Kasper’s Korner Comes Alive at the Temescal Street Fair July 7

June 23, 2013

Culture, Food, Streets

Kaspers Korner Money Shot_600

Streets are for people too, and no where more so than amongst the temporary park benches, tables & chairs, plants, and street furniture at Kasper’s Korner Music & Art Pocket Park at the Temescal Street Fair, Sunday July 7, 12noon-6pm, corner of Shattuck and Telegraph. Watch this short and creative video to see how the space can be transformed.

Your kids can help paint the street in the pocket park and spruce up the closed intersection of Shattuck & Telegraph with their own imaginative energy, under the direction of talented local artist Alan Leon of the Temescal Flows mural. And while the kids have fun painting the street, you can hula hoop with Choi Tse and enjoy music by CelloJoe, Robert Temple (acoustic rock), accordionist Karen Penley. Doc’s of the Bay food truck will grill up delicious burgers, beef and vegetarian, and Whole Foods food truck will also be providing drinks and specialties. Nearby, the bike coalition will provide valet bvike parking and Manifesto Bikes will offer free bike repair.

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Alan Leon, muralist of Temescal Flows, will bring his magic eye and color to Kasper’s Korner

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CelloJoe uses audience bike power to fuel his original songs

While korner of Shattuck & Telegraph bekomes a pocket park for a day, we hope it inspires long-term improvements for a space in need of love. A pocket park is a reimagined use of under-utilized street space that is not needed for cars-Oakland has lots of this. The prominent intersection of Shattuck & Telegraph is definitely under-utilized and could use some sprucing up, as it is dominated by asphalt and traffic. The old Kasper’s Hot Dog Shop is closed and has few people walking around or hanging out and enjoying the Temescal District at this location. While in some ways this corner acts as a gateway to the Temescal, in its current configuration it belies the wonderful shops and restaurants located just beyond.

Our pocket park demonstration is a joint project of the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, Walk Oakland Bike Oakland and the Temescal Street Fair. The idea is to build on the intersection’s prominence by creating an attractive pedestrian space through a low-cost effort of temporary street furniture and art, which could eventually lead to a long-term people-friendly solution, with the potential of  increasing economic development, improving parking and providing much safer bike circulation. A similar demonstration project starts up this Summer at Latham Square Plaza at Telegraph & Broadway. A permanent pocket park built years ago is Frank Ogawa Plaza in Downtown Oakland.

Our proposal closes down the last block of Shattuck to cars and opens it up to people. A permanent pocket park at this location would require thru car traffic to use 47th, 48th, 49th or 51st/52nd to get to and from Shattuck Ave and Telegraph. Bikes on the other hand could still use the pocket park for thru access, as they are allowed to use Frank Ogawa Plaza currently, and as they will be allowed to use Latham Square Plaza during its pilot. We are also proposing to make the block of Shattuck Ave between 46th & 47th Streets a one-way street southbound, with added diagonal parking.

At various times of the week, live music and a food truck pod could enrich Kasper’s Korner. Perhaps an impromptu jam session could start up, or pick up four square games, local painters looking for inspiration, local residents relaxing and enjoying ‘home’-there are many possibilities.

Doc's of the Bay

Doc’s of the Bay will be on hand to serve both beef and veggies burgers, fries, green beans and homemade ketchup

New York and San Francisco pioneered the creative upgrading of streets as places for people. New York started with Broadway at Times Square and San Francisco with its parklet program and later with the Castro Commons project. Many cities are now onboard and are allowing their talented local artists and engineers creatively put public space to better use. And their residents are loving it, as are their businesses.

Pocket parks are a reminder that streets perform more functions than moving cars. They also serve a social or civic function. They help us understand who our neighbors are, what is around us, and provide us the ability to talk and interact with one another. Streets are also where we buy and sell things and enjoy the commercial life of our town. By doing all of this they give us a sense of place and history.

“A safe street is one that tells a rich story about it’s past, its context, and the future hopes of its residents.”

Hans Monderman, Dutch traffic engineer (1945-2008)

Once upon a time, streets were as much about being a part of society as moving thru it. There was a rather informal relationship between the social and the transport functions of streets. Look at some of the old photos of the Temescal District inside the Mixing Bowl Cafe, or on display in the ground floor windows of The Cathedral Building at Telegraph & Broadway. Many of the old photos tell the story of the day when Telegraph teamed with people and life. Some of these old photos also show how the traffic engineers eventually won and made streets thoroughfares cars, devoid of people-as Shattuck & Telegraph largely is today. We are calling our pocket park “Kasper’s Korner” and hope that the project inspires a vision of an intersection that is a place in its own right, a place that increases the richness and variety of an area we love-the Temescal.

About Dave Campbell

Dave Campbell is the Advocacy Director of Bike East Bay lives near Lake Merritt and enjoys his BBQ smoker, in the Georgia tradition of his family.

View all posts by Dave Campbell

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