PARK(ing) Day

PARK(ing) Day is a global event aimed at reclaiming metered parking spaces by temporarily transforming them into exciting and imaginative park spaces or parklets. Local businesses, non-profits, and City Departments can all design and host their own temporary park.

Page updated on Sep 13, 2017 at 12:13 PM

Join us for a PARK(ing) Day celebration on September 15! City staff will be at Market Square (301 King St.), from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., where metered parking spaces near City Hall will be temporarily transformed into “parklets.” The public can explore these parklets (see the PARK(ing) Day 2017 parklet map), talk with staff from various City agencies, and enjoy music and refreshments. 

The PARK(ing) Day event is free and open to the public. 

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What is PARK(ing) Day?

PARK(ing) Day is a global event that occurs across the globe on the third Friday of each September, aimed at reclaiming parking spaces by temporarily transforming them into exciting and imaginative park spaces or parklets. Local businesses, non-profits, and City Departments can all design and host their own temporary park. 

The idea for PARK(ing) Day originally started in San Francisco in 2005. Rebar, an art and design studio, created a temporary park to draw attention to the lack of open space and need for more space for pedestrians. The PARK(ing) Day movement has since grown throughout the world to more than 160 different cities. Learn more on the official PARK(ing) Day website.

What is a Parklet?

A parklet is a temporary public space installation, typically designed to fit within an on-street parallel parking space. Parklets are intriguing design treatments for a number of reasons.

  • Parklets can be constructed with recycled materials, like pallets or old fencing
  • Parklets reuse space on the street in an innovative and inviting manner

How to Obtain a Permit for PARK(ing) Day?

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Applications will be accepted through Friday, September 8, 2017.

Participants apply to reserve a parking space via the City’s Department of Transportation and Environmental Services, Construction Permits and Inspection Section. Go here for information on the parking space reservation process and permit fee. If you have additional questions, contact (703) 746-4035 . Go here to apply for a 2017 PARK(ing) Day permit. 

Applicant must provide the following:

  • A sketch showing location. Provide the entire block to include cross streets. Label and show all streets, bike lanes, parking lanes, meter locations, driveway aprons, fire hydrant or other improvements within the right-of-way.
  • A detailed sketch showing the layout of your parklet. This should include all dimensions, buffer areas and items to be placed within the allowed area. 
  • For safety purposes, site criteria includes:
    • Speed limit on street of proposed placement should be 25 mph or less
    • No usage of an HOV lane or loading/unloading space will be approved
    • Proposed space should be a minimum of 50' from an intersection.
    • Minimum 10' buffer from each end of the space and 2' buffer from travel lane. 
    • Edge of the parklet area should be clear marked and highly visible.

Guidelines

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At this time, PARK(ing) Day is not formally endorsed by nor recognized by the City; however, the public has participated in previous years via the City’s permit reservation procedure.

Please keep the following considerations in mind:

PARK(ing) Day parklets should be:

  • Located Mid-Block: Parklets should not be located on corners, but should instead be located mid-block to ensure safety.
  • Located on Low Speed Limit Streets: Parklets should be on streets with a speed limit of 25 mph or less
  • ADA-Accessible: ADA Compliance mandates that an entrance to a parklet must be accessible via wheelchair; therefore, aim to make design your parklet to be flush with the curb. The standard curb height is 6”; however, curb heights vary throughout the City.
  • Level: Based on the pitch of the road, you may need to adjust the heights of either width of your parklet using shims or planks that are designed to carry loads.
  • Safety always comes first. Always consult a professional engineer regarding parklet siting.

Consider including the following in your PARK(ing) Day space:

  • Symbolic Groundcover: Cover up asphalt to create a more visually appealing space!
  • Seating: Provide a place for pedestrians to stop and sit!
  • Shade: Trees, landscaping, or other materials can provide welcoming shade!
  • Enclosure: Provide a definitive boundary between the parklet and street with warning tape, bollars, or other materials. There should be a 2' buffer from the outside edge (see below). Safety first!
  • Signs: Advertise PARK(ing) Day and raise awareness of the goals of PARK(ing) Day!

Many Cities in the United States—both large and small—have design guidelines and/or regulatory standards for parklets. A few major cities include:

PARK(ing) Day Photos


PARK(ing) Day 2016

PARK(ing) Day 2016 was a huge success! Check out the images below for a highlight of the great parklets!

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