Parklet moves to new spot on Main Street

Vicky O. Misa
The Shawnee News-Star
Over the weekend, volunteers moved the city's parklet a couple blocks along Main Street to its new temporary home at The Lunch Box, 217 E. Main, in Shawnee.

Over the weekend, the City of Shawnee's parklet made its way to its new temporary home at The Lunch Box, 217 E. Main St. The structure covers two parking spaces just outside the restaurant's storefront.

The parklet has been in use downtown since October, previously sitting between 5 and 9 E. Main, where Coffee and Crafts and former sponsor Streetview Art Gallery operate.

Open to public use, the goal of the parklet is to offer extra gathering space outside local storefronts that sponsor the structure through permit fees.

The potential for more parklet-type sites in the area could ramp up as Streatery guidelines have been a point of discussion at some recent Shawnee City Commission meetings.

Streateries are a similar amenity, though they are more directly tied to use by a particular business — typically as outdoor dining areas for restaurants.

“A Streatery is essentially an open air public space installed in a parking spot or loading zone reserved for the use of the adjacent restaurant during their business hours — similar to a sidewalk cafe, but in a parking area vs. on the sidewalk,” proposed guidelines read. “The purpose of the Streatery guidelines is to create efficient uses of urban space, provide attractive additions to local streetscapes, invite people to sit and stay in public spaces, enhance walkability and encourage business participation in a vibrant streetscape.”

According to the proposed guidelines, a Streatery can take up the three parking spaces in front of the sponsoring business. Just like the parklet, there are several rules and regulations regarding how a Streatery is to be built and what is allowed on it, such as lighting, furniture, things used to create shade and blocking wind, etc.

During hours of service, the structure is intended solely for use for the business’ customers, but outside those hours, the Streatery would become open to everyone.

Permits would be required, as the right of way (sidewalks) and parking areas are public space.

Commissioners deferred the item, with the intention of having discussions with downtown business owners before moving ahead.

Watch The Shawnee News-Star for updates on the topic.

Over the weekend, volunteers moved the city's parklet a couple blocks along Main Street to its new temporary home at The Lunch Box, 217 E. Main, in Shawnee.

For story ideas, questions or concerns, reporter Vicky O. Misa can be reached at vicky.misa@news-star.com.