Smoky Hollow Specific Plan 2018 (web version)
3.4 Pedestrian and Open Space Enhancements
The Smoky Hollow Specific Plan identifies strategies to expand existing found spaces for outdoor engagement, conversations, and vitality. Several open space strategies have been identified for Smoky Hollow.
- Preserve existing open space: The City will work with private property owners to preserve Smoky Hollow’s existing open space resources and identify ways to incorporate open space and greenspace into streetscapes and as part of new private development. The northeast corner lot at Franklin Avenue and Maryland Street is the only open space in Smoky Hollow and is regularly used for picnicking and active recreation. However, this lot is privately owned and may be developed in the future. Maintaining and expanding open space resources in Smoky Hollow is a priority.
Create new open space: For larger, campus-like developments, Specific Plan development standards require adequate provision of on-site open space (see Section 2.3.1.F: Open Space and Landscaping Standards).
- Create a “Living Street”: Along Franklin Avenue, the creation of a woonerf, or living street concept, will include multi-modal lanes and parking lanes that integrate tree planters, parklets, and curbless sidewalks (see Section 3.2.3: Franklin Avenue).
Plant Street Trees: On key streets in Smoky Hollow, new tree planters will provide shade and visual enhancement to the area’s environment. Planters are identified for the north side of El Segundo Boulevard, key locations on Franklin Avenue, and north/south streets between parking spaces. Planters can be strategically located among striped parking spaces or at the end of a parking row in areas generally striped as “no parking”. Curb extensions can also accommodate tree planters. A key design consideration for tree planters in Smoky Hollow is to offset the planter from the sidewalk to avoid impacting the storm drainage system. The tree planters will also provide opportunities for additional stormwater filtration. Appropriate tree species selection and location and design of the planting site ensure the healthy growth and longevity of trees, and will enhance the Smoky Hollow streetscape character. See Figure 3-9: Tree/Stormwater Planter Design and Plant Pallet.
Figure 3-9: Tree/Stormwater Planter Design and Plant Pallet
Figure 3-10: Design for Public Rights-of-Way
Design for public rights-of-way, pedestrian amenities, and parklets should consider and utilize the following design concepts.
Provide street furniture of enduring quality and aesthetic value; examples include benches, information posts, trash cans, etc.
Use enduring, quality paving materials or street painting to realize visual interest and differentiate the defined pedestrian zone from traffic lanes.
Design layered and lush landscaping through selection of plant materials displaying a variety of shapes, textures, and colors.
Utilize planters and pots to provide greenery, especially those that are lightweight, modular, movable, and easy to assemble and disassemble in anticipation of temporal events or for emergency use.
Create landscape buffers through use of flourishing plants and sturdy planters that enhance safety by separating the pedestrian zone from traffic lanes.
Develop location-specific phone applications that inform about public amenities, assist in wayfinding, and encourage pedestrian interactions
with destinations in and around
Design for public-rights-of-way should also consider the additional design concepts, as noted below.
Introduce outdoor food-related retail through allocation of dedicated spaces for food trucks, ice cream cars, food carts, farmer’s market, and tailgating events.
Install bike facilities such as bike racks, bike storage, and bike sharing stations.
Utilize curb extensions (bulb-outs) to reduce pedestrian crossing distance and mitigate vehicular traffic.
Use exterior lighting to accentuate safety and design elements and enhance the safety of public rights-of-way.
Provide WiFi hotspots to attract pedestrian flows and encourage gathering at specified locations.
Select drought-tolerant and native plants to reduce irrigation
and conserve water.
Encourage public art including murals, street paintings, outdoor installation art, and light-based art installations to create visual interest.
Provide mid-block crossings to shorten walking distances, increase the safety of crossings, and enhance interactions between both sides of streets.
Provide Parklets: These small parks, generally located in on-street parking lanes, provide amenities like seating, planting, bicycle parking, and art. Parklets encourage social activity by creating community spaces where people can move out of pedestrian traffic, sit down and have a conversation, or simply people watch on a break from the workday, creating a more exciting pedestrian realm. The design of any individual parklet may vary according to the wishes of the primary partner or applicant. Designs may include seating, greenery, bicycle racks, or other features, but should always strive to become a focal point for the community and a welcoming public gathering place, helping to form a series of small intimate outdoor spaces in Smoky Hollow. The spaces nearest new street trees and left over from parking reconfigurations present an exciting opportunity to create an extension of indoor spaces outside, perhaps even small outdoor conference rooms for local businesses or simply places to enjoy lunch and a nice day. See Figure 3-10: Design for Public Rights-of-Way image and comprehensive list of design guidelines for streetscapes and parklets in Smoky Hollow.
- Enhanced Pedestrian Lighting: Pedestrian-scaled street lighting enhances safety, encourages evening use of outdoor spaces, and contributes to aesthetics. Where feasible, pedestrian-level lights should be introduced, especially near parklets.