Worldwide, last Friday’s Park(ing) Day saw street creativity on six continents. Park(ing) Day L.A. hosted a number of creative efforts that help Angelenos reconsider just what we’re doing with all that street real estate.
Below is a quick run-down of some Southern California Park(ing) Day sites I enjoyed (apologies to the other great Park(ing) sites I haven’t covered), and then a peek at the future of parking in Los Angeles.
My daughter Maeve and I enjoyed yummy vittles from Sycamore Kitchen (highly recommended: buttercup pastries!) at the parking space out front, hosted by the Mid City West Community Council, the New Urbanism Film Festival, and District La Brea.
Downtown L.A. livability leader design firm Meléndrez stenciled infographics about what other opportunities are missed by dedicating so much space to parking.
Miguel Contreras Learning Complex students who study media and design created a multi-parking-space parklet in front of their high school on Lucas Street, just west of Downtown Los Angeles. Features included displays on ways to help the environment from combating drought to bicycling (“auto loans are hard to find these days – even if you have good credit. But for the price of a single car payment, you can buy a well-made bicycle that should outlast most cars.”) to solar panels on top of train cars. The space in front of their high school doesn’t have an actual parking meter, so the students hand-crafted their own meter, with a slot for donations to help the environment.
Streetsblog L.A., Santa Monica Spoke, and Santa Monica Next hosted a parklet in Santa Monica, which didn’t park so well with local law enforcement. Santa Monica Next’s Jason Islas reports:
Shortly after we interviewed Recreation & Parks Commission Chair Chair Phil Brock, an SMPD patrol car pulled up. The officer asked to see our permits. When we explained what was going on, he said we still needed permits or at least to have gotten temporary “No Parking” signs from the City to hang on the meters. He also explained that we could not be sitting or standing in the parking spaces themselves as they were, according to the California Vehicle Code, part of the roadway. He called someone in from Code Enforcement as well who talked to us and took some notes. While they did not run us off, per se, they waited until our meters expired — they had a posted two-hour limit — and we began packing our stuff up to leave.
What’s next for parking in Los Angeles? Read more…