The Best Pedestrian Rest Areas are “Docking” in Parking Spaces

Little parklets are those exciting hacks of previous parking spaces morphing into things that well, ordinary people walking around can use. And one of the finest hacks as reported in City Lab is this absolutely brilliant reuse of a 24 foot sailboat now docked in a  Ballard neighbourhood street outside a Seattle donut shop.

You are looking at the Endurance, which now “ only ‘floats’ on the road,” says Megan Helmer, a public-arts enthusiast whose husband founded the donut shop. “The keel has been removed, and the base of the hull cut and placed on cedar decking.”

Seattle actually has a City Department of Neighbourhoods that provides grants for such endeavours. With additional crowd sourced funding, Mighty-O Donuts and community volunteers began constructing the parklet.” 

“The Mighty-O parklet is a great example of what SDOT’s parklet programis all about,” says Brian Henry at the transportation department’s Public Space Management Program. “They brought the community together to talk about what kind of public space should be created, and designed something that reflects Ballard’s maritime character and history. It shows how a neighborhood business can lead the way in enhancing the public realm, and creating more space for people.”

Seattle now has nine parklets that have developed in the last four years.  This parket came after  “onethat encouraged leisurely reading with nearby “little free libraries” and another where people could paint stuff on a board with water and watch it evaporateto “witness the sobering truth that nothing in life lasts forever.”

 Each one of these ideas is so wonderfully perfect.