PARK(ing) Day 2016: Transforming Parking Spots into Public Spaces

Screen Shot 2016-09-13 at 2.54.38 PM

Wonder what PARK(ing) Day looks like in practice? Photo by twitter user @sherpes

This Friday, 9/16, metered parking spaces throughout the city will be transformed into temporary parks in celebration of PARK(ing) Day. This international event asks residents and businesses to re-envision how parking spaces can be temporarily transformed into shared public spaces.

The mission of PARK(ing) Day is three-part:

  1. Call attention to the need for more urban open space
  2. Generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated
  3. Improve the quality of urban human habitat (At least until the meter runs out!)

PARK(ing) Day is one of BikePGH’s favorite holidays.  It allows people to rethink how public space should be used. Our streets are our Pittsburgh’s largest shared space – 5.1 square miles to be exact. And that is huge; larger then Frick Park, Schenley Park, Highland Park, Riverview Park, Emerald View Park, and the new Hayes Woods Park combined (they total 4.5 square miles). PARK(ing) Day is an opportunity to remind ourselves that the true purpose of city streets is not to move automobiles, it is to connect people.

So this Friday BikePGH is teaming up with an amazing group of partners to trial a new public plaza + an extension of the Penn Ave Bike Lane to Point State Park. Huge thanks to the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Port Authority, Parking Authority, Envision Downtown and the City of Pittsburgh for helping make this happen.

Here’s a sketch of the idea:

parking day expansion

BikePGH will be trialling this 1-day extension of the Penn Ave. bike lane during LunchLoop.

We think this is a great place to demonstrate an alternate use of public space. Lots of other people do too. This area is a highly trafficked part of downtown, with some huge employers in Gateway Center and a few large transit stops immediately adjacent. Additionally, the Penn Ave Protected bike lane currently stops at Stanwix and it is just begging to find its way to connect to Point State Park. Not to mention that this is an area with a well-documented aggressive driving problem. Adding some humanity to the space would create a more safe, more enjoyable downtown. So lets make it happen.

We will have food trucks and fashion trucks on site. Some beautiful garden set up thanks to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and talented musicians thanks to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.  We invite you to come experience it.  The trial will only be up from 9am to 2pm, so we’d suggest that you join BikePGH on our final #LunchLoop to ride the temporary bike lane & grab some food in the plaza.

Click Here to Register for the #LunchLoop and see PARK(ing) Day first hand

Leave a Reply