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Dori: Seattle parklets are completely nonsensical

The Montana Bar on Capitol Hill features a parklet. Seattle’s parklet program converts parking spaces into park space. According to RethinkX, driverless cars will cause a "land bonanza" to convert soon-to-be parking spaces into usable features. (File photo)

Taken from Wednesday’s edition of The Dori Monson Show.

You know what is very frustrating to me, when I see something that everybody in power in Seattle – they all say this is so cool and hip and it’s actually just stupid. Nobody is ever willing to call out the stupidity except for me. We’re the only ones who will ever say no, there is nothing endearing or hip or conceptual or wonderful about this.

What I’m talking about in particular is this new boom in Seattle, the new trend for parklets. They take parking spots on the street and the businesses, they build a little wood deck and they take one or two parking spots. They have a little deck area where people can sit and breathe car exhaust from the street as they are enjoying their croissant.

In a city that is just vehemently, virulently anti-car, it’s just taking away more car parking spots. KING 5 recently did a story about it because the city is expanding the parklet program. Not all drivers are excited about it.

In the KING 5 story, they went to this one new parklet that exists up on Capitol Hill. Every single street parking spot was taken, including the load and unload zone. A truck trying to make deliveries to the businesses – the only choice the truck had was to double park in front of the parked vehicles so that it can unload, so now the street’s even more jammed up.

Jennifer Wieland, the parklet program manager, told KING 5: “We want to be sure we’re not doing anything that is going to damage the supply and availability of parking.”

So what they’re doing, I just want to make sure I understand, they’re taking parking spots and they’re turning them into little wood decks for people to sit on. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t taking away parking spots for parklets damage the supply of parking?
But everybody’s like oh parklets, it’s so hip, we are such a hip city here in Seattle.

“We do see parklets as a tremendous public benefit, having the chance to create that little bit of public open space – it’s a great thing for neighborhoods,” Wieland told KING 5.

Personally, I can think of few things more miserable than sitting on a wood deck out in the street, a parked car behind the deck, a parked car in front of the deck. But you’re going to sit there and drink your espresso? It just doesn’t make any sense and nobody is ever willing to call out how nonsensical this stuff is.

Even the name parklet is stupid, nobody is willing to say that either.

Taken from Wednesday’s edition of The Dori Monson Show.


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