The Streetsblog California Park(ing) Day Post

Today is Park(ing) Day, the now-ten-year-old celebration that repurposes street parking spots for people rather than cars.

Westwood Village in Los Angeles was the first picture we found today via Twitter.
Westwood Village in Los Angeles was the first picture we found today via Twitter.

The concept is simple. People “take over” a parking space and use it for something other than car parking for a day, or a couple of hours, or until the meter runs out. As you would expect, Streetsblog generally finds Park(ing) Day pretty exciting and has led bike tours, produced maps, programmed our own spaces, and of course covered the heck out of the annual event.

This year, we’re asking for your help to cover Park(ing) Day throughout California.

The goal of Park(ing) Day is to show how much public space is wasted for below-market-rate storage of people’s personal property. Once people experience what can be done in even a small amount of space, they usually want changes in cities’ public parking policies.

Park(ing) Day is something of a success. Today, the concept of a “parklet” has taken hold in many cities, and what were temporary have in many spots become permanent people parking spots.

ReBar, the group that started the idea in 2006, no longer exists, and participation on the official Park(ing) Day website is spotty, so there’s no one central place you can go any more to see where parking spots are being turned into temporary parks in your city, or others. But other groups have taken over and run with the concept, from local advocacy groups like WOBO in Oakland to the American Society of Landscape Architects, which is designing and putting up parklets throughout the country today.

So there are still plenty of great Park(ing) Day parklets popping up around the state. Send your media from Park(ing) Day throughout California to damien@streetsblog.org or melanie@streetsblog.org and we’ll include it in this post.

In Oakland, the police were not amused by this "Yarn Cube" in front of Market Hall. They made Groundworks, the landscape architecture firm that built it, remove it while they watched. The police had never heard of Park(ing) Day and were responding to complaints from a security guard. Their reasoning was the cube was a "distraction" to drivers and thus a safety hazard. It didn't seem to matter that the parking meter had been paid up.
In Oakland, the police were not amused by this “Yarn Cube” in front of Market Hall. They made Groundworks, the landscape architecture firm that built it, remove it while they watched. The police had never heard of Park(ing) Day and were responding to complaints from a security guard. Their reasoning was the cube was a “distraction” to drivers and thus a safety hazard. It didn’t seem to matter that the parking meter had been paid up.
It's 10:20 a.m. and they're still blowing up balloons in Sacramento. Photo: Melanie Curry
It’s 10:20 a.m. and they’re still blowing up balloons in Sacramento. Photo: Melanie Curry

 

 

In Sacramento, the local chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects organized a whole block full of parklets, including a beach.
In Sacramento, the local chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects organized a whole block full of parklets, including a beach. Photo: Melanie Curry/Streetsblog
Sacramento's event, on 9th street near the Capitol, was well-permitted and well-attended. Some participants experimented with new kinds of shade (these made of plastic ribbons). Photo: Melanie Curry/Streetsblog
Sacramento’s event, on 9th street near the Capitol, was fully permitted and well-attended. Some participants experimented with new kinds of shade (these made of plastic ribbons). Photo: Melanie Curry/Streetsblog
This booth in Sacramento combined water education with games, including one that required a very high level of skill and patience: throwing ping pong balls into a toilet. Photo: Melanie Curry/Streetsblog
This booth in Sacramento combined water education with games, including one that required a very high level of skill and patience: throwing ping pong balls into a toilet. Photo: Melanie Curry/Streetsblog
At a crafts parklet, the Sacramento skyline was on display. Photo: Melanie Curry/Streetsblog
At a crafts parklet, the Sacramento skyline was on display. Photo: Melanie Curry/Streetsblog
Stafford King Wiese Architects encouraged everyone to participate in building, unbuilding, and rebuilding a structure in their parklet. Watch a timelapse of it changing here.
Stafford King Wiese Architects encouraged everyone to participate in building, unbuilding, and rebuilding a structure in their parklet. Watch a timelapse of the changing process here.

Orange County’s Park(ing) Day had to be different! It takes place tomorrow.

he National Park Service has a great program in Richmond, called the Urban Agenda. It is led by Kieron Slaughter who organized a parklet last Friday for the second year in a row. This one was complete with mock campfire, night herons in the tree above, a map of national parks, and the park superintendent
he National Park Service has a great program in Richmond, called the Urban Agenda. It is led by Kieron Slaughter who organized a parklet last Friday for the second year in a row. This one was complete with mock campfire, night herons in the tree above, a map of national parks, and the park superintendent
he National Park Service has a great program in Richmond, called the Urban Agenda. It is led by Kieron Slaughter who organized a parklet last Friday for the second year in a row. This one was complete with mock campfire, night herons in the tree above, a map of national parks, and the park superintendent
he National Park Service has a great program in Richmond, called the Urban Agenda. It is led by Kieron Slaughter who organized a parklet last Friday for the second year in a row. This one was complete with mock campfire, night herons in the tree above, a map of national parks, and the park superintendent
he National Park Service has a great program in Richmond, called the Urban Agenda. It is led by Kieron Slaughter who organized a parklet last Friday for the second year in a row. This one was complete with mock campfire, night herons in the tree above, a map of national parks, and the park superintendent
he National Park Service has a great program in Richmond, called the Urban Agenda. It is led by Kieron Slaughter who organized a parklet last Friday for the second year in a row. This one was complete with mock campfire, night herons in the tree above, a map of national parks, and the park superintendent
Pershing Square Renew, Jose Huizar, and Agence TER + Team celebrate #PARKingDAY, with both a party and outreach for their plan to transform the Pershing Square transit stop.
Pershing Square Renew, Jose Huizar, and Agence TER + Team celebrate #PARKingDAY, with both a party and outreach for their plan to transform the Pershing Square transit stop.
Pershing Square Renew, Jose Huizar, and Agence TER + Team celebrate #PARKingDAY, with both a party and outreach for their plan to transform the Pershing Square transit stop.
Pershing Square Renew, Jose Huizar, and Agence TER + Team celebrate #PARKingDAY, with both a party and outreach for their plan to transform the Pershing Square transit stop.
Pershing Square Renew, Jose Huizar, and Agence TER + Team celebrate #PARKingDAY, with both a party and outreach for their plan to transform the Pershing Square transit stop.
Pershing Square Renew, Jose Huizar, and Agence TER + Team celebrate #PARKingDAY, with both a party and outreach for their plan to transform the Pershing Square transit stop.
Krystin Gibson, 30, and her sons Nolan, 4, and Lynk, 7, draw on a community painting board at Orange County's Parking Day on September 17 in downtown Garden Grove. Photo by Kristopher Fortin
Krystin Gibson, 30, and her sons Nolan, 4, and Lynk, 7, draw on a community painting board at Saturday’s Park(ing) Day in downtown Garden Grove. Photo by Kristopher Fortin

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

STREETSBLOG USA

Park(ing) Day Scenes From Coast to Coast

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Today is a very fun day in cities around the U.S., when advocates for better public spaces unleash their imaginations on the dreary places where we normally store cars. Park(ing) Day is “an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks,” according to its organizers. Below we are showcasing […]