Home NEWS Local Scene Locals Move Into Lafayette Parklets – And Bring Their Dogs

Locals Move Into Lafayette Parklets – And Bring Their Dogs

A parklet built in Lafayette years ago. Archive Photo: Pamela Dunn

Not since the Great Camino Pablo Speed Bump Controversy has such a topic captivated the NEWS24/680 readership – a move to push out from the sidewalk and attract pedestrians to a series of downtown mini-parks (parklets) built atop space formerly reserved for cars.

Pamela Dunn
Pamela Dunn

A host of people questioned the idea – pioneered with some success in other parts of the country and our own Bay Area – and they raised concerns here about safety, noise, and traffic fumes.

Reader Pamela Dunn was curious, too, and she took her camera downtown for a firsthand glimpse at how the parklets (one in front of Panache, one in front of El Jarro) were doing. The one outside Panache was fully decked and had attracted people (and one very sleepy pup) in search of morning coffee and a place to talk. Its sister parklet had some work left to do on it – but it had a heater and seating waiting to go.

Pamela Dunn
Pamela Dunn

Pamela’s photos are notable for several reasons: first, she captured the Panache pup in mid-yawn; people completely happy in a space formerly reserved for SUVs; and a photo with absolutely no traffic present. We mean, that shot looks almost post-apocalyptic, there’s hardly a car in sight.

Asked if they had any concerns about traffic one of the Breakfast Ladies responded: “No one’s hit us yet!”

We don’t have the nice ladies’ (and the pup, don’t forget the pup) names – perhaps they’ll check in. But Pamela said their concerns about traffic noise and fumes were not realized – at least when they were there – and that all in all the experience was a pleasant one for them.

How about you?

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  1. That puppy is totally unimpressed! Looks like they are having a good time but is there anything else of a protective nature between them and cars parking or passing on Diablo???

  2. You could get about 600 dollars a month for that space in this rental market. Even without a bathroom space.

  3. You do not Kenny :). The meters were removed for the pilot project to prevent errant transactions.

    I’ve seen some meter conversions where meters can be used for donations to local charity. I think something like that could be neat if Lafayette ends up with a long-term parklet and that could be accommodated equipment-wise.

  4. Haha! Thanks, Adam! I was joking and since the meter was still in place – and we’re so used to plonking coins and cards into them – that we’d have to continue. Like the charity idea, perhaps it could also pump out espresso? It would be nice to get something back!! Hope the experiment works because we believe in trying new ideas. If you are keeping count you can put me down as in favor of monthly? block closures so pedestrians can roam from one side of the street to the other without fear. I do favor that European approach. Good luck!!

  5. I’d give one of these a shot if there was a little more protection than a deck railing and a potted plant. We’ve seen some pretty drastic examples of driver doing crazy things on our roads and I’d hate to end up under someone’s Tahoe.

  6. Around these parts people crash their cars into buildings on a fairly regular basis so in my mind you stand a fair chance of getting hit either way, might as well take your chances outside.

  7. I love this. The one by Panache should become permanent, possibly expand the sidewalk and eliminate these parking spaces which are located in the middle of the intersection. In my opinion this improves an unsafe situation, adds more room for pedestrians on the sidewalk, and hopefully will help the adjacent businesses.

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