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PARK(ing) Day will claim parking spaces in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Moscow

In prior years, Kootenai Environmental Alliance took part in PARK(ing) Day in Coeur d'Alene.

In earlier years, Kootenai Environmental Alliance took part in PARK(ing) Day in Coeur d’Alene. Photo courtesy of Kootenai Environmental Alliance.

At least three Idaho entries will take part Sept. 16 in PARK(ing) Day, an open-source global event to convert parking places into temporary public places, or “parklets.”

Every year since 2005 on the third Friday of September, PARK(ing) Day participants in cities around the world have unleashed their creativity to fill parking spaces for one day with knick-knacks and structures.

PARK(ing) Day’s goal is to show the importance of parks and open spaces in urban areas, said Cynthia Gibson, executive director of the Idaho Walk Bike Alliance.

Gibson will use donated landscaping, possibly a bicycle and some sort of seating to create her PARK(ing) Day parklet on Eighth Street in Boise in front of Bittercreek Alehouse/Red Feather Lounge.

“I have been looking for a way to do placemaking on the street,” Gibson said. ”We’re seeing it around communities more and more as a way to reclaim public space. I want to engage people and show that there is a way to enjoy space in a way that is not to park a car.”

Coeur d’Alene is staging its second “PARK(ing) It on Sherman,” a three-day block party that closes down a block of Sherman Avenue targeted for revitalization. Within the bigger celebration, two parklets will be created: Roger’s Ice Cream & Burgers will have a table on the street; and artificial turf will be the basis of another in the parking lot of Petersons Family Foods, said Hilary Anderson, Coeur d’Alene’s community development director.

Elsewhere on Sherman between 12th and 13th streets, there will be benches and planters and a movie screening.

Coeur d’Alene has a history with PARK(ing) Day. From 2009 to 2012, the Kootenai Environmental Alliance staged PARK(ing) Day festivities with five to 10 parklets on a different stretch of Sherman and on a lakefront parking lot that eventually became McEuen Park, Executive Director Adrienne Cronebaugh said.

“We were advocating for the Mceuen Park renovation, which is finished today,” Cronebaugh said. “When we were doing the PARK(ing) Day events, McEuen Park was just a huge parking lot and a baseball field.”

Eleven University of Idaho landscape architecture students will set up a PARK(ing) Day space somewhere in Moscow, UofI spokeswoman Holly Funk said.

About Teya Vitu

Teya Vitu is an Idaho Business Review reporter, covering commercial real estate, construction, transportation and whatever else may intrigue him in the moment. Join me on Twitter at @IBR_TeyaVitu.