‘Pop Up Park’ Approved for Three Weeks Next August


Town officials on Tuesday granted conditional approval for volunteers to operate the Pop Up Park in its place on the first block of South Avenue, continuously, from Aug. 5 through 28.

So long as the administrative team that oversees special events planning in New Canaan says there’s no conflict, South Avenue will be closed between Morse Court and Elm Street for those three weeks, following a 3-0 vote by the Police Commission.

One member of the Pop Up Park Committee, Martin Skrelunas, said First Selectman Rob Mallozzi supported the proposed dates (so long as it doesn’t run into Labor Day, Sept. 5) and told commissioners that the town has pledged financial support in the form of infrastructure at the site.

That includes electrical work, storage and labor to set up the park and break it down, Skrelunas said during the meeting, held in the Training Room at the New Canaan Police Department.

The committee also plans to publicize aggressively the Pop Up Park’s dates since “we found, in essence, that the largest concern anyone ever had to supporting the Pop Up Park was not knowing if it was going to be up or down and not knowing where to turn if they encounter a roadblock,” Skrelunas said.

The decision to re-boot the Pop Up Park follows a summer that saw it put off after a group of merchants expressed concerns about its effects on traffic, parking, business and aesthetics.

Commissioners asked about input from those merchants and their major concerns. Skrelunas said some had participated in 2016 planning early on and later fell off, and that their number-one concern was that prospective customers wouldn’t know how to get to their shops at times when the Pop Up Park was in place.

Skrelunas said the committee created a 48-page working document that addressed planning concerns such as transportation routes and “wayfinding.”

Commissioner Paul Foley asked about some of the events planned for the Pop Up Park while it’s running. Skrelunas answered that while there’s strong interest from local musicians and businesses—such as some that may offer free community outdoor exercise classes—the dates themselves need to be locked down in order to do the detailed planning.

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