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Shift into Idle on Colorado Boulevard Friday

You’re invited to Eagle Rock’s first parklet on PARK(ing) Day, Sept. 21.

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.

Click here to learn more about PARK(ing) Day.

Click here to learn more about Take Back the Boulevard.

Related: ‘Take Back the Boulevard’ Moves Forward to Improve Colorado.

Erykah Grande September 20, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Whoa! How cool is that!? I'm very curious to see how this pans out. I hope they have umbrellas! The sun hits pretty hard in that intersection. This is awesome news! TBTB, I think it's time I take the time to check them out. With all these politics taking over, one easily forgets the important things in life, to stop, take a step back and breathe. Like this event, for example, definitely something most of us can benefit from. Questions, however, considering the purpose of it, will there be a fee to sit and enjoy ourselves at this set-up? Will it just be for display only?
Ajay Singh (Editor) September 20, 2012 at 10:33 PM
No fee, Erykah—like almost all public parks.
Jason September 21, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Why in the world would you think that there might even possibly be a fee? We're talking about a converted parking space, for Pete's sake. Sometimes, I really do think people post things on here just to get a rise out of others.
Erykah Grande September 21, 2012 at 04:26 AM
To raise money, of course. Or help cover some cost.
Jason September 21, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Again: it's a parking space. No one is going to pay money to sit on astroturf in a small space.
Duff Strong September 21, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Saying, "No one" is untrue. I know lots of people who would donate money to such a cause. In fact, all of the materials used last year were from donations. Hence, raising money as Mrs. Grande stated.
Savateuse September 21, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Because there's such an abundance of underutilized parkING spaces on that block of Colorado, of course.
Tim Tritch September 22, 2012 at 11:17 PM
While this may be a great idea for some communities, those wit very limited parking are probably not the best locations. And as far as open space go, we have this very nice big open space called Eagle Rock Park, with plenty of room, and REAL grass(as if there is a grass shortage in ER). And you dont have to sit within two feet of vehicles driving 40 mph, on the busiest intersection in town. They culd have easily asked one of the gas stations on the other corners to allow them to use an equal amount of space, like they have often done with the vendors they allow on their property. They probably culd have created a much larger parklet in either of those locations. Great idea, poor execution

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