With car use in decline across the country, millions of urban acreage currently devoted to parking them will soon go fallow.
What to do with all those parking lots? Depave them!
The International Towards Carfree Cities conference kicked off this morning with a depaving event in North Portland.
Scores of volunteers from Portland-based Depave pounded, cracked-up, and then carried away tons of pavement from the parking lot at the SE corner of N. Fargo and Williams.
Soon to be put in its place will be expanded bike parking for nearby businesses and an urban forest and community space.
I spoke to the owner of the parking lot, Angela Goldsmith. She said she offered up her lot — instead of building a triplex — because, “this is more inspiring”. Goldsmith made today’s event a family affair with her children and her mom all taking part.
Paul Tay, who’s visiting from Tulsa Oklahoma to take part in Pedalpalooza and the Carfree Conference, said today’s event is symbolic. “Machines put this lot together, now we’re using human power to reclaim the space. There’s a lot of symbolism here.”
The Carfree Cities Conference runs from today through Friday (6/20). Tomorrow is the free public day and opening of the Carfree Art Show at City Hall. For more information on the steller program of events and panels visit CarfreePortland.org.