Skip to content

Pop-Up Recipes for Parklets and Bike Lanes

8 demonstration projects that can inspire better spaces for sitting and for cycling

Bicycle lanes and parklets are fun, easy and popular pop-up projects. There are many ways to create a demonstration bike lane. Parklets — which are essentially parking spots for people rather than cars — can be created with little more than paint, plywood and some decorative accessories. This photo album is an excerpt from The Pop-Up Placemaking Tool Kit, a free publication by AARP and the planning and design firm Team Better Block.

All photos by Team Better Block

Green Bike Lane

Bike lanes provide a designated space for bicyclists to ride on a street. The colored pavement increases the path's visibility, identifies areas of potential danger, reinforces the right-of-way of bicyclists and discourages drivers from parking illegally. 

Green Bike Lane


Limitless Lane

With a limitless lane, which is wider than a traditional bike lane, a portion of the street is set aside for cyclists and pedestrians, as well as people using wheelchairs , scooters, horse or other nonmotorized vehicles. 

Limitless Lane

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Raised Cycle Tracks 

These types of lanes are set slightly higher than the roadway. Many are paired with a "furnishing zone" (shown) to further separate the cycle track from motor vehicles or pedestrians or both.

Raised Cycle Track

Des Moines, Iowa

Buffered Bike Lane 

Adding a painted double line, or delineator, increases the visability of a bicycle lane and protects cyclists from open car doors.

Buffered Bike Lane

Des Moines, Iowa

Two-Way Cycle Track 

When only one side of the street can accommondate bicycles, a two-lane, two-way path is a useful and safe alternative.

Two-way Cycle Track

Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Art Parklet

A parklet can become almost anything its creators want it to be. This maritime-themed parklet features a calm sea of paint, a sailcloth for shade and seating created by slicing a discarded wooden rowboat in half. 

Art Parklet

Greensboro, North Carolina

Mike Crate Parklet

A parklet is a street space, typically the size of one or two parking spots where people — rather than cars — can park themselves and relax. This parklet turned hard plastic milk crates into seating and display planters.

Family with Milk Crate Parklet

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Play Parklet

Children can play in the street if a parking spot is transformed into a contained play space. The one shown here is set up as a futsal (aka small soccer) court. 

Futsal Play Parklet

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Find "recipes" for how to create the projects shown above:

Page published November 2019

More Pop-Up Placemaking Projects

Stay Informed — For Free!

Each issue of the award-winning AARP Livable Communities e-Newsletter contains a mix of inspiring examples, community resources and information about livability efforts from places near and far. Subscribe today!

AARP Livable Communities Newsletter