From the Mission to SoMa to Hayes Valley to the Richmond District, people all over San Francisco reclaimed space otherwise reserved for private automobile storage today, transforming them into spaces for people for (PARK)ing Day, a livable streets holiday of sorts celebrated worldwide. The gray weather and humid, misty air didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits.
“It’s even misting in the Mission but that’s not slowing things down for PARK(ing) Day,” said Andy Thornley, the program manager for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. The SFBC erected its bright orange tent and laid out a patch of grass, flowers and two purple lawn chairs next to the on-street bike parking corral in front of Boogaloos Cafe on Valencia Street.
“We’re really celebrating the city’s first wave of on-street biking corrals. A year ago we were out on Valencia with temporary bike parking and we were telling people, imagine how great this would be. Here we are a year later and you don’t have to imagine. You can see what on-street bike parking looks like and by golly, we need it,” said Thornley.
SFBC volunteers were handing out material to bicyclists who were encouraged to urge merchants to request on-street bicycle parking as a way to boost business.
Valencia Street was rich with PARK(ing) Day sites from block to block.
Ritual Coffee Roasters set up cafe seating, a lawn, potted plants and erected a sign declaring it “Ritual State Park.” Down the street Bay Natives created the “Flyway Rest Stop,” a display of native plants and bug habitat sculptures.
“Our idea is to create bug habitat which also creates more song birds and so a foundation of that is plant life,” said Amber Hasselbring of Bay Natives.
Walk SF converted a parking spot into a living room in front of an antique furniture shop on Valencia Street with bowls of oatmeal raisin cookies and carrots for smiling passersby.
What did you do for PARK(ing) Day? Please share your stories below, and add your photos to our Flickr pool. We’d love to hear how your day was! Also, as my colleague Noah Kazis in New York points out, don’t forget to check out the parkingday tags on Flickr and on Twitter.