Scenes from PARK(ing) Day 2010 in San Francisco

The parking spaces in front of Ritual Coffee Roasters were transformed into "Ritual State Park." Photos by Bryan Goebel.
The parking spaces in front of Ritual Coffee Roasters were transformed into "Ritual State Park." Photo: Bryan Goebel.

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.

The SFBC site in front of Boogaloos on Valencia. Photo: sfbike
The SFBC site in front of Boogaloos on Valencia. Photo: sfbike

A mom and her little one enjoy the SFBC site. Photo: sfbike
A mom and her little one enjoy the SFBC lawn. Photo: sfbike
The scene in front of Roma Caffe in North Beach. Photo: Jamison Weiser
The scene in front of Cafe Greco in North Beach, where a permanent parklet is being planned as part of San Francisco's Pavement to Parks program. Photo: Jamison Wieser.

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.

More SF coverage at Alt Transport, and some LA coverage via Coco Times and the LA Times.

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.

One of the best sites I saw today. Alemany Farm, Garden! for the Environment and San Francisco Landscapes and Rainbow Grocery offered some savory and sweety fritter fries and smoothies in a cafe setting.
One of the best sites I saw today. Alemany Farm, Garden! for the Environment, San Francisco Landscapes and Rainbow Grocery offered some savory and sweet fritter fries and smoothies in a cafe setting on Folsom. Photos by Bryan Goebel.
The goodies from the Alemany Farm.
The goodies from the Alemany Farm.
Walk SF's living room on Valencia Street.
Walk SF's living room on Valencia Street.
Free bike tune-ups and lounging in front of Timbuk2.
Free bike tune-ups, on-street bike parking and lounging in front of Timbuk2 in Hayes Valley.
nn
"I think it's a fantastic idea. Anytime that you can get people lodged out of their vehicles it's a good idea. People should not depend on cars. I mean, I grew up in San Francisco and I didn't drive a car
"I think it's a fantastic idea. Anytime that you can get people lodged out of their vehicles it's a good idea. People should not depend on cars. I mean, I grew up in San Francisco and I didn't drive a car," said PCO Michael DeUlibarri, a 30-year veteran, who stopped handing out tickets for a moment to talk about PARK(ing) Day.
The Flyway Rest Stop on Valencia Street.
The Flyway Rest Stop on Valencia Street.
mm
A beach them in front of
A beach theme in front of an architecture firm on Valencia Street. Robin Levitt, wearing the green, makes the best poppy seed cookies.
  • We had a great turnout at Irving and 9th, despite the intense fog and drizzle!

  • Winston

    It’s time for San Francisco to seriously consider reducing the total amount of parking in the city and convert it into better public spaces – and not just with the temporary parklets that the city is using now or with Park(ing) day’s temporary installations but with real permanent extensions of the sidewalk permanent parklets. Permanent parklets would not only permanently create better public space, but if properly designed can help with stormwater drainage and provide green space within the city.

    This being said, the parklets that the city has been installing have the advantage of being removable. In some cases this may be the better option. Perhaps businesses should be able to convert the parking spaces in front of their business into parklets, thus allowing businesses with limited seating to expand their seating while allowing the space to revert to parking when the business changes.

  • Well, businesses can ALREADY convert the space in front of their biz into a green, white, yellow, or blue parking space. It’s a no-brainer that they should be able to convert it to bike parking. I can’t imagine a reasonable argument against it. Want to know how it currently works? Info at http://www.sfmta.com/cms/pcurb/indxpkcurb.htm

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

PARK(ing) and Parklet Day: Reclaiming the Curb for People

|
Tomorrow, at locations all over the Bay Area, people will reclaim the curb for PARK(ing) Day and re-imagine slices of the urban landscape usually reserved for automobile parking. It will also mark a milestone for San Francisco’s groundbreaking Pavement to Parks program, as the interagency effort to transform parking spaces into parklets shifts focus to […]

SF Has Turned 30 Car Parking Spots Into 336 Bike Parking Spots

|
Bike corrals are popping up so quickly around San Francisco, who can keep track anymore? The SF Municipal Transportation Agency has installed 27 corrals since it started rolling them out in 2010, adding 168 bike racks without taking up any sidewalk space. That means 30 on-street spaces normally reserved for one parked car each can now accommodate […]

The Sun Shines Down on a Glorious PARK(ing) Day

|
A temporary park in front of Ritual Coffee Roasters on Valencia. Flickr photo: Tristan C When the first Park(ing) Day was launched by Rebar in 2005, right here in San Francisco, it was on the vanguard of street space reclamation. Four years later, it’s undoubtedly part of a larger trend that includes such fine company […]

Celebrate PARK(ing) Day Tomorrow by Reclaiming the Curb

|
Dozens of installations are planned all over the Bay Area tomorrow to mark PARK(ing) Day, the annual worldwide event to reclaim metered curbside parking spaces normally used by cars and transform them into temporary “PARKS” for people.  Last year, from Iran to Venezuela to South Korea, people in more than 180 cities across the globe […]