan for formal parklets will create a parklet on Tremont Street in front of Lilly’s Gourmet Pasta Express at 1528 Tremont St. next year. The parklet would remain on site, occupying two 2-hour parking spaces, from March through November.

A parklet is a small, semi-permanent public space that resembles a deck, created from two to three parking spaces. It may include tables and chairs, bicycle parking or planters, among other options.

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