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On Friday, September 16, LAF teamed up with BrightView and Island Press to celebrate PARK(ing) Day 2016. We took over two on-street metered parking spaces to install our temporary parklet at the corner of M and 20th Streets NW in downtown Washington, D.C.
Amidst the sounds of nearby construction work and the ever persistent jackhammer, our parklet provided a much-needed respite and buffer from Friday’s traffic, noise and chaos. BrightView graciously provided two flat-bed trucks’ worth of materials for the day — materials already enroute to their own project site for permanent installation — including container shrubs, grasses, and trees. The vegetation shielded park visitors from the M Street traffic as they enjoyed their lunch, browsed the Island Press books in the outdoor library, or stopped to pose for a “polaroid” picture.
PARK(ing) Day 2016 brought 35 temporary installations to the streets of Washington, D.C. PARK(ing) Day newbies stopped by to learn about this international event to raise awareness and advance dialogue about how we use our urban public space. Those already hip to this 12-year tradition came prepared, using the District Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) online map to target our spot and bring along their own party!
Since it’s inception in 2005, PARK(ing) Day continues to be met with surprise, delight, and appreciation from passersby. For each individual mourning the loss of a parking space, there are many more who love the parklets and would like them to stay — forever. And fortunately, in Washington, D.C. there is a way to make that happen. DDOT piloted a Parklet Program beginning in the summer of 2015. The progam allows parklets, like those seen on PARK(ing) Day (but more durable), to be installed for year-round enjoyment. Many cities across the U.S. — from Sacramento to Minneapolis to Phoenix — have similar programs. Inquire with your city’s DOT for information.
For more photos of our PARK(ing) Day festivities, visit LAF’s Flickr page.
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