The Menino administration's going forward with a plan for several parklets next spring, patio-like little parks carved out of one to three existing parking spaces. They are due to pop up in the South End as well as probably in Jamaica Plain, Mission Hill, Allston and Chinatown, too. The city will pay for the first parklets, estimated to cost $12,000 each, and then ask nearby businesses to pitch in. Along with parklets will come pocket parks, where street spots that seem a little pointless (you know the kind—traffic triangles that everyone ignores anyway, grooves that have nothing but gravel in them...) will be filled in. With what? Like with the parklets, with chairs and tables and delightful people sipping fashionable drinks! Have you been to New York recently and seen the tables and chairs and tourists in Times Square? That.
This comes as monarchical Mayor Menino declares that "the car is no longer king in Boston" and as both parking and gas stations remain holy grails downtown (there can be more than one holy grail for our metaphorical purposes). Indeed, the former's harder to find, with tow truck companies often in cahoots with local merchants, and the latter's simply disappearing. Drivers are getting squeezed then from two sides, right on out of the city proper it would seem. On one side is a city government keen on mimicking San Francisco and New York in green initiatives (nothing wrong with that, we think) and businesses keen on promoting downtown Boston as a place where you come for long stretches and have to engage with (nothing wrong with that either). We just hope the car goes quietly, flees in the night for asylum in some other domain. Worcester, maybe?
· Boston Looks to Transform Parking Spots Into Small Parks [Globe]
· The Incredibly Shrinking Boston Gas Station [Curbed Boston]
· Where Not to Park in Allston, Brighton, South End, North End [Curbed Boston]