27 | Put a Bike Corral on it! by keihly moore

There's a strong cycling community the Roslindale neighborhood of Boston. There's also a lack of bike parking in the neighborhood center. After analyzing all the options, our Street Ops group paired up with Roslindale Village Main Street and  Fornax Bread Company, who were already hosting a lovely parklet. 

Before: Cohasset Street before the parklet and bike corral, with very little bike parking.

After: So much more life and usefulness to this street.

There's no parking allowed on this one-way street anyway, so this is a useful and perfect place for the bike corral. 

The Street Ops team won a Boston Society of Architects Foundation grant to help with the cost of materials for the corral. We built the corral over a series of weekends in a backyard. It was refreshing to be able to take our sketches and turn them into reality, learning about means and methods along the way. 

We learned that pavement is very porous, especially when you're trying to bolt something into it. We also designed it so it would fit in a truck and not have to be taken apart. But it's good that it's made of pieces, because that allowed a "breakaway" feature when a moving truck backed into it. The whole corral didn't go down, just 1/2 of one side. It also taught us that we needed higher visibility and a cone. It also turns out that the treads of the pipe are useless when they're bent. Good thing they are easily replaceable. 

The planter box is made of the left over scraps from the herringbone pattern we made on the main walls. I love when the design contributes to the "waste" being used. It was something we realized after looking at all the leftovers. Useful indeed! 

 

26 | Put Polka Dots on it! by keihly moore

By Keihly Moore, by way of City Lab

Put polka dots and flexible bollards on it!

Giving space back to pedestrians in a colorful manner. Image courtesy of CityLab/City of Austin

I was very excited when I read this article, "Polka Dots help pedestrians reclaim space in Austin," by City Lab. Finally! These are the measures we're talking about - simple, relatively low cost additions to our streets that make a big difference in safety, perception, and beauty. With thinking like this, dangerous intersections can be transformed all over the world. I applaud Austin - thanks for taking the lead in creative solutions! 

 

25 | PARK(ing) Day 2015: Fort Point, Boston by keihly moore

Put a parklet on it!

Ngan sits on Bike Not Bomb's smoothie blending bicycle on Congress Street in Fort Point.

Thanks to some generous folks, we pulled off a successfully borrowed and hand-made PARK(ing) Day! The Boston Gardener let us borrow 30+ plants for the day, a new bike-commuter friend lent his van for transporting plants, the Bike Not Bomb's smoothie bicycle (Biciblender) and coworkers at Stantec let us borrow their chairs, umbrellas, rugs, and time! Thanks to Stantec for paying for the moving permit that helped us secure the spot. Thanks to Sketchup, Autocad, and a laser cutter, we made a sturdy cardboard canopy (with recycled-drawing leaves flapping in the wind), as well as a bike-chain-esque mini barrier to define the street edge. 

Thank goodness for the shade of the umbrellas and the donated fruit to power the biciblender bike for 5 HOURS and 160 smoothie servings!

This is my fourth year doing PARK(ing) Day and I learn something every time. 1. You need sidewalk chalk to write messages to steer people into the seats. People don't understand they can really sit there. 2. You need a central activity/something out of the ordinary to pique people's interest and wiliness to stop and investigate. (Free smoothies are perfect for this.) 3. You need plants. No matter what. Their presence transforms space. Just like that. 4. Cardboard is a very versatile material. It's a challenge to work with in some ways, but plentiful in an architecture office, and its useful life should be prolonged for as long as possible. 5. There will always be nay-sayers when it comes to PARK(ing) Day. One neighborhood guy said: You cannot put a park there (as we were cleaning up at 5pm). I said: I just did. (And we had a permit.) Perhaps I should have invited him to take a seat in our shade earlier to convince him. Just brush those guys off. The day positively affected so many people. 6. Watermelon offerings can make amends. 7. People are generous.  8. It's fun giving away things for free and making people happy. 9. Productive work meetings are more pleasant in a parklet. 10. Build it and they will come (again and again, 3 times in one day for some locals down the block).  

24 | Rail Revival in Brooklyn Arts District, Wilmington, NC by keihly moore

By Allen Davis

Put a greenway, pedestrian connection, and revived transit on it!

Before: This abandoned railway corridor in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Wilmington, NC.

This abandoned railway corridor is envisioned as a phased "rails with trails" system (there are 3 phases shown: existing, greenway, and passenger rail). This would connect neighborhoods to a future multimodal transportation center, downtown community college campus and the Cape Fear River. These renderings we used to achieve support for the land to be leased from NCDOT for the greenway, on the condition it not prohibit the use of the corridor for passenger rail service. We hope to be moving from conceptual to detailed design over the next few years and adjusting the land development ordinance to allow greater densities in exchange for fronting directly onto the trail. - Allen Davis

After: Put a pedestrian and bicycle connection on it!

After: Put new transit connections on it!

23 | Public Fridge Poetry! by keihly moore

Put poetry on it!

A few of us from Street Ops devised a Public Fridge Poetry game and here are some shots from our first test run! Next stop - Copley Square! (Most all photos: Allen Penniman) 

Put poetry on it! These guys were diggin it. 

22 | Update! It's Built! by keihly moore

Put (real) stripes and a curb cut on it!

Way back in January 2014, I dreamt of making more obvious a connection that was natural to all those who "jaywalked" across Church Street to their favorite watering hole. Now, thanks to lots of work in the City and advocacy by Scott Curry, the stripes are real! 

After for real: May 2015 - the connection is complete! Put stripes and a curb cut on it! (photo: Dylan McKnight)

I've heard second hand that the image I imagined provided a good start to the conversation and got everyone on the same page for what the crosswalk could look like. It's a spark that started the fire! 

Before: Fall 2013: No midblock crosswalk, despite the obvious beckoning of Latta Arcade.

After (proposed): My vision of what it could look like. 

Yay for getting things done! Thanks to Dylan McKnight who took the current photograph. 

21 | Sneckdowns! by keihly moore

Put snow on it! (To reveal more people space and smaller, safer intersections.)

Summer Street in downtown Boston. 

Summer Street in downtown Boston. 

Summer Street and Lincoln Street. Nice space for a larger pedestrian island, don't you think?

Newbury Street. 

Look at all this pavement that could be used for other purposes! The snow does a lovely job of highlighting the space we don't always notice. Here's a bit on the history of a sneckdown (a term derived from thinking about "necking" down an intersection). The snow makes traffic patterns visible, therefore showing how small an intersection really needs to be. 

What do the sneckdowns in your neighborhood reveal?? Post them on our site!

20 | Bringing dreams to blank walls by keihly moore

Put public art on it!

By Eric Zaverl

Before: Morehead Street Bridge along the light rail 

After: Put art on it!

After: Morehead Street bridge art detail

This mural is inspired by real life heroes of children and their aspirations of following in their footsteps one day. It's about the idea of having a dream and never giving up until you achieve it. The artists are Jeff Thomas and James Helms. 

This is just one way we can create interesting spaces on boring blank walls. Pieces like this only help to get people out walking. 

And how can we make installing public art easier? Why does it have to be so process-intensive? Can Charlotte adopt other public art program policies like Portland to inspire more creative visions on our city's walls? 

19 | PARK(ing) Day is on Friday, September 19th! by keihly moore

Put a park on it!

We are very excited to organize Charlotte's biggest PARK(ing) Day yet! Come on down to Tryon Street on Friday, September 19th from 10am - 6pm and come enjoy the mini-parks sprinkled up and down Tryon Street. They are between the Mint Museum and Discovery Place, about 1 per block. YOU will get to vote on your favorite park! Also keep an eye out for Little Free Libraries the teams are making! They will be donated to surrounding neighborhoods on Saturday September 20th. The Library will be stocking them with books, so if you have any extra books sitting around bring them by and take a book home!

Map of teams + locations

Here is a list of the organizers and participants.

These are the guidelines that the teams must follow - they help make a vibrant, interesting public space!

18 | Parklet for Price's Chicken Coop on Camden Road by Aleksandra Borisenko

Put a parklet, on-street parking, and trees on it!

By Aleksandra Borisenko

Before: Price's Chicken Coop is a very popular lunch spot in Charlotte. There's no seating for patrons to eat their lunch and most folks eat their food on the embankment of the light rail tracks or in their cars. At the same time, Camden Road is an unnecessarily wide street for a two-lane road. This provides an excellent opportunity to add an outdoor dining parklet and on-street parking. 

After: Price's Chicken Coop's new parklet provides a much-needed seating for patrons and helps make the Camden Road an inviting place for pedestrians and cyclists. 

17 | Bike Corral + Parklet in South End by keihly moore

Put a bike corral, parklet, planter, and street tree on it!

By Keihly Moore

Before: Just another parking space in front of Queen City Bicycles in South End on E. Park Ave. 

After: Put a parklet and bike corral on it! 

There's always a need for more public seating and bike racks in South End, especially now that food trucks and gallery openings are no longer a well-kept hot-spot secret, drawing hundreds of folks. Why circle the block multiple times looking for parking when you can roll up on two wheels right next to your destination? Why not extend the sidewalk into more of a patio/front porch style social experience? 

16 | Parklet on N Tryon Street by Aleksandra Borisenko

Put a parklet on it! 

By Aleksandra Borisenko

Before: A pull-off area for cars in front of the Foundation for the Carolinas and the Knight Foundation provides a unique opportunity to create a useful and enjoyable place for people. 

Before: A pull-off area for cars in front of the Foundation for the Carolinas and the Knight Foundation provides a unique opportunity to create a useful and enjoyable place for people. 

After: Parklet Option A. This parklet with cafe seating and a landscaping wall makes N Tryon Street a more inviting place for pedestrian. 

After: Parklet Option A. This parklet with cafe seating and a landscaping wall makes N Tryon Street a more inviting place for pedestrian. 

After: Parklet Option B. This parklet includes an attractive canopy shelter, a low wall and a variety of seating options. 

After: Parklet Option B. This parklet includes an attractive canopy shelter, a low wall and a variety of seating options. 

15 | Dress up the Skyline at Romare Bearden Park by keihly moore

Put a mural on it! 

By Dylan McKnight

Before: Skyline view standing in Romare Bearden Park. 

After: Make the skyline more colorful!

Standing in Uptown Charlotte’s new multi-million dollar Romare Bearden Park, the beautiful skyline is obstructed by the view of a large parking deck.  Put a mural on it!  Urban wall art can revitalize blank walls in the city and provide unexpected color and culture around every corner.

14 | Rama Road in front of Rama Elementary School by keihly moore

Put a multi-use path, planted median, gateway, and nice flowers on it!

By Keihly Moore

Before: Rama Road in front of the Elementary. Notice what you run into when you cross the road to go to school. 

After: Take four 12' lanes and bring more diversity to the street with an 8' multi-use path on both sides, planted median where no one is turning, and create an interesting gateway into the school, creating an easy connection.

The street is designed for speeds higher than the posted speed limit. As a result, vehicles move fast and it's uncomfortable to walk along the road, much less bicycle, or cross the street. With two schools on this stretch of road, which is bordered by many neighborhoods, it's especially important to build walking/cycling infrastructure so families can increase their health by walking and reducing the traffic on the street. 

Instead of four 12' lanes with two 6' sidewalks on either side (and no buffer), why not design two 11.5' travel lanes with a 13' planted median/turn lane,  4' planted buffer, and 8' multi-use trail? These new improvements fit into the existing ROW. We must strive to increase the diversity of the street users, to make the quality of life better for all. 

13 | Monroe Road Street Fix by Aleksandra Borisenko

Put a planted median, on-street parking, street trees, multi-use path, pedestrian crossing and urban housing on it! 

by Aleksandra Borisenko

Before: Monroe road is a 4-lane road that lacks infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists. The two-story apartments will soon be demolished and they will be replaced by a new multi-use development. 

Before: Monroe road is a 4-lane road that lacks infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists. The two-story apartments will soon be demolished and they will be replaced by a new multi-use development. 

After: With the new development, there's a fantastic opportunity re-imagine Monroe Road as a more attractive and safe street for different modes of transportation. A planted median and on-street parking can help the road feel more intimate and make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists to cross. A generous multi-use path provides a much needed infrastructure for residents to get to the new development and surrounding neighborhoods by foot or on bicycles.  

After: With the new development, there's a fantastic opportunity re-imagine Monroe Road as a more attractive and safe street for different modes of transportation. A planted median and on-street parking can help the road feel more intimate and make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists to cross. A generous multi-use path provides a much needed infrastructure for residents to get to the new development and surrounding neighborhoods by foot or on bicycles.  

12 | Bike/pedestrian Bridge across Independence Blvd by Aleksandra Borisenko

Put a bike/pedestrian bridge on it! 

by Scott Adams

Before: no street connectivity across the Independence Blvd between Pecan Ave and Briar Creek Rd (distance of 1.3 miles).

After: potential location for bike/pedestrian bridge on Westover St. Create a bike/pedestrian bridge that shortens the biking/walking dsitance between Chantilly and Commonwealth Park/Plaza-Midwood (indicated by thick red line). Given its distance from Pecan Ave (.4miles) and Briar Creek Rd (.9 miles), this pedestrian connection would provide a shorter route that improves access between the neighborhoods and Veterans Park. Other locations that were studied (indicated by dashed red lines) are limited by narrow width of the right-of-way

This idea for pedestrian bridge was submitted by Scott Adams, a urban planner who resides and works in Charlotte. Check out Scott's blog: http://citycentriccharlotte.blogspot.com/ 

11 | Can't go around it, so let's go under it by keihly moore

Put a tunnel connection, raised crosswalk, and lights on it!

by Scott Curry

Before: The railroad tracks in Davidson sit atop a berm on the east side of Jackson Street and separate Davidson’s historic downtown from the east side neighborhoods and Roosevelt Wilson Park. Residents in this area have already made attempts to formalize a pedestrian crossing by laying mulch over a worn dirt path.   

After: A new pedestrian underpass and raised crosswalk on Jackson Street connects the pedestrian alleys in downtown Davidson to the greenway at Roosevelt Wilson Park and offers a safe and attractive connection to the isolated neighborhood on the other side of the tracks.

This idea for bridging between downtown Davidson and nearby neighborhoods was rendered and submitted by Scott Curry, a planner and urban designer at the Lawrence Group in Davidson, NC.

10 | Adaptive Reuse in Wilmington, NC by keihly moore

Put sidewalk dining, art and a new business on it!

by Allen Davis

Before: This building is just one example of a good adaptive reuse potential. (It's currently state-owned for a future transit center.) But it could be other things too... 

After: Put sidewalk dining, public art, and new business on the street.

This concept for encouraging the adaptive reuse of older buildings by permitting breweries in certain parts of Wilmington, NC was submitted by Allen Davis, an urban designer for Wilmington. 

9 | 4th Street Extended Mystery Road Improvements by keihly moore

Put a buffered bike lane, street trees and flowers on it!

by Keihly Moore

Before: I'm not sure what the plans are for this "street diet" but I hope they look like the following.

After: Take up that extra lane space and give the bikes and pedestrians more of a buffer. Adding trees and plants will create more enclosure and encourage cars to drive slower. It will also beautify the environment, creating a more attractive gateway into Uptown and Wesley Heights.