Take Back the Boulevard, the homegrown initiative to make Colorado Boulevard more accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists, is inviting the public to participate in a global event Friday aimed at converting metered parking spaces into temporary public spaces.
Known as PARK(ing) Day, the event will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the southeast corner of Colorado Boulevard and Eagle Rock Boulevard—in the very first parking space opposite Swork.
The parking space will be covered with Astroturf and instead of a sedan or truck that might have been parked there, visitors will see tables, chairs and umbrellas barricaded by planters loaned by Swork, according to Allen Compton, an Eagle Rock resident and landscape architect who is a consultant on the TBTB steering committee.
“We’re trying to create a temporary space—a den if you will—where people can come and talk and have lunch,” said Compton. “It’s a very simple approach.”
Compton added that TBTB is hoping to get the support of Councilmember José Huizar’s office to create a more enduring—albeit temporary—“parklet,” as such converted parking spaces are called.
PARK(ing) Day is an annual project that began in 2005 in downtown San Francisco, where an art and design studio called Rebar transformed a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in an effort to focus public attention on the need for greater open space in urban areas.
Over the years, PARK(ing) Day—note the intriguing play on words, highlighting the “park” hidden in “parking”—has developed into a worldwide movement in which organizations as well as individuals follow certain guidelines to temporarily turn metered parking spaces into public spaces annually on Sept. 21.
As a community effort aimed at revitalizing Colorado Boulevard, Take Back the Boulevard shares PARK(ing) Day’s ideals. In particular, TBTB seeks to install bike lanes; reduce the number of lanes on Colorado devoted to motor-vehicle traffic; install and improve crosswalks and other pedestrian amenities; create street porches and pedestrian plazas where the public can gather.