Park(ing) Day is one of my favorite days of the year. I just bike all over the city visiting dozens of new tiny parks that pop up in parking spaces for just a few hours (see our post from last year).
The day demonstrates how vibrant even a car or two worth of urban space can become when people are invited to use it. But importantly, the day makes this statement in the more fun and creative ways possible.
Park(ing) Day 2016 is September 16 and 17, but your applications are due August 5. Forms and instructions available from the city’s website.
In recent years, safe streets advocates have taken the idea to the next step by using the day as a way to demonstrate their ideas for fixing dangerous crossings or even for building protected bike lanes.
The biggest complaint about Park(ing) Day that I’ve heard year after year is that people who work days and can’t get away for a long lunch cannot participate. Typically held during work hours on a Friday, Park(ing) Day is wrapping up right when a lot of people are getting off work.
So this year, the city is trying something new: Park(ing) Day installations will be allowed to stay open Friday and Saturday. The city is also specifically encouraging safe streets demonstrations.
So you have less than a month to get your idea to the city. What ideas would you like to see demonstrated for two days? Feel free to organize in the comments below.
More details from SDOT:
SDOT is now accepting applications to turn on-street parking spaces into pop-up parks and street improvements for its PARK(ing) Day Plus+ event in September. Each year, residents, businesses and organizations participate in the international PARK(ing) Day program to engage their communities in rethinking how streets can be used.
Applications to create a PARK(ing) Day Plus+ installation are due by August 5. The short, free application can be found on SDOT’s website. It requires a site plan, location description, and documentation of neighbor notification. Completed applications or questions can be emailed to [email protected].
This year, SDOT is partnering with the Department of Neighborhoods to offer funding to PARK(ing) Day Plus+ participants through the Small Sparks grant program. Small Sparks grants (up to $1,000) can be used for projects and events that help build stronger and healthier communities. Grant applications must be submitted by August 5. Interested applicants can contact [email protected] or call (206) 233-0093.
Seattle has participated in PARK(ing) Day since 2007, and based on its success, SDOT is expanding the event into PARK(ing) Day Plus+ this year. It will now span two days: Friday, September 16 and Saturday, September 17. In addition, applicants are encouraged test out temporary street improvements, such as bike lanes and sidewalks, as well as the pop-up parks that have been the focus of the event in the past.
The original PARK(ing) Day started in 2005 by San Francisco design firm Rebar and has become an international event celebrated in over 160 cities. The event intends to raise awareness about the importance of creating a walkable, livable, and healthy city.
More information about PARK(ing) Day Plus+, including application examples and guidelines, can be found on SDOT’s website. We’ve also included a photo gallery of past PARK(ing) Day installations, so take a peek and get inspired!