Parklet to cost up to $25K

June 14, 2013
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Mission Hill’s parklet could cost as much as $25,000, according to the Boston Transportation Department (BTD).

Each of the four parklets in the City’s pilot program is expected to cost “anywhere between $15,000 and $25,000,” for a total as high as $100,000, BTD spokesperson Tracey Ganiatsos told the Gazette. That will include the design and review process, fabrication and installation, she said.

The information was finally released to the Gazette after a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was filed with BTD, following months of requests for more information.

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.

Mission Hill is slated to get one of Boston’s first four parklets on Tremont Street. It is expected to be in place by July and it will take up two parking spaces.

While the City is paying for the parklet’s design and construction, maintenance and daily care will fall under the purview of community partners. In Mission Hill’s case, that will be Mike’s Donuts and Lilly’s Gourmet Pasta Express at 1524 and 1528 Tremont St.

If the pilot parklets are well-received, any future parklets will be wholly financed by the city’s community partners. Budget was not discussed during public meetings, hence the Gazette’s FOIA request.

The two design firms were chosen from five applicants last October through a competitive bidding process, Ganiatsos said.

The project was first brought up to Mission Hill residents at a BTD-organized meeting held last July. No other large-scale, widely-advertised public meetings were held in Mission Hill. One more community meeting is planned for June 27 at 6 p.m. at 1534 Tremont St.

According to Mission Hill Coordinator for the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services Shaina Aubourg, a community meeting was held recently to discuss design options for the parklet. The Gazette was not informed of that meeting. She said she has also flyered the immediate neighborhood with information on the project.

BTD Director of Planning Vineet Gupta told the Gazette last summer that a community design advisory meeting would be scheduled after a designer was selected that fall, though the Gazette was never notified of such a meeting.

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