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Downtown Joplin tests out "parklet" - KOAM TV 7

Downtown Joplin tests out "parklet"

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

There's one less parking space in downtown Joplin and in its place sits a fenced-in sitting area intended for people to stop and stay awhile.

The concept, a "parklet", is not original to Joplin, but the Downtown Joplin Alliance hopes to see one in the future.

"It's basically just kind of a preliminary process, we'd like to see more in the future but we're working with the city as far as moving forward. They've been very gracious in working with us because this is very much outside the box of what we've ever done before," Lori Haun with the Downtown Joplin Alliance said.

The parklet was built with materials donated from The Botany Shop, Lowe's and Neal Group Construction and even contains pieces from old downtown buildings currently under renovation. It sits outside Instant Karma Gourmet Hot Dogs in a parking space.

"It starts a conversation about how we might be able to better use our public right-of-ways, our sidewalk spaces," Haun said.

Haun said parklets cost around $1600 but vary in cost because they can be as complicated or simple as the business wants.

"Anything that gets a little more foot traffic downtown is something that's going to benefit all of us in the downtown business community, people getting out of their cars, walking around, you're going to discover new things, you're going to see businesses you didn't know were here before and you know, maybe it will bring a little more traffic to all the downtown businesses, not just us," Instant Karma manager Helen Martin said.

Overall, the DJA just wants feedback from the city, business owners and potential parklet-sitters.

"Having spaces like this that encourage walkers and people to sit and stuff downtown, makes our city a better place to spend time and a more loveable place to be and allows us to enjoy being here more," Haun said.

The parklet will be taken down around 8 p.m. tonight.
 

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