Parklet future is unclear

June 20, 2014
By

HDYE SQ.—The future of JP’s parklet, located last year at 349 Centre St., is only getting murkier.

Due to ongoing utility work on Centre Street that regularly takes over parking lanes, Boston Transportation Department (BTD) will not be able to install the parklet at its original location outside Old Havana restaurant. Instead, BTD, with the assistance of Hyde/Jackson Squares Main Streets (HJSMS), has been looking for alternate locations in Hyde Square and in the Centre/South corridor.

HJSMS Executive Director Gerald Robbins told the Gazette last week that JP will not see a parklet this year.

“Unfortunately, due to logistical problems caused by the Boston Water and National Grid project, there will not be a parklet in the neighborhood this season. We are disappointed,” he said in an email.

But BTD Director of Planning Vineet Gupta told the Gazette that BTD is still working with HJSMS to find a new location.

“It looks like we’ll install the parklet in July,” Gupta said. “We’re trying to figure it out. He [Robbins] must be just saying that. The City is still trying to figure out a way to install the parklet in JP.”

Robbins said during a follow-up call this week that BTD has the final say.

“They told me it didn’t look like it would come in, but I don’t know what’s going on internally” that might change circumstances, he said. “The ball is in their court.”

Meanwhile, BTD has not yet finalized a citywide process for new parklet proposals.“At this point, we’re going through any proposal on a case by case approach to learn how to structure a formal process,” Gupta said.

A formal process will be in place starting next year, Gupta said.

“The City would like to locate parklets where we are sure the businesses are in support of the parklet and have agreed to do day-to-day maintenance,” he said.

Best of JP 2014