Greater Greater Washington

Turn parking into parks for Park(ing) Day

Today is Park(ing) Day, and all across the US city-dwellers are claiming car parking spaces and temporarily converting them to parks for people.

Instead of using all our street space to store cars, why not use some of it to make our cities nicer places to live? On Park(ing) Day, groups find an on-street parking space, pay the meter to claim it legally, and instead of parking a car, they park seats, tables, plants, or whatever.

Groups are sponsoring parklets all over the DC region today. I visited two near my Arlington office alone.

Parklets on Clarendon Boulevard (left) and 14th Street North (right). Images by the author.

Cross-posted at BeyondDC.

Dan Malouff is a professional transportation planner for Arlington County, but his blog posts represent only his own personal views. He has a degree in Urban Planning from the University of Colorado, and lives car-free in Washington. He runs BeyondDC and contributes to the Washington Post


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Should be on the weekend.

by BTA on Sep 20, 2013 3:11 pm • linkreport

We should make these a permanent fixture of DC:

by Travis Moore on Sep 20, 2013 3:41 pm • linkreport


Why should it be on the weekend?

by UrbanEngineer on Sep 20, 2013 4:38 pm • linkreport

So it doesn't inconvenience anyone who wants to park, of course! Because car drivers should always be the #1 priority, no matter what.

by Ballston Guy on Sep 20, 2013 4:40 pm • linkreport

The one across the street from me is already gone. Sniff.

by Crickey7 on Sep 20, 2013 6:05 pm • linkreport

The guys in the picture on the right remind me of the characters in "The Sopranos" lounging around in front of the pork store - and at their construction site no-show jobs.


by ceefer66 on Sep 20, 2013 8:04 pm • linkreport

Annnnnd, for a contrary view, check out Alissa Walker's article, "Why We Don't Need Parking Day Anymore"

by Bradley Heard on Sep 21, 2013 10:57 am • linkreport

Not sure which is the dumbest point from the Walker article. No, I do actually. It's "It's already worked. Cities around the world are turning streets back into pedestrian zones. "

by oboe on Sep 21, 2013 2:14 pm • linkreport

Better idea: put your efforts towards cleaning up and maintaining permanent parks in the city.

by NatsFanY2K on Sep 21, 2013 4:17 pm • linkreport

The biggest counter-argument to Walker's article are the comments under it saying "I've never heard of it; it's stupid."

That said, reducing waste is a good idea.

by Neil Flanagan on Sep 21, 2013 6:23 pm • linkreport

Better idea: put your efforts towards cleaning up and maintaining permanent parks in the city.

Isn't this a bit like saying we should eliminate 'Talk Like A Pirate Day' because people could volunteer to work in a soup kitchen. It seems to have a whiff of concern trolling.

by oboe on Sep 23, 2013 8:36 am • linkreport

It should be on the weekend because I couldn't go see it because I had to work :)

by BTA on Sep 23, 2013 2:39 pm • linkreport

All while the REAL parks in the city go neglected.

This cute @creativity would do far more good cleaning and sprucing up the existing parks. But I suppose actually doing something worthwhile isn't as cool as making a point.

Spending time on "Park(ing) Day" is as wasteful and selfish as taking pictures of empty parking spaces and blogging about "unneeded parking" on Black Friday while the rest of us are feeding the poor at the Convetion Center.

by August4 on Sep 19, 2015 11:02 am • linkreport

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