Transforming Glendon Avenue and Westwood Village.
By Keldine Hull
While some cities in California may have paved paradise and put up a parking lot, Westwood Village is doing the exact opposite and changing some of those parking spots into parklets. With six parklets throughout Los Angeles, 1010 Glendon Avenue is slated to be the next location for a future parklet.
The Westwood Village Improvement Association partnered with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation People St Program for the proposal, and once approved, four parking meters outside the Ministry of Coffee will be replaced with the new parklet.
Executive Director for the Westwood Village Improvement Association Andrew Thomas offers some insight into why a parklet would be a positive addition to Westwood Village. “The purpose for creating parklets is to create space for people in a space that had been previously for the exclusive use of cars,” Thomas begins. “Parklets are gathering spots that serve to foster community and enhance the pedestrian environment. In Westwood, we are particularly excited about our proposed parklet at 1010 Glendon because this particular location has a lot of pedestrian activity but with limited places to congregate.” Thomas continues, “We think the parklet can be a big hit here for people who want to eat, have coffee, or just hang out with friends.”
Funding for the parklet will come from Westwood stakeholders and businesses who hope to raise $40,000 and have the parklet up and running in six months to a year. If the success of the other existing parklets is any indication of what’s to come, Westwood Village visitors have something new to look forward to.
“We’ve heard positive feedback about all parklets in the City. I haven’t heard of a downside yet,” Thomas explains. “Of course, any change will be met with questions and some level of concern. This is fair. But it’s important to remember that parklets are temporary. If they don’t meet expectations, they can easily return to being a parking space.” Part of a bigger initiative to reinvigorate Westwood Village and its surrounding businesses, parklets are only just the beginning towards a more community-focused future. “We plan to continue to do everything possible to enhance Westwood Village as a great destination in our community,” Thomas continues. “Our organization has worked very hard to make our district clean, safe and beautiful. This work never ends, and we are also focused on addressing regulatory challenges that have made leasing difficult in our district. We want our district to welcome great businesses that want to open in our community. We have some really terrific destinations, and we would like to add more.”