Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wtf parklet now has no benches, but it does have a list of rules

The parklet on Independence and St. Claude has no trash bin, no street lamp, and now no benches. It does, however, have a new name, a list of rules, and a curfew.

Private property developed with public money

My neighbors and I wondered how the parklet operators, an amalgamation of neighborhood associations and St. Claude Main Street, arrived at the decision to remove the benches and post the rules.

An email inquiry to the Bywater Neighborhood Association and St. Claude Main Street Board member/former President Jonathan Rhodes went unanswered for 12 days, at which point the BNA suggested I contact St. Claude Main Street or "the property owner," for whom no contact information was given.

[I actually do have the property owner's phone number because he creepily stuck his business card in my front door one night when I wasn't home, requesting that I blog about "the good things [he's] doing for the neighborhood, such as with youth."]

Interestingly, St. Claude Main Street just received a litter-abatement grant from an entity known as Keep Louisiana Beautiful. SCMS' excuse for the lack of conventional garbage pick-up at the parklet has been to blame the City for not providing a trash bin. Maybe now they can afford their own?

Art park with no art but, inexplicably, a gazillion bike racks

The immediate result of the bench removal is that parklet visitors now sit on the uncomfortably low mound patios. (There must be an architectural term for these structures?)

There is still a bunch of trash strewn about the lawn, and the lone tree continues to wilt due to landscaperly negligence.

Sad wilting tree of Wtf Parklet

I tried to look again at the "community survey" results from when SCMS kind of asked for neighborhood residents' opinions about parklets, but the webpage was taken down.

Instead I found a page thanking Maurice and Cynthia Slaughter, the owners of the parklet, for their recent generous contribution to SCMS: "We couldn't do it without you!" Indeed.

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