PARK(ing) Day

PARK(ing) Day is a global event aimed at reclaiming parking spaces by temporarily transforming them into exciting and imaginative park spaces. On Friday, September 20, local businesses, non profits, and City Departments can all design and host their own temporary parklets.

Page updated on Jul 29, 2021 at 6:43 PM

What is PARK(ing) Day?


PARK(ing) Day is a global event that occurs annually on the third Friday of September, aimed at reclaiming on-street parking spaces by temporarily transforming them into exciting and imaginative park spaces or parklets.  

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. Local businesses, non-profits, and City Departments can all design and host their own temporary park by following the steps below.  

Park(ing) Day 2019

PARK(ing) Day is Friday, September 20! 

Visit Alexandria parklets in the following locations:

2019 PARK(ing) Day Map

6 King St.
Parker Rodriguez, Inc. 
7 King St. Winstanley Architects & Planners
320 King St.  Animal Welfare League of Alexandria
400 King St.  Michael Baker International
530 King St.  Rhodeside & Harwell, Inc.
908 King St.  City of Alexandria: GO Alex
1100 King St.  American Institute of Architects
121 N. Fairfax St.  City of Alexandria: Department of Planning and Zoning 
132 N. Royal St.  City of Alexandria: Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities
717 Queen St.  Alexandria Library 
525 Montgomery St.  Maginniss & del Ninno Architects
315 Cameron St.  HGA
520 John Carlyle St.  Hord Coplan Macht
510 John Carlyle St. 

Carlyle Council  

This list will be updated.

How to Obtain a Permit for PARK(ing) Day 

1. SELECT a site for your Parklet that meets these general criteria:

  • Located mid-block: Parklets should not be located on corners and must be at least 50 feet from the intersection to maintain safety.
  • Located on low speed limit streets: Parklets should be on streets with a speed limit of 25 mph or less. 
  • Not located on an HOV street, including Washington Street, Henry Street, or Patrick Street.

Note – No more than two parklets will be approved per block face. Final location is subject to City approval through the permit process.

2. DESIGN your Parklet, using the PARK(ing) Day Guidelines keeping the following considerations in mind:

  • PARK(ing) Day parklets should:
    • Be 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 inches; however, curb heights vary throughout the City.
    • Be 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. 
    • Include a buffer zone: A minimum 10-foot buffer zone must be included along each end of the parklet and a 2-foot buffer must be provided between the parklet and the travel lane. The edge of the Parking Area shall be highly visible and clearly marked with warning tape, bollards, or other traffic control devices.
  • Safety comes first. Always consult a professional engineer regarding parklet siting.
  • Consider including the following in your PARK(ing) Day parklet:
    • 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!

3. APPLY for a PARK(ing) Day Permit which includes:

  • Submitting a Permit Application to the T&ES Permit office (301 King Street, Room 4130) or by email. Ensure all required application materials are submitted, including:
    • Sketch showing parklet location: Show the entire block and adjacent cross streets. Label and show all streets, bike lanes, parking lanes, meter locations, driveway aprons, fire hydrants or other features within the right-of-way. 
    • Detailed sketch showing the layout of the proposed parklet: Include all dimensions, buffer areas, and items to be placed within the allowed area.
    • Affirmative acknowledgement of legal liability statement. 
  • Pay the Permit Fee: $40 per meter space, $30 per non-meter space. 

Note – A minimum of two spaces must be reserved to accommodate the parklet and required buffer zone.


4. BUILD and STAFF your parklet

  • On PARK(ing) Day, parklets may not be assembled until 9:00 AM. 
  • Someone must be present at all times the parklet is assembled.
  • Share pictures on social media by tagging @AlexandriaVATES as well as using #PARKingDay and #PARKingDayALX

5. REMOVE your Parklet:

  • By 7:00 PM, the parklet must be completely removed and returned the original on-street parking conditions.
  • Parklets not removed by 7:00 PM may be subject to fines.

If you have additional questions about the permit process, contact the T&ES Permit Office at 703.746.4035.

PARK(ing) Day Photos from Previous Years

Check out the images below for a highlight of the great parklets!