NYC Celebrates Park(ing) Day 2014

Kristy Raffensberger of the New York Public Library reads to children in a Park(ing) Day space in Tribeca. Photo: HR&A Advisors
Kristy Raffensberger of the New York Public Library reads to children in Tribeca. Photo: HR&A Advisors

Today’s the day when people across the world replace parking with parks to prompt their neighbors to think a bit differently about how we use street space. While participation in Park(ing) Day seems to have ebbed in New York recently, the city still made a decent showing this year. Here’s a sampler of the pop-up parklets across the city today.

Consulting firm HR&A Advisors set up a temporary parklet on Harrison Street, between Hudson and Greenwich Streets in Tribeca. It featured yoga sessions plus books and storytelling from the New York Public Library and Poet’s House.

The Park Slope Street Safety Partnership and the 78th Precinct took over a metered parking space in front of Ride Brooklyn in Park Slope, near the precinct house and the NYPD-protected block of the Bergen Street bike lane. The precinct offered free bike registration and Vision Zero literature, and new 78th Precinct Commanding Officer Captain Frank DiGiacomo was on hand to meet residents.

Community Affairs Officer Brian Laffey, left, and Captain Frank DiGiacomo, commanding officer of the 78th Precinct, enjoy Park(ing) Day in Park Slope. Photo: Eric McClure
Community Affairs Officer Brian Laffey, left, and Captain Frank DiGiacomo, commanding officer of the 78th Precinct, enjoy Park(ing) Day in Park Slope. Photo: Eric McClure

Nearby, the Atlantic Avenue Business Improvement District organized a series of pop-up parklets with local retailers that sell furniture, decor, and garden supplies. The only thing missing, said BID Executive Director Josef Szende, was barriers from NYPD. (NYPD told Szende there was a shortage as the department prepared for the People’s Climate March this weekend.)

Floral Heights went all out on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. Photo: Josef Szende
Floral Heights went all out on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. Photo: Josef Szende

The Transportation Alternatives Bronx activist committee organized its second Park(ing) Day event on the Grand Concourse at 161st Street. The miniature “Boogie on the Boulevard” featured hula-hoops and games for kids. TA says it helped neighborhood groups organize eleven Park(ing) Day locations, including one on Duane Street between Greenwich and Hudson, where the nearby Laughing Man cafe is looking to make the parklet permanent by applying to DOT’s Street Seats program.

  • Eric McClure

    Big thanks to the 78th Precinct for co-sponsoring the spot with us, especially Community Affairs Officer Brian Laffey, CO Captain Frank DiGiacomo and Officers Mike Murdock and Will Reyes. We registered close to a couple dozen bikes, including two of mine, something I’d been meaning to do forever.

    And one editorial note: that photo is not mine. Credit due to Joanna Oltman Smith or Ian Dutton, I believe.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Belated Park(ing) Day Parking Spot Squat in Brooklyn

|
Three weeks ago, people all around the country — including nearly two dozen groups in New York City — took part in National Park(ing) Day, a nationwide effort to transform public on-street parking spaces into mini-parks and community gathering places. Park Slope Neighbors intended to take part, but their team was quickly asked to move […]

Streetfilms: Park(ing) Day NYC 2008

|
As Park(ing) Day participants set up and enjoyed 50 mini-parks on New York City streets, the Streetfilms crew -- Clarence Eckerson, Jr., Chris Read and Robin Urban Smith -- fanned out across the boroughs to catch the action on video.
STREETSBLOG USA

Happy Park(ing) Day: Go Create a Better Street

|
It’s Park(ing) Day around the world — an international demonstration of the potential to repurpose the space given over to cars in our cities. Right now in more than 160 cities in 35 countries, people are setting up small parks in what, for one day, will turn unremarkable 9-by-18-foot asphalt patches into community gathering spaces. […]
STREETFILMS

Transforming Pavement to Parks in San Francisco

|
In San Francisco, the Pavement to Parks program has launched an initiative that may someday alter the way U.S. cities treat their commercial strips. Taking the PARK(ing) Day concept a step further, the Parklets Program is experimenting with allowing businesses to convert parking spaces into public spaces and cafes. The first was installed in March […]

Parking it in Midtown

|
Today is International Park(ing) Day. Also known as a "parking squat," Park(ing) is a quasi-legal reclamation of urban street space in which a metered, curbside parking spaces are transformed into urban parkland complete with sod, benches, trees and human beings. Here is how Park(ing) Day is being celebrated this morning in Midtown Manhattan on 8th […]