Parking Spaces Morph into Public Parks

Find a parking space, pull up your lawn chair and cooler, and take a break.

At least that's the idea behind Park(ing) Day.  The event reclaims parking spots around the city and transforms them into people-friendly public spaces for one day. This year, that day is Sept. 18.

The idea for Park(ing) Day came four years ago when the group Transporation Alternatives  took over a parking spot on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg. They created their first "parking spot squat", offering free bike parking and a place to sit and talk to friends and strangers alike.

"It got people thinking about whether $.50 an hour was a fair price for such a useful piece of public space, and whether that space should be occupied by cars at all," the group said.

By 2008, Park(ing) Day was taking up 57 spots.  The movement also aims to spark a dialogue about the premium of urban space and how we choose to use it.

"Seating areas, art installations, and community engagement made the case for a more sensible and human-friendly distribution of available urban public space," the organizerss said.

In addition to New York, the event takes place across the Unites States and Europe.

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