September 17 2020

Town of Burlington Exploring Parklets

By: Tad Stephanak

Restaurants and stores in Burlington and throughout the Commonwealth have struggled with the capacity restrictions of reopening. As part of the Town of Burlington’s effort to assist local businesses, Economic Development Director Melisa Tintocalis was before the Board of Selectmen seeking recommendations and feedback for a ‘Parklet’ proposal by Nordblom Company at 3rd Ave. 


Parklets are temporary small areas along sidewalks, in parking spaces for seating or mobile businesses that have become popular in the COVID economy. 


Tintocalis asked the board for their thoughts on a pilot Parklet program at 3rd Ave. Burlington using two to four parking spaces in front of The Green, between Osteria Nino’s and Tony C’s along 3rd Avenue.


The Parklet would be used to try to revitalize the existing space by creating a rotation of events, vendors and things of interest. The occupants of the Parklet would complement the existing brick and mortar establishments, not be in competition with them and hopefully bring new interest to 3rd Ave. Burlington. 


Tintocalis wanted to know how such a request for the use of public right of way would be received. Fully in favor of helping business anyway they can during these difficult times the board recommended a protective barrier from passing cars at the Parklet area and asked the proposal be wary of social distancing protocols and logistics of the coming winter. The board also asked to have a map identifying clearly what spaces would be used and a plan of activities for 6 month or so.


Town Administrator Paul Sagarino pointed out that other communities have had success using Parklets creatively so there are examples to follow. 


Tinocalis also sought input for a similar request for visiting vendors at the Town Common like food trucks and mobile retailers. 


There were again COVID related concerns and the board recommended Tintocalis confer with the Board of Health especially regarding food and drink. The Selectmen again related concerns and scheduling conflicting activities on Town Common. 


Tintolcais expressed her appreciation for the board’s preliminary feedback and will return to the board at the future date with a proposal from Nordblom for a Parklet at 3rd Ave. and vendors on the Town Common.


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