Photo by Eric Gilliland on Flickr.
For Park(ing) Day tomorrow, DC Councilmembers Tommy Wells and David Catania will turn 2 of the councilmember-only spaces in front of the Wilson Building into a temporary park. Casey Trees will do the same in Dupont, and the Montgomery planning department in Silver Spring.
Park(ing) Day started as a performance art project from Rebar Group, which made a park out of one San Francisco curbside space for 2 hours with a roll of sod, a small tree, a bench, and a sign. Now, every year people do the same across the nation.
The project illustrates the tradeoffs we make in our public space. For the amount of space devoted to one car sitting empty, we could have a small park. That’s not to say all spaces should be turned into parks, or that converting even one space means a “war on cars,” but to point out how we have a choice for how to use 150-200 square feet of space.
The curb lane in front of the Wilson Building, DC’s city hall/state capitol at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, offers dedicated parking for members of the DC Council. Tommy Wells (who typically doesn’t drive anyway) arranged to use “his space” for a Park(ing) Day park, and David Catania joined in to make 2 park(ing) spaces.
The space will be open from 8 am to 6 pm. With the help of Washington Parks and People, Wells will convert these spaces into a park where you can relax (and lobby any councilmembers who pass by). From 12:30 to 1, representatives from the DC Department of Health will organize “light physical activity demonstrations” which people can do in business clothes, and provide information on exercise, nutrition, and more.
In Dupont Circle, Casey Trees is hosting a Park(ing) Day space at New Hampshire Avenue and Q Street, NW from 8 am to 5 pm. And in Montgomery County, the planning department and Congress for the New Urbanism are joining forces to create a space on Ellsworth Drive, between Cedar and Fenton, in Silver Spring, from 10 am to 2 pm.
If you know of any other Park(ing) Day events in the region, note them in the comments and I’ll add them to the post.