Last year, a group of street-loving people turned Montclair’s South Park into a curbside piano lounge, complete with a baby grand and spontaneous dance improvisation. Today, until 4 p.m., as part of the 2011 international PARK(ing) Day initiative, two metered spots in front of 388 Broad Street in Bloomfield will be set up as a pop-up park, complete with foliage, cafe tables and butterflies.
“Butterflies on Broad Street” is one of nearly 1,000 locations around the world, striving to “inspire city dwellers to transform metered parking spots into temporary parks for the public good,” according to the event’s web site.
David Lustberg, Pricipal of Arterial, (the same street designer who is partnered with architects SmithMaran on Montclair’s South Park redevelopment) is one of the primary organizers of today’s event. He told Baristanet that Arterial is under contract with the township for the “pedestrianization” and re-design of the street, and that a Bloomfield community meeting will be held sometime in early October for public input. His vision is that Broad Street can be transformed into an “icon of vitality and sustainability.”
“The plan includes traffic calming strategies to support the improvements that store owners have already started,” said Lustberg, pointing out new improvements to this restaurant-rich block, such as new LED street lights. Lustburg and his group have been counting the bicycles that have gone by since they’d set up this morning. “There have been 20 in the past couple of hours,” he said, noting that his plan for the street revitalization could include a bike path.
“This exhibit is just a fun way to encourage street life, and evoke an image of this street as a place where the built and natural environments can co-exist seamlessly.”
There will be Painted Lady butterflies released from the “parklet” throughout the day, and all are encouraged to stop by and relax. If this upstairs neighbor — who popped his head out the window to see what was going on — is any indication, there should be a fun gathering of local residents hanging out. There’s even a place to park your bike!
Location: 388 Broad Street (in front of Flic Spa)
Additional sponsors of the PARK(ing) Day event are Landscape Forms, who built the park, and Brookside Garden Center, who donated the planters and foliage.
Butterfly photo by Jeremy Saltzman.