Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday, June 2, 2014

a better bertrand

Lafayette's first Better Block demonstration was a success! The rain held off, people came out, and Bertrand Drive became a thriving roadway for everyone.

Trees lined the road to separate the drive lanes from the bike and pedestrian lanes, and crosswalks were marked throughout the space. There were food trucks, a coffee shop, a pop-up boutique, a beer station, a snoball stand, adoptable animals and other organizations. Beyond that, there was a pop-up park, a dog park and a band playing. 

The energy in the air was electric. Everyone walked around at a slightly slower pace, enjoying the outdoors, the activities and the new layout of the street. We noticed that people were a bit more friendly than usual, and people were more aware of their surroundings. My boyfriend noticed a man pick up a piece of litter and throw it away as he walked past. How often does that happen normally!? There was a great sense of community happening, and I think it's something that can sustain itself on a regular basis if we made more permanent changes. If there was a permanent bike lane, I could guarantee there would be plenty of riders using regularly.


We took advantage of the bike corral run by Bike Lafayette. I love having a dedicated place to leave our bikes, knowing they'll be watched!


We got to view the draft master plan for the Horse Farm, and what I remember most is the plan for a treehouse! If the Horse Farm looks anything like the master plan, it's going to be pretty incredible.


One of the sweet puppies with Lafayette Animal Aid.


The Better Block organizers reused the materials from the downtown parklet and moved it over to Bertrand for the day! The pallets used in the parklet and the Better Block entrance sign are all reclaimed wood.


What should be our official city motto.





We enjoyed lunch from Blanchard's Barbeque, and I discovered what may be one of my favorite dishes ever - these pulled pork tacos.


On a super humid day, snoballs are one of the best cures. I'm not sure who ran the snoball stand, but we were delighted to find out they were free! (We responsibly threw away the styrofoam, and I was sad that it wasn't something we could recycle.)


While the humidity was pretty ridiculous, I was so glad the rain held off, and we had a great time enjoying Bertrand in a whole new way. No matter how often you drive down a street normally, you get a different sense of appreciation for that road once you get to use it in a different way. From riding our bikes down the outside lane, to getting lunch at a food truck on the side of the road, to walking on the road itself as we check out the different areas, it was a unique afternoon in a familiar place.

Did you make it out to Better Block Bertrand? What was your favorite part?

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