The Glenridge Parklet has received approval by the council to to go up in May.
KATE ALBRIGHT/ FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL

Earlier this week, we reported on the plans for the Montclair parklets  this summer. 

A “parklet” – a mini-temporary park that can fit in any on-street parking space – offers a quiet spot for people to gather and sit in areas where green space is lacking. The parklets are part of a larger effort to make downtown areas more centered around people rather than vehicles, but can be controversial as parklets take up much needed parking places.

Last year two, one on Glenridge Avenue and one on Walnut Street were up for about a month. At the March 5 council meeting, council members approved the Glenridge Parklet, which will be up for about six months, but the parklet on Walnut Street was not approved. Parklet proponents say they brought the community together, encouraged walking and offered up culture through its art and music events. 

Read the story here and then we want to know what you think! What do you think Montclair should do? Let us know by voting in our poll below and by leaving a comment in our comment section at the bottom of the page.

How do you feel about Montclair's parklets?

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6 COMMENTS

  1. It won’t let me vote viewing on mobile

    I’d vote “I love them.” I thought it was wonderful to watch neighbors construct them Every time I went by, people were using them and intrracting. I met and talked to new people.

  2. …Streets have historically served as the heart of civic life where the exchange of goods, ideas and conversation occurred.

    …35% of Montclair is comprised of streets supported by public tax dollars paid for by all residents.

    …currently, streets serve the sole purpose of maximizing the movement and storage the private automobile above all.

  3. Montclair is a beautiful town, but it is one that has many problems. One of these is that it is a town that is centered around the car and not people and place. That said — it is a town that could be and should be a leader in making livable places. We have a master plan designed with broad citizen input and support to make just such a place with bike lanes, traffic calming devices, parklets, and other important proposals. We have great forward thinking placemaking organizations like Bike Walk Montclair who with deep and broad community support are proposing and developing urban strategies that have been demonstrated numerous times across North America to be highly effective and follow in the spirit of these master plans.

    One of the most critical of these visionary strategies are parklets. The walnut street parklet is a key part of a long term vision, it is not something that can be judged after one year. We need to all be visionary leaders that see how public space is needed in the middle of urban blocks as catalysts for new practices and mindsets. It is not enough to have nearby parks — these are not the same thing — the walnut street parklet was a breath of difference, joy, community, and traffic calming in the middle of a busy street. Nor is reasonable to be stymied by the accusation of it being unfair to certain businesses — that is an easily fixed problem — solved countless times over by other communities.

    This parklet matters, it changed people’s behaviors — it led to many spontaneous events — music, conversation, hanging out and slowing down. These are qualitative changes that need to be given time and the support to multiply — joining many other endeavors.

    As a citizen and professor at Montclair State who teaches on urban placemaking — it is profoundly disheartening to see such visionary actions by communities being censored by the town. Montclair is a place that we the citizens are making things better and we call upon the council to show the same visionary leadership as its citizens, and community organizations — let us all work together using this one parklet — and all the other visionary and pragmatic ideas put forth in our democratically developed master plan towards a place we can all proudly call home — please reconsider your actions in light of the significance of the impact that this parklet can make.

    Sincerely,

    Iain Kerr

  4. the town and parklet stakeholders need to collect data in order to make informed decision based on evidence and not emotion.

  5. They are dangerous and take up valuable parking spaces. I will not support any business associated with a parklet. The first year the parklet was on GR Avenue…I had to sit with a woman that almost hit the parklet. She was totally distraught and was afraid to drive. Montclair used to be a wonderful town. People are moving here from NY and are then trying to turn it into Brooklyn. I would like to maintain the beautiful town I love so much and parklets are not part of that vision.

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