Despite what you’ve seen in the brochures or read about in the NY Times, the city of Portland is still overrun with cars. The socially awkward, poisonous, and dangerous personal transport vehicles take up the vast majority of our roadway space.
Park(ing) Day — which takes place today citywide — is a chance to ponder that tragedy and consider more sensible things to do with our public right-of-way.
The event is organized by Portland Bureau of Transportation. And while they can’t just directly throw shade at our unhealthy relationship with driving, it’s clear the event is intended to highlight our car abuse problem. According to official verbiage, the event, “Gives people the opportunity to re-envision how we use our public spaces… PBOT wants to encourage you to rethink how streets can be used.”
18 businesses and organizations have received permits to use the curb lane to install all sorts of cool stuff like small parks, art installations, lounge areas, and more. Find out if there’s one near your travels today. Here’s the map followed by a list of locations and descriptions:
Art Parking (on N Denver St between N Schofield St & N Kilpatrick St): Art for All. Come create art and display your work on the display racks provided.
Don’t Park, PUTT!! (on NE Multnomah St between NE 7th Ave and 9th Ave) : It’s National Putt Putt day, come and try out our mini putt-putt course, enjoy snacks and get some swag! For pedestrians and cyclists. By Go Lloyd.
Burst Your Bubble (on NW 17th Ave between NW Lovejoy St and NW Kearney St): Come and enjoy a public bubble park for kids of all ages! By Opsis Architecture.
CRES-tober-Fest (on NW Marshall St between NW 14th Ave and NW 15th Ave): CRES-tober-Fest will be a fall celebration theme park complete with apple cider, corn-hole, giant Jenga, and pretzels. By Cambridge Real Estate Services.
Future Prairie Mobile Podcasting Studio (on NW 11th Ave between NW Couch St and NW Davis St): Join this mobile podcasting studio and enjoy some complimentary tea. By Future Prairie (artist collective).
Public Art Park (on NW 17th Ave between NW Northrup St and NW Overton St): Public Art Installation with all surfaces vibrantly painted with colors and patterns. By Swift.
Street Carnival (on NW 11th Ave between NW Marshall St and NW Lovejoy St): Come check out a StreetCar Cutout and get your picture taken. There will be a spinning wheel and lots of StreetCar swag to go around! By Portland StreetCar, Inc.
Urban Transformation (on NW Everett St between NW 10th Ave and NW 9th Ave): This parklet is a mini urban transect, more constructed on one end and more natural on the other. Sit or move through the space and leave thoughts and ideas on a wishing tree. By Sera Architects.
Bikes & Coffee (on SE 52nd Ave between SE Tibbetts St and SE Franklin St): Coffee for cyclists (and anyone who like a good cuppa), as well as various bike tools and part on hand. By a Portland resident.
Connections: Reclaiming Streets and Revisiting Public Art (on SE Hawthorne Blvd between SE Grand Ave and SE 6th Ave): On the Multnomah County Building there are two bronze bas reliefs entitled Connections. Come and get a good look at these beautiful pieces of art! By Multnomah County.
Getting to Know You: Hey Neighbor! (on SE Hawthorne Blvd between SE 35th Ave and SE 35th Pl): Seating and games outside of Metro Boutique. Come and engage in an activity to learn more about your neighbors and neighborhood. By SE Uplift.
Making Connections for Fun (on SE 18th Ave between SE Ash St and SE Ankeny St): Bring your indoor plant out for a day in the sun and connect with your neighbors for a game of connect four or puzzle solving! By PlusQA.
Teddy Bear Picnic (on SE Alder St between SE 16th Ave and SE 15th Ave): Come and take a tea break with panda bears while surrounded by bamboo plants. By a Portland resident.
The Write On Letter Writing Lounge (on SE Division St between SE 32nd Ave and SE 33rd Ave): Pull up a chair, grab a pen and take time for some slow communication. This installation transforms a parking space into a letter writing salon! By Egg Press.
Neighborhood to the River (on SE Hawthorne Blvd between SE 40th Ave and SE 41st Ave): BES, Friends of Trees and New Seasons Market bring you the stream. Enjoy salmon, streams and trees and learn more about watershed health and stormwater management. By the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services.
Future of Transportation (on SW 2nd Ave between SW Taylor St and SW Yamhill St): An installation designed to provoke conversation about the future of transportation in Portland, including electric bikes, scooters and cars, rideshare and more. Enjoy trivia and prizes, a voting board and snacks while checking out an e-bike or scooter. By Forth Empowering Mobility.
What Will You Miss? (on SW Park Ave between SW Taylor St and SW Yamhill St): Sharing Mercy Corp’s vision that resilience is possible with climate change. What will you miss when we are further impacted by climate change? By Mercy Corps.
Skylab Installation (on SW 13th Ave between SW Burnside St and SW Washington St): Our PARK(ing) Installation seeks to give people a reason to take a break and pay more attention to their surroundings. Our unique ground surface will hopefully cause people to engage with the site and participate in thought provoking activities. By Skylab Architecture.
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(Photo by Nevan Mrgan)
The team of indie planners who two months ago reimagined a block of downtown Portland parking spaces as a public lounge have made plans for a sequel.
Or maybe an ongoing franchise.
This is a guest article by Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman.
This year’s PARK(ing) Day has come and gone, but to those who had a hand in the event or just took advantage of the day-long parklet on SW Stark, it was a happy memory and an example of what a public space can truly be in Portland. It was a day filled with friendly conversations, strangers uniting over a game of ping-pong, and citizens enjoying a place to work or eat their lunch. For me, I consider it a great accomplishment, and passing the street today seems bleak by comparison.
crowds to enjoy public space
that’s usually dominated by private automobiles.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
Portland took part in PARK(ing) Day today. The global event, which started in San Francisco in 2005, seeks to create temporary public spaces in what are usually used as auto parking spots. This year saw Portland’s largest ever PARK(ing) Day display with an entire downtown blockface devoted to the demonstration. In addition to SW Stark between 10th and 11th, there was also a display on SE Grand Avenue between Alder and Morrison.
I swung by both locations today…