A small park popped up on West Lebanon Avenue in the past few weeks. The "parklet" is taking over what used to be the first parking space by Cynthia Huffines & Associates design studio.
Kathleen Patterson, downtown development administrator, said it all started with a parking study, leading to an idea of bettering the pedestrian experience at Elon. Patterson acknowledged the sidewalks are "very tight."
"This is an option if you want to stop and talk or sit down or you're waiting to get into The Root."
This is a flexible park - Patterson noted it can be lifted and moved if it's not successful in that location or in general. Either way, Patterson has a positive attitude about the coming change.
"I love it," Patterson said. "I'm so excited to have something new and kind of fun, just to see if it works. The thought is if that can work, then we know a wider sidewalk is things people want and the ability to sit and just relax."
This parking space comes up quickly for drivers, potentially putting the members of the Elon community sitting there at risk if they're not paying attention.
"There are some people who are a little bit worried," Patterson said. "An intoxicated person might run into the parklet. Our thought is, if they do that, they're going to hit the planter first."
The final steps are finishing the wood benches, and adding lights and plants. Patterson said she is hopeful the parklet will be ready by Saturday, April 7 for the anniversary celebration of the town of Elon.