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O.P.R.A. to Spearhead Florida's first "Pavement to Parks" pilot program

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O.P.R.A. to Spearhead Florida's first "Pavement to Parks" pilot program Powered By Docstoc
					O.P.R.A. to Spearhead Florida’s first “Pavement to
Parks” Pilot Program
Omni Parkwest Redevelopment Association's successful Grand Central Park project is being
followed up by an innovative pilot program to install cafe parklets in metered parking spots. The
project aims to increase pedestrian friendliness and spur economic development in Downtown
Miami.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE




Parklet in San Francisco, CA

PRLog (Press Release) – May 17 – Miami, FL – Flush with the success of their Grand Central Park project
in Downtown Miami, the Omni Parkwest Redevelopment Association (O.P.R.A.) has announced their latest
initiative to increase pedestrian traffic and spur economic development in Miami’s up and coming urban
core. The Pavement to Parks Pilot Program is a joint initiative between O.P.R.A., the City of Miami,
Downtown Miami Partnership, and the Miami Parking Authority. The program is modeled off of successful
Pavement to Parks or “Parklet” programs implemented in San Francisco and Los Angeles and involves
replacing metered parking spots with outdoor terraces to be used by restaurant patrons and has been
featured as a key tool to revitalization by the Tactical Urbanism Movement in Volume 2 of their toolkit
manual. (http://issuu.com/streetplanscollaborative/docs/tactical_urbanism_vol_2_final).

In other Cities, the parking impact has been minimal but the quality of life and economic impact has been
notable. The O.P.R.A. project aims to have the same impact and will be the first of its kind in Florida.

Bradley Knoefler, Founder and President of the Omni Parkwest Redevelopment Association Inc. (501(c)(3)),
a Florida non-profit corporation based in Miami, was positive about the project and the working relationship
with the various government agencies involved. “everyone agrees that making Downtown Miami more
livable and pedestrian friendly is a good thing for economic development,” he stated. “and with the goodwill
and experience from prior projects such as Grand Central Park our organization is well positioned to take
the lead.”

O.P.R.A. plans to implement the pilot projects through the existing special events permit process. “The idea
is to use an established means to get the pilot project off the ground and to identify any issues and
roadblocks” said Knoefler. “then work with elected officials and the administration to implement the program
on a City-wide basis.”

Three local Downtown businesses, Elwoods Gastropub, The Corner, and Grand Central are participating in
the program, which will involve renting two metered spaces in front of each business and placing a wooden
deck with railing and planters to increase the outdoor seating area and allow people, rather than cars to
occupy the public right of way. While various departments, such as Police and Public Works need to sign off
on the permits, O.P.R.A. plans on installing the first parklets in 30 days or less.

“We are excited to continue the implementation of low cost, high impact urban redevelopment programs
such as parklets and pop-up parks that have been extremely successful in major Cities around the country”
said Knoefler. “This is squarely in the core mission of O.P.R.A. and we look forward to being a key player in
making Downtown Miami one of the most innovative neighborhoods in South Florida.


For questions and further information, please visit www.grandcentralpark.org or contact Bradley Knoefler at
305.527.7332 or info@grandcentralpark.org.