Parking spaces become human spaces in downtown Boulder

The construction equipment trucks were making the rounds this morning, heading slowly down Pearl Street and turning the corner on 14th. At certain businesses, here and there, they stopped to unload chevron-style barricades and orange traffic cones. They erected barriers around those parking spaces labeled “Special Event 10AM – 2PM”. Business owners and staff waved their thanks–and began making magic happen inside the barricades.

In front of 14th Street businesses Tee & Cakes, Cefiori, and Kristen Lewis Architects, tall pennant-style flags went up on telescoping poles. Real grass turf unrolled to turn four angled parking spaces into a barefoot-inviting lawn. Deck chairs and picnic tables under a portable shade tent presented coffee, cupcakes, and information about the solar power that was chilling the spring water in the wagon parked to the side.

It was all part of Park(ing) Spaces Day in Boulder, when businesses reclaimed parking spaces and showed how they could accommodate humans rather than cars for a few hours. The resulting atmosphere was something like a sidewalk sale, what with the free samples and discounts and informational brochures, but also something like Earth Day, what with the theme of ecologically responsible practices. And of course the whole celebration was part of the annual Walk & Bike Month festivities, which will be going on all during June. Bike to Work Day, specifically, will be June 22. (More about that as we get closer to the date.)

Park(ing) Spaces exhibits will be up until 2:00 PM today. The Cycling in Boulder blog has made a map available showing where all the exhibits are; there’s also a list up at both the Tee & Cakes blog entry and the event announcement previously linked. Get out there and enjoy it before everyone packs up and goes back to parking as usual!

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