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Park(ing) Day

Scenes from PARK(ing) Day 2010 in San Francisco

6:38 PM PDT on September 17, 2010

The parking spaces in front of Ritual Coffee Roasters were transformed into "Ritual State Park." Photos by 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
A mom and her little one enjoy the SFBC site. Photo: sfbike
The scene in front of Roma Caffe in North Beach. Photo: Jamison Weiser

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.
The goodies from the Alemany Farm.
Walk SF's living room on Valencia Street.
Free bike tune-ups and lounging in front of Timbuk2.
"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
The Flyway Rest Stop on Valencia Street.
A beach them in front of

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