PARK(ing) Day in Tucson

Permission to use these photos granted by TucsonVelo.com

Permission to use these photos granted by TucsonVelo.com

Permission to use these photos granted by TucsonVelo.com

Permission to use these photos granted by TucsonVelo.com

 

On Friday Sept. 17th, 2010, Pima Association of Governments participated in the third annual Tucson Park(ing) Day – an event to promote new ideas about urban habitat.  Participants reserve their own parking site to create their own park and help to re-imagine the way we use and plan public space.

 

In spaces where cars sat the previous day, visitors to  PAG “park”ing spaces found reserved hooded meters, chairs to rest in, and crafts to create while surrounded by flower vases and music.  Those who congregated learned about a variety of environmental and alternative transportation programs from 9 am through the lunch hour generating discussion with hundreds of visitors.  PAG set up shade and a small oasis where people could hear about how much the air is improved if they each individually ride the bus, see large boxes representing the money they can save by biking, learn what alternatives are available to diversify traditional vehicle gas sources, and be quizzed to find out if they know how pollutants on the streets end up in our fragile desert washes.

 

Parkwise coordinated the event in spaces throughout historic downtown, Main Gate and the 4th Avenue entertainment districts encouraging people to gather and play which brought in a wide variety of participants from musicians to restaurants that expanded their outdoor seating.    PAG’s temporary “parks” sat on Congress Street downtown by the Fox Theater along groups such as the Tucson Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, a Zumba dance class, Tucson Clean and Beautiful, BICAS, Sustainable Tucson and the Habistore.  Around the corner Zocolo Magazine set up with KXCI and nearby Mat Bevel set up an art installation.

 

Parkwise was happy to coordinate the event since the city‘s parking is currently below capacity and they felt that the urbanites could use a little breather.  The nationwide event originally began in San Francisco in 2005 and by 2009, Tucson had one of the highest participation levels in the country with over 80 temporary parks created.    The event caught the attention of several new sources including, the bike blog Tucson Velo (credit for photos), the Daily Star, Fox News and the Tucson Citizen.