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Downtown will get parklets to attract more foot traffic

Downtown businesses will provide tables and seating inside parklets.
A prototype of a parklet being tested in a parking spot outside of Crackpots on Main St.

Longmont will place 30 parklets in the downtown area in May in an effort to make it easier for pedestrians and shoppers to spread out and safely enjoy Main Street, the city council decided Tuesday night.

Council members unanimously voted to place the 5-by-20-foot parklets in parking lanes with supporting barricades separating them from traffic, Kimberlee McKee, executive director of the Longmont Downtown Development Authority, or LDDA, told the council. The parklets will go up along Main Street at designated points between Second and Sixth avenues, McKee said.

The locations were picked based on LDDA business and public needs surveys conducted in the fall of 2020 and from follow up meetings with Main Street businesses, according to a city staff report.

The $300,000 project is funded through a $150,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation and $150,000 from the LDDA, the city staff report states.

Parklets build off of last year’s lane closure plan on Main Street, implemented to help downtown businesses attract more foot traffic in the midst of COVID-19 restrictions, McKee said.

“I really do think this is a good idea,” said Councilmember Polly Christensen, adding she was still leery that the parklets could not be accessed by the elderly and disabled.

City Manager Harold Dominguez said the parklets would include accessibility. There will still be four lanes of traffic down Main Street, Phil Greenwald, Longmont’s transportation planning manager, said.

Parklets will include single and shared outdoor seating with social distancing, the city staff report states. Local businesses will provide tables and the seating. 

The parklets will be aluminium and can be moved to different locations according to demand, McKee said. Local artists will be used to beautify the parklets, which will be placed along Main Street from May 15 to October 31.