Stopover at Salida


A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I had an opportunity to take a brief vacation to Mesa Verde National Park. The park is located in an area called the four corners region. It’s the only place in the U.S. where four state meet – Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. It’s not easy getting there but worth the time. However, rather than taking a deadhead to the destination approach, we decided to take a loop route. Southern Colorado is beautiful and we were interested in a more relaxed pace.

South of Denver before reaching the town of Salida, there was a sign on the road, closed to festival traffic. Since it was still early in the afternoon and we weren’t in a rush, I decided that we should take a detour to check out the festival. When we arrived in town, there was a local street fair happening but we also noticed that British flag and symbols were everywhere. Since I was sure that we were still in Colorado, I asked around. A local told us that the British flag and symbols were flying because GOTR – Gentlemen of the Road Stopover was in town. Since I knew nothing about GOTR or Stopovers or Mumford & Sons – a British rock band, hello Firefox and Google.

What I discovered blew me away – A Stopover according to the Gentlemen of the Road website is ..”A celebration of a real place, with real people. It’s a bridge between the culture of a music festival and actual culture as lived by real-life people. We bring the music, the stage, the flags and the fans; everything else belongs to the town. Their energy and enthusiasm, their civic pride… their favorite local beer…” Whaatt? I think this is so cool. This is what I’d call a true public private partnership at the community level. This year, before Salida there were Stopovers in Walla Walla, Washington, Aviemore, Scotland, Waverly, Iowa and Seaside Heights, New Jersey.

While, we didn’t have an opportunity to immerse ourselves in the festival experience, we did tour the Salida street festival where another surprise awaited us. We found festival goers sitting on a parklet outside of Currents Steak and Seafood Restaurant enjoying the afternoon. A tip of the hat to Salida for their willingness to embrace an urban innovation to spur economic development, community collaboration and enhance the pedestrian experience.

Salida, a bustling arts community south of Denver may have missed a opportunity to encourage more impulse visitors to the street festival and the Stopover by using a generic road closure festival sign. But for the adventurous traveler through the area, it was a detour worth the time and effort.

Posted in Festivals, Parklet, Parklets, Stopovers | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Stopover at Salida

Adding New Genes to Our DNA


Public spaces are typically associated building entrances or building lobbies, but decks, plazas or patios located within buildings and on roofs or platform qualify as public space too. Sometimes, they’re used or rest and relaxation, other times for health and fitness and sometimes as a convenient place to exercise our pets. To support elevated decks and patios, health and fitness and pet exercise, we’ve added Versijack, Spirapave deck platform bases, outdoor fitness stations and dog park amenities to our DNA

Versijack and Spirapave are pedestal supports used to create street parklets, patio or roof decks. Adjustable from .25” to 48”, they’re made from 100% recycled light weight plastic. They support more weight than the traditional pedestal support bases and they lock into place to prevent disengagement. Outfitted with leveling guides to eliminate the trail and error associated with building level decks, each pedestal base include water channels to prevent drain water accumulation. When used for street or curbside parkets, season setup and teardown is a no-brainer especially with modular planters and Boulevard upcycled sustainable wood tiles

Outdoor fitness stations are a new tool in the fight to encourage active play and exercise. Traditionally found in indoor gyms, fitness stations have moved to walking paths in parks, installed on roof decks and coveted by millennials and baby boomers alike. Individual stations may be clustered together to create circuit training to provide the same benefits as walking. Each station targets a different part of the body – arms, legs, chest, etc. for a total body workout. Used on a regular basis, the build muscle, reduce fat, improve coordination, speed and balance. On a social level, they create opportunities to interact with others and create a popular destination with morning and evening walkers and joggers.

Pets and especially dogs are important family members, so it makes sense that we’re interested in keeping them healthy and active. Dog parks with agility courses, whether on roof decks or in designated park space are an easy solution to staying bonded with fido. As popular destinations for morning and evening play time, you’re able to create training and exercise stations for both large and small dogs. And when they’re tired and thirsty, simply walk them over to multi-bowl pet water fountains for a liquid refreshment. Once they’ve run you ragged, relax at the bone and buddy dog bench.

Welcome Versijack, Spirapave, outdoor fitness and dog park fitness stations to the DNA of Streetscapes.

Posted in Fitness, Healthy Communities, Parklet, Parklets, Public Amenities, Roof Deck, Roof Garden, Uncategorized, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Adding New Genes to Our DNA

Character is in Our DNA


We envisioned years ago that street furniture should add to the visual and functional character of the street. Furnishing the streetscape with street elements because they’re expected is one thing. But adding unique street elements that add visual pleasure and character to a streetscape is something completely different.

That’s why we don’t give our street furniture and amenities generic sounding names. We’re into descriptive titles that speak to their specific functions, i.e., seat walls, PSI (personal seating island) or public seating. Generic terms provide generic results. In our world, descriptive terms function as beacons to focus on specific design concepts. You can light public areas with LED benches. Visually urban benches will look different than a generic bench. And planter benches provide dedicated spaces for an annual and perennials.

Sometimes materials do matter. So we also attempt to be descriptive about materials too? Using flower pots as an example, we identity them as cast stone, concrete, fiberglass or GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete). We also describe them by their shapes, rectangle, round, square or short; tall or large.

To use another example, the most popular bike racks are hoops, U-racks, serpentines or waves and they’re great for individual bike parking. But if high-density bike parking is on your radar, two tier bike parking might say it all. Hanging or vertical bike racks might be more appropriate for large apartments or condominium project bike parking. Custom bike racks come in all types of shapes, sizes and prices, but bike rack art, custom hoop, custom round or custom post racks create different price points and expectations.

We could go on and on here with product after product. But we don’t want to risk boring you further. We just ask that you mix some of our DNA into your next project.

Posted in Bicycle Parking, Flower Pots, pedestrian amenities, Public Amenities, Public Seating, Street Furniture, Streetscape, Streetscapes, Urban | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Character is in Our DNA

Streetscapes In Our DNA

Streetscapes is in our DNA at Streetscapes Inc. We understand that streetscapes usually include benches, bollards, bike racks; planters and trash cans. Sometimes, it’s not easy to find them all in the same place. That’s why we’ve put them all together in one easy to find package.

Frequently, there’s a need to add banners, bus shelters, modular newspaper display boxes and recycling units to promote activities and events, support public transportation, tidy up unruly newspaper boxes and increase your recycling efforts. They’re part of our streetscape package too.

And with the variety of ages and interest in most urban areas, creating non-playground spaces for kids, outfitting a dog parks and finding suitable tables and seating for coffee bars, sidewalk restaurants or just places to relax is important too. Yes, those amenities are included in our streetscape package too.

And if you ever wanted to add some soft touches to the hard surfaces, add shade to a shadeless area or provide visitors and shoppers with directions or point them towards specific destinations, you might find our living walls, rotating umbrellas or directories and wayfinding signage to be of interest too.

Mix some of our DNA into your next Streetscape project.

Posted in Artistic Bicycle Racks, Banners, Bicycle Parking, Bike Racks, Flower Pots, Litter Receptacles, Parklets, Planters, Public Seating, Seating, Street Furniture, Streetscape, Streetscapes, Trash Cans, Trash Receptacles | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Streetscapes In Our DNA

Parklets are Gaining Traction in Parking Spaces

Parklet Boulevard Wood Deck Panels with Rune Bench

Parklet Boulevard Wood Deck Panels with Rune Bench

University City District – a nonprofit neighborhood development organization in Philadelphia recently released a study quantifying the impact of Parklets in Philadelphia neighborhoods. A parklet converts an on-street car parking space or under utilized public space into a small park usually with tables, chairs and other site amenities. The report’s data provides a snapshot of six Parklets located in Philadelphia during 2013. The study may be found at The Case for Parklets

The study reports the following – 1) Parklets located near the right types of businesses will bring neighborhoods together. Two critical components for a successful parklet – a business with interior seating and a high turnover rate and large windows that connects a business interior with the parklet. 2) Parklets attract an even mix of men and women. 3) Businesses experienced a 20% increase in sales in the two weeks following installation of the parklet. And 20 to 30% of the users were not customers of the adjacent businesses. 4) The primary parklet activities consisted of eating or drinking and talking with others. Other activities included reading, communicating via telephone or other devices, playing and just hanging out.

If parklets have been on your radar for implementation but you’ve been turned off by the high cost associated with constructing custom parklets, take another look. But this time, consider standard off -the shelf parklet components and save yourself 30% to 60% of the cost associated with custom units.

Transforming the height of street level parking spaces into sidewalk height space is simple using Versipave and Spirapave deck support pedestals. The pedestals are available in a variety of adjustable heights from ¼” t0 48”. Parklet surfaces may be constructed with Boulevard Upscale Urban Wood tile squares or planks.

Create outside edge safety walls with freestanding fiberglass planters that work within the platform grid module. Add privacy screens to the planter with planter supported trelliage panels. Select café style seating and tables in both folding and portable models to round out the eating and conversational seating.

For those seeking group type activities or additional public engagement with the parklet space, outdoor table tennis, large scale chess and checkers or outdoor foosball tables can create activity zones. And for those seeking more protection against slow moving traffic, large planters and concrete bollards are the answer. Should converting a few parking spaces near parklets into bike parking spaces for the bicycling community seem like a sensible idea, temporary and seasonal bike parking corrals are a no brainer.

Off the shelf parklets are simple to design and install. The design and implementation window is short since almost all of the parklet items are off the self and available with short delivery times. There’s no compromising on design flexibility and the cost for off the shelf parkets are a fraction of the cost associated with custom parklets. Visit the streetscapes catalog for more ideas

Posted in Bicycle Parking, Flower Pots, Parklet, Parklets, Planters, Public Places, Public Spaces, Sidewalk and Curbside Restaurants, Street Furniture, Streetscape, Streetscapes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Parklets are Gaining Traction in Parking Spaces

Ideas To Transform Public Spaces

Urban Table Tennis

Urban Table Tennis

Transform an unattractive public or private deck, patio, plaza or community area into an engaging public space. It’s easy with good tools.

Start by creating visual interest with different size flower pots or planters. Rather than stringing individual planters one by one in a target area, create flower pot groups. The groups can consists of a variety of sizes or a combination of sizes and heights. Flower bowls placed near entrance areas can create an inviting invitation to enter. Spaced along the border of large spaces, flower bowls can provide splashes of color. Flower box trellis panels positioned along the edge of busy sidewalks can create privacy and soften the surround sounds. Gigantic planters filled with trees create shade. Keep the planters and trees alive with self watering irrigation added to each flower pots.

Next, add places for resting, relaxation and collaboration. You can create formal and informational public seating area with traditional and urban benches, folding chairs and tables or stationary tables and benches. Vibrant colors and unusual shapes will attract attention and generate interest. Portable folding chairs and tables will provide users with both the flexibility and freedom to move the seating to areas where they feel most comfortable.

Shade is an important element in creating an engaging public space. Areas with too much sun and not enough shade are usually vacant spaces. If shade is an issue, consider the use of large surface mounted side post mounted umbrellas to limit the sun’s impact. The side post mounted umbrellas rotate to maximize shade during the day. Their size – eight to thirteen feet – minimizes the number of umbrellas needed to cover large areas. The umbrellas, surface mounted to concrete keeps them in place.

It’s also important that public spaces be free of litter and trash which suggest that trash cans and/or recycling centers be included in any public space transformation. The trash can and recycling centers may be individual cans or dual purpose trash and recycle units.

Finally, sometimes despite your best intentions, some public spaces require a catalyst. Games and activities that encourage group participation like table tennis, giant chess and checker sets or similar games just might fill that bill. Transforming unattractive public spaces into engaging activity zones can be easy with interesting public furniture.

Posted in Chair, Flower Pots, Flowerpot, Litter Receptacles, pedestrian amenities, Planters, Public Amenities, Public Spaces, Rubbish Bins, Seating, Street Furniture, Streetscape, Uncategorized, Urban | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Ideas To Transform Public Spaces

Better Block Toolbox Idea


A couple of Sunday’s ago we moved our clocks ahead to coincide with the day light savings calendar. Daylight savings of course signals that spring is just around the corner. In many parts of the country, there has been record breaking snowfalls keeping us wrapped up woolen shirts and socks with down jackets, ear covering hats and thick winter gloves. Most of us can’t wait to receive the warm and sunny days of spring.

In the spring, we throw off our winter attire and everyone comes out to play. There will be street fairs, music festivals, farmers markets and food trucks to create temporary neighborhood destinations. These activities are great but if a neighborhood in your city is struggling to maintain a neighborhood retail destination or main street businesses are struggling to stay alive, you’re in need of grass roots economic development intervention. The best grass roots neighborhood intervention program around is “Better Block.” Jason Roberts and his organization in Dallas along with other similar organizations around the country have organized Better Block events that have transformed neighborhoods into bustling centers of neighborhood activity and economic development.

Better Block events can channel neighbors and neighborhood activists with a vision into a cohesive team with common goals and objectives. The outcomes which can transform a neighborhood and become a catalyst for future neighborhood investment. Better Blocks are a lot of work and are labor intensive. I’ve often wondered if there are ways to reduce the amount of labor that they take and whether they could impact more than one neighborhood at a time with the help of city agencies, a city hall champion or public space consultants.

An enormous amount of time is spent resourcing items for Better Blocks – planters, tables and chairs, benches, bike corrals, etc. Could Better Blocks be organized in shorter time periods and become less labor intensive if a street furniture tool box were available for that specific purpose. A Better Block tool box might include street furniture, but also multi-generational games and activities, outdoor exercise equipment to emphasize healthy communities and even Fido agility activities.

A second thought involves combing pop up stores and restaurants with a Better Block street furniture and activities tool box that could rotate thru several neighborhoods over a short period of time. The idea being that each neighborhood or target area would creates a unique Better Block event to showcase it’s unique identity, culture or community brand and generate competition culminating in the neighborhood transformation

For example, a Better Block event in neighborhood 1 this week might combine pop up stores and food trucks or restaurants with a Better Block street furniture and activities tool box and a focus on art and craft. The following week, Neighborhood 2 combines the Better Block Tool Box, food trucks with a beer garden with focus on music. The following week neighborhood 3 combines the Better Block Tool Box, pop-up breakfast restaurants and outdoor fitness activities, etc.

Such a program if planned properly would also have a side benefit of allowing citizens, planning, public works, economic development and city officials an opportunity to experience a conceptual idea plan prior to full implementation. Additionally, valuable feedback could be gained that would minimize expensive failures.

What do you think? Is the street furniture and game and activities tool box is a good idea? Who might use it? Would a city department or consultant be willing to allocate money for such a tool to assist them in demonstrating an idea(s)? Could a planning or economic development department utilize the rotating better block event idea with pop-up stores, food trucks, restaurants and a street furniture tool box to generate competition between neighborhoods or to compress the time required to generate neighborhood plans? Would there be any advantage to conducting multiple better blocks events in different neighborhoods within a single city?

Posted in Better Block, Bicycle Parking, Fitness, Flower Pots, Flowerpot, Healthy Communities, Planters, Public Amenities, Public Seating, Seating, Street Furniture | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Better Block Toolbox Idea

Flower Pot Watering Solution Idea

Measuring Planter for Self Watering Irrigation

Measuring Planter for Self Watering Irrigation

Decks, patios and plazas have unique problems when it comes to keeping planters and flower pots watered during the growing season. Planter pots and plant containers in those locations may have been a last minute addition. Without plumbing in place to water them on a regular basis, the planters are at the mercy of someone willing to water them. In many cases, watering the planters are a hit and miss proposition. Some property owners choose to pay a landscape contractor to handle that duty because beautiful planters add value to their properties.

I’ve had that same issue for years with our backyard patio. Our patio faces south so it gets plenty of sun. Initially, I thought no problem. When I go for a walk in the mornings, I’ll conclude my walk by watering the planters. Well, I’ve tried that for a couple of years now and I can tell you the flowers in my planters haven’t survived an entire summer. Recently, I was thinking about this issue in advance of planting new flowers in the pots. Then all of
a sudden it hit me, use the self watering planter irrigation system that you offer to property managers and landscape contractors. Duhh!

The self watering planter irrigation systems are available to accommodate both specific pot shapes and sizes and they’re available as modular units to handle large and unusual shapes. The irrigation system contains a water reservoir and a moisture detection device. Fill the reservoir with water and the moisture detection device detects a lack of moisture in the soil and releases water from the bottom of the planter. When water reaches the moisture detection device, the water flow is halted until the moisture detection device lacks moisture again. Best of all the reservoir water only needs to the filled with water once every couple of weeks. The system can be used in new flowerpots or retrofitted into existing pots prior to the addition of new plants.

So that’s how I’m going to keep the flowers in my planters alive this summer.

Posted in Flower Pots, Flowerpot, Planters, Public Amenities, Roof Deck, Street Furniture, Streetscape | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Flower Pot Watering Solution Idea

Type Rider – Main Street Bike Parking

Play Type Ride Bike Parking Rack

Play Type Ride Bike Parking Rack

The typewriter is considered to be a relic of the past. For those of you too young to remember – the typewriter was machine that was used as far back as 1714 to impress or transcribe letters. By striking keys representing alphabet characters and symbols, one could write letters, correspond with others or create volumes of books. Word processors and computers have replaced typewriters.

The spirit of the typewriter, however, lives on in the form of “Type Rider” – a play on words of course, but a fun, funky and fabulous new bike rack. Type Rider is a series of bike racks designed to mimic characters, symbols or hashtags. Like a typewriter used to create words and documents, the Type Rider bike racks may be used to same effect. Use the bike racks to spell the name of a company or business or describe what that business does. Interested in getting the word out on social media, create a visual #hashtag using Type Rider bike racks.

Go bold with bold Type Rider’s colors and a message for Main Street bike parking!

Posted in Bicycle Parking, Bicycle Racks, Bike Racks, Decorative Bicycle Racks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Type Rider – Main Street Bike Parking

Window Box Planter, Window Flower Box or Rectangular Flower Pots


Did you know that flower boxes are also known as window boxes, window flower box or window box planters? This would also seem to imply that there is no distinction between rectangular and square planters. The rectangular flower pots it would seem are probably the most popular type of planters followed by round planters. Rectangular planters can be used to create boundaries, borders and walls. They can be placed on window sills, hung on patio rails and fences and placed in windows. Attached to walls or places on ledges, rectangular planters are great for tight spaces.

Trelliage grid attached to rectangular planters can be used to create freestanding privacy screens to shield restaurant patios from sidewalk traffic or create buffer screens between multi-family apartment units. They’re also a great way to display a collection
of beautiful trailing plants and can be used to soften the sound in hard surface environments.

Current material used to fabricate rectangular flowerboxes include concrete, fiberglass, gfrc – glass fiber reinforced concrete , thermoplastic and wood. Recent product advancements have included the ability to wrap a rectangular or square fiberglass flower pot liner with U.S. fabricated Boulevard Upscaled FSC certified wood in oak or ash. This process allows for the wood to be placed on one, two, three or four sides of the planters depending on how the planter interact with other components of the project. This flexibility can generate significant cost saving on a project that is being value engineered or provide a the look and feel of wood at a fraction of the cost. Wood planter usually last about 3-5 years, but the Boulevard Upscaled FSC certified wood is projected last up to 20 years.

seacrest-rectangle fiberglass-flower-pot

Thermoplastic rectangular planters are also worth bringing into the discussion about rectangular planter. Thermoplastic makes it possible to create double walled planters with self watering irrigation features. The self watering feature is a favorite option for property owners and manager concerned about the cost or ability to have planter watered daily or interested in reducing their overhead labor cost associated with maintaining planters. The Seacrest planters are a good example of self-watering planters.

Whether you call rectangular flower pots, window box planters, window flower boxes or rectangular flowerboxes, it doesn’t matter. It all about the atmosphere they create when
filled with flowers.

Posted in Flowerpot, Street Furniture | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Window Box Planter, Window Flower Box or Rectangular Flower Pots