StreetFilms: Park(ing) Day 2007

Clarence Eckerson may have set an all-time speed record for the production of this inspiring StreetFilm on Park(ing) Day 2007. It’s a good one.

Seeing pre-schoolers participating in an outdoor music class — in a parking space — on Brooklyn’s busy Cortelyou Rd., you definitely get the feeling that Park(ing) Day has, in just a few short years, transformed from a quirky art activist event into the beginnings of a broad-based grassroots movement with meaningful social and political implications. On Friday, Park(ing) events were set up in about 150 spots across 42 U.S. cities along with events in five or six other countries, according to the Trust for Public Land.

In PlaNYC 2030, the Bloomberg Administration said that it wants to build a park within 10 minutes walking distance of every neighborhood in the city. On Friday, a bunch of New Yorkers went out and began implementing that plan, simply by turning on-street parking spaces into pocket parks and public plazas.

Eckerson writes:

National PARK(ing) Day was a huge hit here in NYC where Transportation Alternatives & The Trust for Public Land organized a of group of motley advocates in liberating parking spaces to open green areas for city residents to enjoy. Last year, NYC had just one spot, but this year nearly two dozen were sponsored across the city – ranging from a mini-gym on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn to a tribal village (complete with tee pee!) on Manhattan’s West Side.

Most amazing was the overwhelmingly positive response the event received. Residents, tourists, commuters, and drivers (yes drivers!) were seen voicing approval. Peds relished the chance to take a seat or diddle their feet in fresh sod. Some ate pizza.

  • Gargamel Tralfaz

    My favorites are Lower East Side Girls Club, Cortelyou, and the kids gym in Williamsburg. Can you imagine the ideas for next year?

  • Dan Icolari

    Reports from participants in the event here in St. George, Staten Island–which was held in front of the Borough Library Center one block uphill from the ferry terminal–was that it was successful, with lots of encouraging comments from passersby. In short, a success.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I had a thought about park space vs. parking.

    The way street sweeping is now done, an entire neighborhood has half its curb space unavailable for parking for a couple of hours two days each week. If one leaves the car to go to work, that really means half the spaces in an entire area are unavailable all day.

    Imagine instead that, on one-way side streets, the city swept both sides of the street along a the entire length of street on one day, going across mutiple neighborhoods. So every fifth street would be unavailable for parking one day per week — actually more curb space available.

    My thought was that the street being swept could be otherwise closed to traffic, and converted to a play street, for the entire day until dusk.

    So within five blocks there would be a play street open every single day, at the added cost of moving police barricades and signs twice a day. And no one would be stuck with kids out playing on their block more than one day a week.

  • In a Height-Of-Irony situation, the bench and chairs at Cortelyou Rd. Park arrived late because we were trapped on a block filled with double-parked cars!

  • momos

    Clarence – awesome video as always. Loved the LES Girls Club.

  • Charlie D.

    Great video! It really makes you wonder why we give priority to people’s vehicles over the health and enjoyment of people themselves.

  • brian

    What a lovel film!

    Trackback from http://carfreeusa.blogspot.com

    Come enjoy pictures from California’s Park(ing) day.

    In Solidarity,
    – Carfree USA blog

  • Love the film. Great job! I have bookmarked it. And you put it together so quickly!

    Here are some photos from Seattle’s first annual Park(ing) Day – this year. Your film offers lots of ideas for next year, like the Bicycle Blender.

    http://didia.smugmug.com/gallery/3493595

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