Have an appetite for additional information?
The Parklets Pilot Committee has pulled together a variety of resources about programs and projects, as well as the projected impacts of our Pilot here in the Playhouse District.
To take a deeper dive into the details, scroll down or click on the icons below:
One of the first (and most influential) reference pieces for our Parklets Team was “Reclaiming the Right of Way” published by the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. This extensive, 173 page guide provides an excellent introduction to Parklets programs throughout North America and includes case study information on programs in San Francisco, Montreal, New York City, Long Beach, and many more.
Parklets - Los Angeles, CA
As the Parklets movement has taken hold in Los Angeles, a number of evaluative studies have been completed.
- Click here to review the Spring Street Parklet Assessment completed by the Luskin School
- Click here to see the LADOT Pilot Project Analysis including “Lessons Learned” from the Sunset Triangle Plaza and four parklets in El Sereno, Highland Park and Downtown Los Angeles
Parklets - New York City
Check out the time lapse video (above) capturing “A Day in the Life of the Local Street Seat”. And click here if you’d like to review the evaluation of New York City's “Curbside Seating” Pilot.
From Highway-to-Neighborhood - Livermore, CA
Livermore, California – located 45 miles to the east of San Francisco - faced a problem that was very similar to our situation in the Playhouse District. Their downtown was dominated by a “former highway” that disrupted the commercial corridor and overall quality of life for residents and businesses.
The solution? They turned a four-lane highway into a two-lane pedestrian focused commercial district with amenities that solidified the community’s historic roots.
The results? Nearly 200 new businesses with almost 1,000 net new jobs. Commercial vacancy rates fell from 26% (when the program began) to only 9% today.
Traffic & Safety
As you probably know, Colorado Boulevard was originally engineered as a highway (the former Route 66) but now – with the 210 freeway now running less than ½ mile to the north – Colorado in the Playhouse District has become an attractive arts-oriented retail area. As the Editorial Board of the Pasadena Star-News characterizes the Boulevard, it's now "...the shopping and dining and strolling heart of the city."
In too much of a hurry for all that? You'll be able to slide over one block to Union and Green, two one-way streets that are specifically designed to move cars from one end of town to another. However, if you’d prefer to stay on the Boulevard and enjoy the sights, the Pasadena Department of Transportation (DOT) estimates that rush hour travelers will only experience a mere 18-second delay getting across town.
In the most recent data available (2012), California’s Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) ranked Pasadena as the 2nd worst city for Pedestrians Killed or Injured among 56 cities with comparable populations!
Here's a view of Pasadena's rankings in this most recent OTS study:
This heat map [below] illustrates Pasadena Pedestrian Collisions between 2008–2012 in our downtown area - and you can click here if you’d like to explore Pasadena’s current traffic safety records.
Back-In Angled Parking
The City of Pasadena has also proposed Back-In Angled Parking (BIAP) for this 5 block stretch of Colorado Boulevard to promote safety as well as fluid automobile traffic movement on the street.
While you may have not yet seen it personally, BIAP is actually much simpler to execute than parallel parking and (compared to traditional head-in angled parking) it’s much easier to exit the space by “nosing out” into the traffic flow rather than backing out blindly.
Pasadena Back-In Angled Parking Sign
Vista Street between Sierra Madre and Rosemead Blvd.
Pasadena first implemented BIAP in 2014 with a block on Vista Street between Sierra Madre and Rosemead Blvd. If you have a chance to check it out, you'll see that the change was supported only by the simple signage shown above and people have easily adopted the approach.
Building on that success, the design has also been put into operation on a block face within the Civic Center (on Garfield, south of Walnut in front of the Police Department).
Back-In Angled Parking it’s now considered to be the current “Best Practice” across the United States and it’s been successfully implemented in cities such as Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Seattle and Ventura as well as in states including Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Ohio, Montana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington and more!
Here's an introductory video (2:24) that further explains how this works...
The Parklets Pilot Committee has also gathered a baseline of data to reflect the current conditions, including: Pedestrian and Cyclist Counts as well as Business Activity and Property Values. After the program launches, we plan to evaluate changes in these key measures, along with surveys of Parklet users, resident attitudes and business attitudes.
Some additional information about these metrics is provided below…
To demonstrate the growing level of pedestrian activity within the Playhouse District, the PDA regularly conducts an assessment of pedestrian traffic volumes (evaluated by both day-of-week and time-of-day).
To evaluate the impact this Pilot has on local businesses, we’ll be relying on two sources of data. Aggregated sales tax by geographic area provided by the City of Pasadena as well as the experiences of individual retailers located in the neighborhood.
At the heart of the Parklets project, it's about creating "a sense of place" - an environment where people will go "to" instead of "through." While it’s near impossible to put a price tag on the Quality-of-Life benefits that these sorts of enhancements bring to bear, nearly every municipality seeks to measure the economic value of placemaking initiatives in the affected neighborhoods.
The Moody’s /RCS CPPI® Index reflects a suite of transaction-based data sets that objectively measure the change in commercial property prices. As you can see on this chart, the impact of walkability on real estate $-values couldn't be clearer! Starting in 2006 the walkable Central Business District neighborhoods take off to build a lead that is shy of twice the Suburban Car Dependent alternative! You can play with the variables yourself at the Real Capital Analytics website. Choose "RCA & Walk Score CPPI" in the first column - then pick your comparative variables in the right column.
Also, worth noting:
- The Economic Promise of Walkable Places in Metropolitan Washington, DC researched by Christopher Leinberger and Mariela Alfonzo and published by the Brookings Institution
- Economic Effects of Traffic Calming on Urban Small Business on Valencia Street in San Francisco