Eugene Locals Celebrate 'PARK(ing) Day' & Call For Fewer Parking Spaces
A Eugene bakery and local advocates celebrated international PARK(ing) Day. The idea is to raise awareness about how much space in a city is taken up by parking.
Palace Coffee and Bakery owner Lisa Truelove participated in the local event by converting two parking spaces outside her business into outdoor seating with room for bicycles and an art installation. Truelove said organizers for the one-day event approached her about the opportunity.
“I’ve wanted to make something different out of our street parking and wanted to make more of a community lively vibe out there, which just looking out the window they’ve been very successful in achieving that,” she said.
Truelove said noise and traffic from the street, Pearl Street, doesn’t mesh well with the ambiance she wants outside her business.
“Opening it up and kind of commingling that space a little bit more, is something that I would like to see happen on this street,” Truelove said, “I don’t think the street is really all that friendly for sitting and relaxing outside.”
One of the organizers, Julie Daniel, is a member of Eugene’s Active Transportation Committee and is an advisor to Better Eugene/Springfield Transportation (BEST). She said the event highlights what could be in Eugene if there were fewer parking spaces.
“We could have much cleaner air...we could have more public space, where people could hang out with benches and green space, you know it could be cooler, we could have a better tree canopy,” she said.
BEST and local community members won $1,000 from Spin Scooters and the Better Block Foundation to help fund the display outside Palace Coffee and Bakery. The display includes and an installation that reads “This Land Is Your Land” in all caps. It’s
As part of the event organizers researched how much space is designated for parking both nationally and in Eugene.
“We found that nationally about a third of cities is used to store cars, if you look at just the acreage of cities…and in the four block area that we analyzed here in downtown Eugene that pans out, it’s 35% that’s used for parking,” she said.
The organizers analyzed four blocks on E. 8th Ave. between Oak Street and High Street. Daniel said organizers were surprised to find there’s more space used on parking than on housing.
“We have a tremendous amount of under utilized space, when you just look around at this 34% right here, most of these parking spaces are empty and yet here they are they’re asphalt, they’re hot, they’re dirty, you know is this really how we want our city to look?” Daniel said.
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