Today’s Headlines

  • BAAQMD Adopts Blueprint for Cleaning Up the Air in the Bay Area (Mercury News)
  • On 40th Anniversary of Clean Air Act, NRDC Blog Highlights the Benefits of Smart Growth
  • Nevius Disses Advocates as “Passionate” But “Overzealous” in CityPlace Appeal (SF Gate)
  • Windsor Bicyclist Hospitalized After Being Hit by Truck Driver (Press Democrat)
  • Yellow Cab Pushes to Get More Taxis on the Streets in San Francisco (SF Examiner)
  • Despite the Law, AAA says More California Drivers are Texting Behind the Wheel (AP via SF Gate)
  • Prop 23 Opponents and the Initiative’s Author Square Off at Debate  (Sac Bee)
  • SFMTA Notifies Residents of Final Meeting on Masonic Avenue (BIKE NOPA)
  • Bill Would Help Restore California’s Nearly-Bankrupt Oil Spill Fund (SF Gate)
  • Citizen Blog Lays Out a Guide to PARK(ing) Day in the East Bay (via Bay Citizen)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Re: Parking Day.

    I still like the idea, but man… these potentially exciting, politically interesting ‘interventions’ are now almost always tied to a company, a corporate logo, a place of business. Looking at the map of park(ing) spots in Oakland I feel bored and completely unenthused about visiting any of them. Sure, Park(ing) day never really was meant to be some kind of revolutionary take-over of space–it is smart because it finds and exploits a loophole in the bureaucratic parking code. But then any talk of it being a tactic, or a means of subversive action also needs to drop out. If this is about convincing businesses and cities to increase seating for their customers more than it is really about really re-thinking our use of public space, then so be it. But then park(ing) day is basically equivalent to a chamber of commerce outreach and development mission.

    I know many folks on here and in the livable streets movement are not interested in any talk of politics, especially anti-private/corporate politics, but even if you don’t care about capitalist ideology critique, aren’t you still bored with park(ing) day like I am?

  • Justin, this is a problem facing everything in our society. Not a lot gets done unless it directly benefits business. Also, most parking meters are in commercial districts so it only fits that Park(ing) day happens in front of businesses and those businesses sponsor the spot in front of their store.

    Not saying I agree with it, but seems to be the nature of the beast.

  • If we were to measure the success or worthiness of livable streets activism only according to the full-frontal challenge it presents to the international system of capitalism, then our disappointment would be boundless. Fortunately, livable streets activism isn’t inherently about smashing capitalism. It can be, but need not be.

    Park(ing) day is smart because it demonstrates how easily and quickly we can transform our streetscapes when we ditch the idea that streets are for cars only. Even if a business is sponsoring the temporary park, the bigger idea comes across all the same–and is there any reasonable argument that sidewalk cafe seating is no better for our urban public life than a row of parked cars?

  • Soemtimes I guess victory is boring. One of the aims of Park(ing) day was to show that there are better uses for public space than bare asphalt dedicated to parked cars. When it started, there was not a lot of business support for this – anything that got rid of parking was heresy to the business support organizations. Now businesses have bought in to the idea and we have them on our side in fighting for more permanent parklets!

    This may also mean we have some more boring installations than we used to, but if people want to reinvigorate Park(ing) day, it’s an open invitation to participate – the whole idea was that anyone who had an idea for how to use some public space, could get a temporary lease just by dropping some coins in a parking meter!

    I’d say now that businesses are getting onboard, the next frontier will be residential streets. What if someone bought a house with a garage, but now wants to live car free? Will the city’s parklet rules end up allowing them to eliminate their curb cut and have a nice landscaped space put in where their driveway used to be?

    Has anyone tried doing an interesting space in front of their driveway?