Parklet Down! Motorist Rams Downtown Los Angeles' First Parklet


The scene. (oneironaut11 / Instagram via LAist)

It seems like just yesterday that Los Angeles opened its first downtown Parklet, a sparkling new design on Spring Street by architects, designers Berry and Linné, and builders Hensel Phelps. But a few weeks ago that design (already getting a little shabby from weather and use) was rammed and badly compromised by an errant motorist, leaving it closed, and leaving downtown without a parklet to speak of more than two years after the city’s parklet program began.

Spring Street Parklet in better days (Sam Lubell/ AN)

Spring Street Parklet in better days. (Sam Lubell/ AN)

According to CBE Los Angeles, the driver had moments, earlier been, kicked out of a club nearby and commandeered a friend’s car using its keyless ignition. The suspected drunk driver side-swiped several parked cars before hitting the parklet. Three people sustained injuries from flying debris during the incident and were hospitalized.

LA Department of Transportation (LADOT) spokesperson Lisa Martellaro-Palmer told AN that the city is in the process of rebuilding the parklet, and that the fix will happen “in the near future,” although the timeline has not been determined. Its sister parklet, about a block north, remains intact. So far, there are seven more parklets and plazas moving ahead in the city as part of the LADOT’s People Street Program. One of them is downtown, on Hope Street.

Spring Street Parklet, closed due to a car wreck. (Sam Lubell/ AN)

Spring Street Parklet, closed due to a car wreck. (Sam Lubell/AN)

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