Get’yer PARKon!
map from

Currently, all around the city center, busy little activists are flocking around laying down sod, setting out potted palms, and YES, feeding the meter.

REBAR’s PARK(ing) DAY 2006 is in full swing, and I hope you can all stop by an installation and partake of the little doses of added greenery in SF’s streetscape! posts a walking tour guide for a few of the downtown sites, so check out which ones are nearest you, and bring your sack lunch, your book, your blanket, and get your PARK on!

I lent a hand to the Hanging Garden crew, setting up at New Montgomery and Mission streets, where a lattice screen with overhead supports strung with hanging plants and vines was erected. The crew of 6, which included a passing-by cyclist who stopped to help, got the set-up installed NOT ONCE, but TWICE(!) in order to accommodate a merchant on Mission Street, who requested (uhem) that we not take up a potential customer parking space directly in front of his establishment (even though we’d already stocked the meter!). EVER ACCOMMODATING, we hustled the project three spaces down.

REBAR will be collecting still and video images of the orchestrated group event, so stop by their site in the near future to see what ultimately goes down!

In response to Victoria’s post preceeding the event, one of the goals of the event is to emphasize that low-density uses – such as street parking – utilize valuable land area with little public benefit. From my perspective, a 4-hour park means to demonstrate in an immediate, hands-on way how an environment can benefit from the introduction of more common, public-use space, preferably greened. To conduct this event in a progressively-minded city like SF is essential, both for gathering volunteers and public support, but also because this city so actively supports organizations such as CityCarShare (which I patronize), ZipCar, and FlexCar, all of which aim at reducing the number of vehicles on our city streets, and thereby (along with a myriad of other social and economic benefits) freeing up valuable land for more community-friendly uses.

3 Comments so far

  1. anna (unregistered) on September 21st, 2006 @ 1:02 pm

    this is sooo cool.

  2. anna (unregistered) on September 21st, 2006 @ 1:45 pm

    I just saw these folks heading down 1st street- very cool! I like the rolled up sod and the parking signs on placards. Wish I had my camera with me.

  3. Nancy (unregistered) on September 21st, 2006 @ 2:40 pm

    Update: So far, the Hanging Garden has moved 4+ times, in order not to violate the 30-minute limit at the metered spaces on Mission St (and YES, SFPD stopped by and checked that the park wasn’t meter-squatting!) We didn’t have sod (or heavy planters, as some other PARKs have) so moving was a coordinated effort, but not impossible. My boyfriend and I took our lunch in the PARK, and many, many people stopped by, took pictures, and generally provided a fantastic level of support.

    It has been great exposure for a growing philosophy about how we as a community choose to utilize the spaces we inhabit, and a great experience, overall. I hope the other PARK teams have had similarly supportive experiences!

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