Sunday, September 20, 2009

Livable Streets Advocates Re-Invent Parking Spaces During Park(ing) Day

Livable Streets advocates across the country, including San Diego, participated in the annual event known as Park(ing) Day on Friday September 18, 2009.

In San Diego, Livable Streets advocates transformed a public parking space--normally used to temporarily store one automobile when not in use--into a public space for several people to interact in-person, all while feeding the metering just as a motorist would. The event, which took place in the Little Italy neighborhood, is meant to raise awareness about the high amount of public land-use solely dedicated to automobiles.

In an optimistic sign for Livable Streets and sutainability advocates in a highly-automobile-dependent city where nearly 50% of local Greenhouse Gases are emitted from automobiles, the San Diego Union-Tribune ran the above photo on the front page of the Saturday September 19, 2009 issue (Source: USD's EPIC Report (2009) which investigates SD's GHG emission sources).

The UT story was accompanied by an Associate Press-written article on Park(ing) Day events taking place across the U.S. Interestingly, the AP piece dedicated a significant portion of the nationally read article to San Diego's Park(ing) Day. The full article can be read here:

Unfortunately, however, the UT did not accompany the front page Park(ing) Day photo w/ a local analysis of the consequences of automobile dependency. Nevertheless, the front page UT coverage is a positive sign for citizens and planners who embrace the pedestrian-friendly ideals of Smart Growth, New Urbanism, and Livable Street urban planning.

For more info on the Livable Streets & Smart Growth movement and debate, Bic Control highly recommends the Streetsblog newtork--Livable Street's finest online-resource to date. Available here:

The City of San Diego does not have any on-street bicycle parking facilities. More sustainable and pedestrian/bike-friendly cities, such as Portland, on the other hand, have numerous on-street bicycle parking facilities (pictured to the right). On-street bike parking spaces can park approximately 15 bicycles in a space that would otherwise park only one car.

(First photo by Josh Gibbins, San Diego Union Tribune. Second photo by

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