There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
It probably shouldn’t at this point. “Park(ing) Day” has never been done before in D.C., and the pun’s a little muddled and confusing. But here’s the gist: People turn parking spaces into mini parks, which end up looking a little something like this. New York City and San Francisco residents have tested out the park(ing) day concept before.
You may have a few questions at this point: Why would anyone do that? Am I going to have trouble parking that day? And where can I see these supposed parks in parking spaces?
See the following interview with organizers Brandon Schmittling and Justin Young for responses:
What is the great symbolic point of Park(ing) Day DC—-since clearly there’s got to be one, right?
Right! “The entire day should be seen as an exercise,” says Schmittling. “It’s really an experiment to get people thinking about what is the sidewalk? What is the street? And what lies beneath? And what are the different ways we can use it…I think this coupled with Car Free Day might remind people—hey I just don’t have to be on the sidewalk, I can be in the street. Well, it’s mostly experimental—-how ’bout that?”(Editor’s note: I couldn’t quite visualize what I was supposed to be doing in the street other than walking across it quickly—as not to be hit by a car—or actually driving in a car. But then I remembered this New York magazine article about Times Square in New York, which has expanded pedestrian space and created broader sidewalks. Maybe this kind of thing is what Park(ing) Day DC is trying to get at?)
So am I going to be able to park that day?
Yes. Organizers have applied for four parking space permits. That’s all.
Where will the parks (within parking spaces) be located?
So this is really happening, huh?
Maybe. The permits haven’t actually been approved yet, say Young and Schmittling.
DDOT is reviewing the concept, which is obviously unprecedented here. “When I showed them the plans that we had, they had concerns about cars not seeing the parking space. And perhaps someone trying to park in the space next to people and hitting people.” Organizers have turned in plans, which are currently being reviewed by D.C. officials. The event’s supposed to happen a week from tomorrow, so obviously the clock’s ticking.
Image from Parking Day DC’s website.