Park(ing) Day in California

In Richmond, residents gathered outside of Rich City Rides to celebrate Park(ing) Day safely. Photo: Josue Hernandez/Rich City Rides
In Richmond, residents gathered outside of Rich City Rides to celebrate Park(ing) Day safely. Photo: Josue Hernandez/Rich City Rides

The twelfth annual Park(ing) Day took place on Friday in cities around the country. Below are photos from California. Did we miss an event in your area? Let us know. (Note: New photos added 9/19/17.)

Park(ing) Day is a grass-roots event wherein people turn street parking spaces into something more useful and fun than car storage. It was started in 2005 in San Francisco by the design studio ReBar, and has since taken off worldwide, sparking conversations about the best and wisest use of street space.

In the Bay Area, many of the street parking spots that were turned into mini parks for two hours in the early years of the event—with park attendees paying rent for the spot by feeding the meters—have become permanent, officially sanctioned “parklets” with space for sitting, eating, and people watching between traffic and sidewalks. Some of those parklets hosted celebrations on Friday.

Walk Oakland Bike Oakland led a noontime bike tour of a number of permanent parklets in downtown. Oakland hosted a skateboard park in one spot, and a performance by Bandaloop far above the spectators at the Great Wall of Oakland.

Bonzing skateboards set up a ramp for play at Lake Merritt in Oakland. Also, the parking meter did double duty as a hat/phone holder. Photo: Melanie Curry/Streetsblog
Bonzing skateboards set up a ramp for play at Lake Merritt in Oakland. Also, the parking meter did double duty as a hat/phone holder. Photo: Melanie Curry/Streetsblog

 

People gathered in anticipation of seeing Bandaloop dance on the Great Wall of Oakland. Photo: Melanie Curry/Streetsblog
People gathered in anticipation of seeing Bandaloop dance on the Great Wall of Oakland. Photo: Melanie Curry/Streetsblog

 

Bandaloop did a short performance on Oakland's Great Wall for Park(ing) Day. Photo: Melanie Curry/Streetsblog
Bandaloop did a short performance on Oakland’s Great Wall for Park(ing) Day. Photo: Melanie Curry/Streetsblog

SPUR hosted a parklet in front of their offices on Mission Street in downtown, set up in conjunction with the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco.

PARKing Day in front of SPUR San Francisco. Photo: SPUR
PARKing Day in front of SPUR San Francisco. Photo: SPUR

 

PARKing Day in front of SPUR San Francisco. Photo: SPUR
PARKing Day in front of SPUR San Francisco. Photo: SPUR

The city of Stockton hosted its first-ever Park(ing) Day. There, nine parking spaces in downtown were turned into coffee house lounges, grassy knolls, and art installations.

“For a lot of people, it’s very hard to visualize what a parklet looks like,” according to Kari McKnickle, program specialist with the San Joaquin Council of Governments. The council of governments, along with its Dibs commuting program, the San Joaquin Bike Coalition, and members of the Stockton community, created installations that challenge people to re-imagine parking spaces as public spaces.

Dustin Brakebill, left, host of the local radio program The Voice of Stockton, is joined by Christine Corrales and Summer Anderson of the San Joaquin Council of Governments at a the PARK(ing) Day parklet. Photo: Minerva Perez/Streetsblog
Dustin Brakebill, left, host of the local radio program The Voice of Stockton, is joined by Christine Corrales and Summer Anderson of the San Joaquin Council of Governments at a the Park(ing) Day parklet. Photo: Minerva Perez/Streetsblog

Artists invited people to sit for portraits. Other spaces offered the use of a piano, a place to have a cup of coffee, and a chance to play with toy building blocks—as a way of offering feedback on potential transportation improvements in the region.

Christine Corrales, associate regional planner for SJCOG, said the Park(ing) Day event is a nicer way to connect with people than large public meetings, which “can be pretty intimidating to a lot of people.”

“Our goal is to create a community — an interactive downtown,” said Sylwia Qualls, communications manager at the Downtown Stockton Alliance.

Passersby gawk at the art installation created by Garrett Compton Danielle on North San Joaquin Street at PARK(ing) Day in downtown Stockton. Photo: Minerva Perez/Streetsblog
Passersby gawk at the art installation created by Garrett Compton Danielle on North San Joaquin Street at Park(ing) Day in downtown Stockton. Photo: Minerva Perez/Streetsblog

 

Killefer Flammnag Architects brought some crazy plastic people and trees to their parklet in Santa Monica. Photo: Damien Newton/Streetsblog
Killefer Flammang Architects brought some crazy plastic people and trees to their parklet in Santa Monica–and made seating out of cardboard tubes. Photo: Damien Newton/Streetsblog

 

A parking space on Third in LA's Midcity became a quiet place to enjoy the day. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog
A parking space on Third Street in LA’s Midcity became a quiet place to enjoy the day. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog

 

This parking space on Fairfax was given over to people. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog
This parking space on Fairfax in LA was given over to people. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog

 

Making livable streets in San Diego. Photo: Oscar Medina
In San Diego, Project New Village worked with Circulate San Diego to build a parklet with games and a quiet place to rest. Photo: Oscar Medina

 

Pamela, Van, and Phoenix, students at California College of the Arts, asked people to weigh in on their connections to other countries at their parking spot in Oakland. Photo: Melanie Curry/Streetsblog
Pamela, Van, and Phoenix, students at California College of the Arts in Oakland, are taking a class called “Streets” where they got to meet one of the founders of Rebar. They used their park(ing) spot to ask people about their connections with people in other countries. Photo: Melanie Curry/Streetsblog

 

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition and Day One commandeered a parking space for two hours. Photo: Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition and Day One
The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition and Day One commandeered a parking space for two hours. Photo: Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition and Day One

 

After their two hours were up, the group moved on to an evening celebration at a different spot. Photo: Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition
After their two hours were up, the group moved on to an evening celebration at a different spot. Photo: Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition
  • Edgardo Colorado

    Lowney Architecture in Oakland, will be doing an installation for Park(ing) Day 2018, on Sept. 21st. It will take place in front of their offices.

  • @Brenda – If you bother to read his blog (and why would you?), you’d find that his concocted “Cute Movement” basically means young people doing interesting things. The horror, the horror.

  • Brenda

    Oh yes, you are absolutely right, having any fun and creativity and enjoyment, and inviting passers-by to enjoy our public spaces too, is TERRIBLE and MUST BE STAMPED OUT. We must do everything we can to make sure our public spaces are very serious and these exhibitionists discouraged from these disgusting displays of joy and humor. Right on, Rob Anderson.

  • Yes, it’s a great day for exhibitionists and what I call the Cute Movement, which embraces anything that provides them with an opportunity to show the rest of us how clever and adorable they are:
    http://district5diary.blogspot.com/2016/03/citys-cute-movement-celebrates-easter.html

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

The Streetsblog California Park(ing) Day Post

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