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Updated: Huizar to Pitch Highland 'Parklets' at City Council Friday

The innovative street design, which as been under consideration in Highland Park for months, will get pitched at City Hall on Friday.

Updated: Huizar to Pitch Highland 'Parklets' at City Council Friday

A small group of local artists, architects and engineers have spent the last eight months designing, pitching and redesigning Los Angeles' first "parklets," mini plazas that would convert parking spaces into public seating areas.

During Friday's meeting of the Los Angeles City Council, local councilmember José Huizar will put his political muscle behind the effort.

According to City News Service, Huizar and fellow councilmember Jan Perry will introduce a motion calling upon "relevant city departments to assist with demonstration projects under development in Highland Park and El Sereno."

Highland Park's proposed parklets were chosen as a short term project by community members through Huizar's "New York" Vision Plan, an effort to catalyze the mini business boom that has occurred along York Boulevard.

The Parklets, which were first voted on by community members in January, would transform a public parking spot into fenced-off mini-park, which would include tables, seating and public art.

Currently, no parklets exists in Los Angeles, but have been implemented in San Francisco and New York.

Parklets proponents say they would encourage foot traffic along York Boulevard, which would benefit business. However, opponents say the parklets would quickly be taken over by the area's homeless.

Update:

Cathi Milligan, owner of the Glass Studio on York Boulevard and a participant in the "new York" vision planning process, addressed some of the concerns about the parklets in the comments section below.

Here are her comments:

"As a participant of this project I have to correct a couple of the things mentioned. This will also address the concerns with John's comments. First, we made it understood that we would find locations that did not take a parking space since we all agreed parking is very much needed on the boulevard. Second, the seating design that has been proposed would not allow a homeless person to lie down on it. It just wouldn't be comfortable and a person could not fit on the surface. These are important points because these issues have been addressed in a slow and thoughtful manner. I too have a business on York, in the same block as the bike corral and the proposed "parklet" and I welcome the innovation and change that is coming to the boulevard."

The Los Angeles City Council meets at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 16, in the John Ferraro Council Chamber in room 340 of City Hall, on 200 N. Spring Street.

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