Tag Archives: parklet

Latham Square Community Design Workshop Continues Oakland’s Pavement to Parks Movement

You may have heard of a new trial coming to fruition in Downtown Oakland this summer.  On the stand: an awkward section of roadway between Telegraph Ave, Broadway and 16th Street. The judge: your City and you!

The City of Oakland’s Public Works Agency will run a 6-month pilot period this year to evaluate the utility of this space, named Latham Square, as a public plaza. On February 23rd, the City held a community workshop to publicize the project and to gather neighborhood input for the initial design of the space.

Walk Oakland Bike Oakland is thoroughly excited about this win-win scenario: improve community space in the Downtown/Uptown corridor and limit the dangers posed by this confusing intersection.  While buses are vital to the downtown corridor, the Latham intersection real estate is dominated by cars. Nevertheless, traffic rerouting is not foreseen to have a significant impact and bus route accommodations will be relatively simple.

The workshop displayed a historical photographic walkthrough of the Latham Square space informed by the Cultural Heritage Survey. This reminded participants of possibilities for the setting. Streets full of horse-drawn buggies, streetcars and vintage automobiles have shifted to a car-centric design. The imagery reminded us of the centrality of different transit modes to public aesthetics. Luckily -perhaps because of it centrality transit, buildings, and sightline- Telegraph and Broadway is purported to be the most photographed intersection in East Bay history!

The event continued with current contextual update and open design charette. Members from the design firm Rebar Group (responsible for many of the first San Francisco Parklets) were on hand to describe their current design partnership with the City of Oakland. A cost effective approach is being considered: to create a stimulating yet low cost space which can more intensively altered later. To add a uniquely Oaktown flair, they look to reuse of surplus materials from City and Port storage yards. Similar projects in San Francisco include the Castro Commons and Guerrero Park.

Jamie Parks, Oakland’s Complete Streets Program Manager, explained that both the initial pilot design of the Plaza and the possible design improvements thereafter would heavily considered community input and actual use during the trial. The project occurs the as the City is studying the rest of Telegraph Ave in 2013, and eager to improve the corridor after the failure to pass the northern Bus Rapid Transit segment. WOBO and the East Bay Bike Coalition are collaborating, gathering a community input and advocating for an improved bikeway along Telegraph Avenue.

Workshop ideas floated creatively- visions included art by Oakland artists, food trucks, a cycle track, music, community performances.  Cyclists stopped to connect in what is now a difficult transit funnel, and imagined rolling along a bike lane from the Plaza to Berkeley. Many participants and passerby were struck by the enormous size of the intersection. Others commented on the unique view of from the middle of Telegraph, one never overtly afforded to residents otherwise. While the Fox Theater is frequently appreciated, folks noted that more leisure space at the base of the Cathedral and Rotunda buildings permitted the shine of their facades to be absorbed.

My favorite realization: imagining for the first time an Oakland where horses drank from the Latham fountain, dedicated 100 years ago.

Please let the City know what you imagine. For feedback, designs, and more, see the City’s website.

Celebrate Park(ing) Day 2012 this Friday!

This Friday, September 21, parking spaces throughout Oakland will be transformed into art galleries, teahouses, and other interesting destinations as part of the seventh international PARK(ing) Day.

Piedmont Ave Parklet 2011. blog.ouroakland.net
PARK(ing) Day is an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks.

Our Parklets for People campaign has been working with businesses and community groups in neighborhoods around the city to promote participation in this great day of community transformation and spread the word about Oakland’s Pilot Parklet program. There will be over a dozen temporary parklets this Friday and Saturday – creating community spaces that feature everything from a place for fun and games, to a laptop hangout, to quiet place for a spot of tea.

Park(ing) Day Raffle!

Visit one, visit them all. Stop by any of these participating location to see what Oakland parklets are all about, and you can enter a raffle for great Oakland prizes. See below for full list of prizes.

Oakland Park(ing) Day Map

View Park(ing) Day Oakland 2012 in a larger map or View a map of all International Park(ing) Day 2012 locations.

Participating Oakland Locations:

  • Transformers @ Play by Transform
    14th Street between Broadway and Franklin St. 9:30am-2pm
    Learn how we can create world-class public transportation and walkable communities in the Bay Area and beyond. For Park(ing) Day we will be transforming a parking space into a play space, with fun games and pedal powered smoothies.
  • Farley’s East
    33 Grand Ave at Broadway. 7am to 9pm
    One of, if not the, first permanent parklet for Oakland! The parklet is under construction now and will be close to complete by Park(ing) Day.  Support their effort to build an urban oasis for the people of Oakland by visiting their kickstarter page.
  • Woody’s Cafe
    1841 Park Blvd at E 19th St. 7am – 1:30pm
    Featuring: Drawing materials, stamps and books to read. Come take a break with your Eastlake neighbors! A great neighborhood spot!
  • Omiiroo
    400 14th St at Franklin St. 11am to 7pm
    Featuring: Art and Dance!!!
  • Dimond Beer Garden by the Dimond Improvement Association
    3400 Fruitvale Ave, opposite Peet’s Coffee. 9am to 3pm
    Featuring: Promotion of Dimond’s 5th Annual Oaktoberfest (October 6) and review of recent DIA accomplishments (Dimond Transit Plaza and bikeways on MacArthur and Fruitvale). We will also have historical images of the original Dimond Beer Garden. (Note that no beer will be served in the Parklet).
  • A Spot of Tea by Tea Here Now
    1721 Webster St at 17th. 8am to 1pm
    Bring your favorite cup/mug/tumbler and enjoy a cup of tea and great conversation with neighbors! Tea will be provided.
  • Design Resource Parklet by Sessa + Wadlund Design 
    Park Blvd and Glenfield. 9am to 5pm
    Sessa and Wadlund’s parklet will offer a design library resource center where visitors can access garden design and architecture books. We will also provide drafting and coloring materials to help visitors’ design ideas become fully realized. Couch seating to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee will also be available.
  • 40th Street Parklet by Manifesto Bicycles
    40th Street @ Webster. 8am to 5pm
    A temporary parklet where the 40th Street Parklet will soon be constructed (coming in October). Stop by to check out their parklet plans. Grab a cup of coffee and pick up some bike gear while you’re there. Learn more about plans for the 40th Street Parklet.
  • Rare Bird
    3883 Piedmont Ave @ Montell. 9am to 7pm
    We will be offering a nice place to sit and relax with plant life surrounding you. We will also be giving away hand made buttons to everyone who visits.
  • Tech Liminal
    268 14th Street @ Alice. 9am to 7pm
    Folks can come by with their laptops and hang out, meet up, blog in the company of other bloggers, share information or discuss technology.
  • Art is in Coffee
    477 25th Street. 10am to 2pm
    Art In is Coffee brings their art/coffee cart into the parklet of the 25th Street Collective. Stop by for delicious coffee and tea. Enjoy the art for local artists. Feel free to bring a musical instrument to serenade the parklet.
  • Tay Ho Oakland
    344 12th St at Webster.
  • Grand Ave Parklet by Urban Furniture
    3241 Grand Ave between Lake Park and Santa Clara
    ** This parklet will be set up on Saturday, September 22 instead of Friday**

List of Raffle prizes:

  • One hour of free architectural or landscape architecture design consultation by Sessa + Wadlund Design.
  • A gift certificate for certificate for Tech Liminal services.
  • A Team Sampler from Tea Here Now
  • A $20 Oaktoberfest Package
  • A gift certificate to Rare Bird
  • Others TBA.

Park(ing) Day 2012

Walk Oakland Bike Oakland is excited to be celebrating Park(ing) Day in Oakland on September 21 for the 3rd year in a row.

What is Park(ing) Day?

Park(ing) Day is an annual worldwide event when people transform a typical on-street parking space into a temporary mini-park or plaza for a few hours on a Friday afternoon. The project began in 2005 when Rebar converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in an area of San Francisco that is underserved by public open space. Since then, it has grown as an “open source” project into a world wide event on the Third Friday in September. Although many installations go with the basic “tree-bench-sod,” the idea has been adapted to address a variety of social issues in diverse urban contexts around the world. Park(ing) Day is one of the inspirations for the parklets that have been created in cities from San Francisco to New York and that are in the pilot stage here in Oakland.

Participants have built interventions ranging from free health clinics, urban farming and ecology demonstrations, political seminars, art installations, free bike repair shops and even a wedding ceremony! Click through the presentation above or check out more photos on flickr in the WorldParkingDay pool.

Park(ing) Day in Oakland

Walk Oakland Bike Oakland has promoted Park(ing) Day and organized spaces since 2010, but individual groups and businesses have been participating in Oakland since 2008. Park(ing) Day has been a great catalyst for the growth of more permanent “parklets” around the country and last year WOBO used the event to increase demand for parklets and catalyze the City to create a pilot parklet program in Oakland. Many of the pilot parklet applicants had participated in Park(ing) Day in the past.

This year, Park(ing) Day is a great opportunity to highlight the new parklet program (hopefully with actual parklets on the ground), and promote the new program to businesses and neighborhoods that have not yet heard of it or participated in the past – specifically neighborhoods outside of North and Downtown Oakland and Lakeshore.

Join the fun!

Come to the Park(ing) Day volunteer meeting August 9 to help us plan the best Park(ing) Day yet! RSVP here.

Signup to host a Park(ing) Day spot in Oakland, join the official Park(ing) Day network, or download Rebar‘s Parking Day Manual for more tips and tricks for creating a Park(ing) Day spot.

Temescal News and Views features 40th St Parklet

– Mackay Gibbs, Manifesto Bicycles








As the summer days pass by, Walk Oakland Bike Oakland is eagerly awaiting the unveiling of Oakland’s first parklets. Inspired by programs in San Francisco, New York, and among other cities, WOBO advocated in 2011 to start a pilot parklet program in Oakland. The 40th Street Parklet, one of seven locations chosen for the pilot program, is featured in the latest issue of Temescal News and Views.

The 40th Street Parklet is a great location because of the high volume of foot and bike traffic through the neighborhood… Manifesto and Subrosa hope to enhance our neighborhood by building the parklet in an area where customers, employees, business owners, neighbors and passersby alike will benefit.

The seven parklets are expected to be built this year, hopefully some in time for Park(ing) Day!

Read more about the 40th Street parklet at temescaldistrict.org/In_The_News (pdf) and get updates at facebook.com/40th-st-parklet.

Visit our parklet campaign page to learn more about parklets or email Shannon to learn more about how to get more parklets in Oakland.