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Public Post is a community reporting initiative using digital tools to report on cities and towns across Vermont.Public Post is the only resource that lets you browse and search documents across dozens of Vermont municipal websites in one place.Follow reporter Amy Kolb Noyes and #PublicPost on Twitter and read news from the Post below.

From Parking Spots To Micro-Parks In Montpelier

Eric Risberg
Parklets, or micro-parks, like this one in San Francisco, can enhance the downtown experience for pedestrians and cyclists.

Montpelier's downtown streets are lined with metered vehicle parking spots, but places to park oneself for a while are few and far between. That's the sentiment behind Montpelier Alive's pilot parklet program.

Never heard of a parklet? Here's what the project description has to say:

A parklet is the temporary use of space in the dedicated public right-of- way (primarily in parking spaces) for public and private use, primarily as additional seating areas for retail patrons, citizens and visitors. Parklets are privately constructed and maintained for customers or the general public.

According to Montpelier Alive, parklets have been successful in major metropolitan areas such as Montreal, San Francisco and Philadelphia. And now Montpelier is taking applications for parklets to be permitted for a two-year pilot project.

If this all sounds familiar, that's because the Capital City first decided to undertake the parklet project last spring. However, the project hit a snag in the state permitting process. The new call for proposals explains, "A number of great proposals were submitted and accepted for the summer of 2013 but installation was hindered by the approval process with the Vermont Department of Liquor Control and so they were never constructed."

Montpelier Alive says it has four parking spaces available for parklet proposals this spring. The parklets may be designated for use by a neighboring business or may be open to the public, "but ideally should not involve the consumption of alcohol," according to the call for proposals. Completedesign standards are available online.

While parklets may soon provide downtown visitors with a free place to sit, the city won't be losing out on its meter revenue. There is a $50 application fee for parklet proposals and accepted applicants are also responsible for paying the city a meter fee of $50 per week, per parking spot.

Amy is an award winning journalist who has worked in print and radio in Vermont since 1991. Her first job in professional radio was at WVMX in Stowe, where she worked as News Director and co-host of The Morning Show. She was a VPR contributor from 2006 to 2020.
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