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Parklets Return to Downtown Cedar Rapids

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A mid-April cooldown didn't stop one sign of Spring from going up in downtown Cedar Rapids.

On Thursday, crews installed two parklets along 3rd St. SE. The platforms take the place of parking spaces and act as an extension of the sidewalk.

The city started a pilot program with them last year and four businesses participated. Other cities have used parklets to expand outdoor dining options or add extra benches for seating. Cedar Rapids planners say the platforms also work to prevent speeding traffic.

"They work in conjunction with the bike path that's along here, so it just creates kind of a more of a traffic calming. There's also planters that go into the center median. So, it just makes it more of an inviting place for people to come and sit and have a meal," said Mike Duffy, Superintendent of Street Operations.

The parklets this year are going up next to Zin's and The Lost Cuban. The city said businesses were pleased to find the parklets increased foot traffic last year.

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