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L.A. City Council Approves First ‘Parklets’

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles City Council Friday approved a proposal to create more green spaces across the city.

The public spaces dubbed “parklets” aim to extend the width of sidewalks into the street for public seating, gardens, bike parking or other uses.

The City Council voted 10-0 to approve construction of the four “parklets.” Two of them will go up on Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles, a third in El Sereno and the fourth in Highland Park.

“It creates a place where people want to shop. A place where people want to spend time where maybe they’ll notice that new store and it also creates a safer street,” said Steve Cancian of Living Streets LA at a meeting Friday.

Louisa Hodge, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, said the parklets would be no more than six-feet from the curb in 20-foot increments or less.

“I’m really excited because the projects on Spring Street are going to be the first active recreation parklets actually in the country,” said Madeline Brozen of Complete Streets Initiative.

The project, which was created by the downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, has received funding from UCLA and legislative support from Councilmember Jose Huizar.

“I’m very proud to say with the people here in Council District 14, we are embracing the Complete Streets philosophy,” said Huizar, who introduced a motion to move the project forward.

“This is really a new day in L.A. where years from now people will no longer say ‘no one walks in LA.’ They’ll actually say, ‘we not only walk, but we sit down and share coffee with our neighbors right out there in our parklet,'” Cancian said.

Hodge reported that the goal is to have the parklets up and running by the end of the year.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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