Silver Lake residents are mighty happy to have LA’s first pedestrian plaza converted from a normal city street. Located on a short cut route from Sunset Blvd to Griffith Park Blvd, Sunset Triangle Plaza is now a 11,000 sq ft car free zone filled with bistro tables, bike parking and plenty of room for play. The project was led by Streets For People, a new initiative dedicated to creating more pedestrian friendly and open space areas in urban settings. Designed by Rios Clementi Hale Studios and carried out by the Department of Transportation (DOT), the new plaza provides a secure space for the twice-weekly farmer’s market that has already been going on in the city for some time now.
The plaza is cordoned off by large heavy planters to keep cars out, while moveable bistro tables and umbrellas provide space to rest, relax and socialize. The green polka dot-painted street along with the native and drought tolerant plants, generously donated by Monrovia nursery in Azusa, CA, provide a literally green space. “In predigital printing, dot patterns created halftones, and Sunset Triangle Plaza represents a site in transition—a halfway point—from street to plaza,” Frank Clementi, AIA, AIGA, principal at Rios Clementi Hale Studios. “Also, the dots play off of D.O.T., the abbreviation for Department of Transportation, which is integral to the Streets for People program.”
Sunset Triangle Plaza is the first of what is expected to be many new pedestrian areas created in and around LA. The Streets For People initiative is working to quickly and inexpensively reclaim under-used street space and involve local residents and businesses in the design and maintenance of these spaces. Rather than spending millions of dollars building brand new parks the initiative hopes to transform spaces using paint and planters to recapture the streets for people.
Images ©Jim Simmons and Living Streets LA