connect / 2016

Spring Street Parklets

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Historic Core BID

Spark face-to-face connections and cultural engagement through technology-equipped public parklets in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles.

Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?

LA City Councilmember Jose Huizar

Please describe your project proposal.

Our proposal is to build new technology-equipped public parklets on Spring Street, and enhance the two original pilot parklets. Strategically located adjacent to DTLA hotspots like Guisados and The Last Bookstore, the parklets will feature planters, shaded seating, free wifi, charging stations, and spaces for arts and culture programming. With a pledge of matching funds from Councilmember Jose Huizar, the parklets will be designed, built, and maintained by the HCBID and the City of Los Angeles.

Which of the connect metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • Access to free wifi
  • Cultural events
  • Public/open streets gatherings
  • Government responsiveness to residents’ needs
  • Travel time to work
  • Public transit riders
  • Residential segregation

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • Central LA

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to connect?

The Historic Core is Downtown LA’s residential hub, cultural center, and creative crossroads. It is one of the most dense and diverse neighborhoods in the City of Los Angeles with nearly 1:1 market rate and low income housing. Its burgeoning small businesses, restaurants, and cafes set beneath beautiful historic architecture, its tight-knit community of residents and stakeholders, and its transit oriented urban density make it a pioneering location for innovative ideas and policies to plan for the LA of the future.

The new Spring Street parklets will make LA the best place to connect for the tens of thousands of residents, visitors, and commuters that use Spring Street every day in several ways:

  • Public/Open Space: In densely populated DTLA, public open space is an important and scare resource. Projects such as Pershing Square Renew and DTLA Forward seek to maximize public open space for the benefit of our entire community. The Spring Street parklets will add public open space in a critical zone: the residential, bar, and restaurant hub of Spring Street. The parklets will allow Downtowners, visitors, and daytime workers to relax, eat, work, play, and meet one another in beautiful shared space.

  • Cultural Events: Working with cultural organizations such as the monthly Downtown Art Walk, we will coordinate visual and performing arts in the parklets.

  • Technology Connections / Access: Each parklet will be equipped with free public wifi access. This will allow all members of the DTLA community to better connect to their friends, family, work, and information. In particular, this will serve as a vital resource for our numerous residents in low-income housing buildings along Spring Street who may otherwise have difficulty accessing wifi.

  • Transit Efficiency: The parklets are an important feature of Councilmember Jose Huizar’s Spring Street Redesign that will significantly improve traffic flow, relocate public transit stops, create protected bike lanes, and make DTLA overall more pedestrian, bike, and transit friendly.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

Success for this project means a better connected Downtown. It means more face-to-face interactions between community members, more individuals accessing their friends, family, and information through technology, and faster safer travel connections for pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles through Downtown.

• We will document and photograph special events happening at parklets.

  • We will survey parklet users regarding the reasons and frequency of their parklet usage.
  • We will survey locals on the “DTLA” Facebook group (over 14k resident members).
  • We will track the number of unique users accessing the public wifi.
  • We will work with CD14 and LADOT to compare traffic, public transportation ridership, and pedestrian safety data from before and after the Spring Street reconfiguration.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money
  • Publicity/awareness