Students turn parking spaces into parks for PARK(ing) day


Photo by Andrew Lopez.

Parking Day SFSU
Vanessa Flores walks through a temporary park in the SF State quad for PARK(ing) day, an international event that turns parking spots and public spaces into temporary parks. Sep. 15, 2011. Photo by Andrew Lopez.

Students who drove to SF State Thursday might have noticed the campus was a few metered spaces short due to temporary gardens, beds and benches erected in their place for the school’s third annual PARK(ing) Day.

PARK(ing) Day didn’t just cause headaches for those trying to find parking, but also allowed design students to demonstrate their talents and for the student population to contemplate the benefits and feasibility of transportation to the commuter campus.

PARK(ing) Day, an event that promoted alternative environmental solutions to driving, was an international movement that gained its own legs on SF State grounds as a way to draw attention to the environmental impact of single-driver commuters, according to SF State sustainability coordinator Caitlin Steele.

“The whole idea of PARK(ing) Day is to reclaim public spaces into parks,” Steele said.

Reducing carbon emissions and encouraging single-driver commuters to carpool or use public transportation was also a focus of the event, Steel said.

According to SF State’s Campus Master Plan website, 30 percent of commuting students drive to school alone.

Two sections of the same design and industry class were commissioned to design installations with the PARK(ing) Day theme. Six groups set up in the quad, while four other groups camped out on spaces on Tapia Drive, Holloway Avenue, Centennial Drive and 19th Avenue.

Among the installations was a “futuristic museum” that, according to a visual communication senior Elle Stanton, displayed a time in 2040 when oil would run out and transportation of the “car era” would be obsolete.