News Release

Inaugural PARK(ing) Day Coming Soon to Lafayette
Posted: 9/8/2017 6:00 PM
 

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On Friday, September 15, Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) will host a local edition of a nationwide event known as PARK(ing) Day. In partnership with, ReCover Acadiana, Downtown Development Authority, Downtown Lafayette Unlimited, Downtown Lafayette Restaurant and Bar Association (DLRBA) and LCG has selected local businesses and volunteer organizations to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces – temporary public places.
 
By enhancing the approximate 110-square-foot spaces, the event is intended to demonstrate alternative and interesting uses for parking spots such as mini-parks (parklets), art installations or beautiful greenspaces. The PARK(ing) spaces will be sprinkled along the downtown arteries and near the sponsoring businesses. In order to capture maximum pedestrian traffic, the event is being held in conjunction with the kick-off of the fall edition of the Downtown Alive! Concert series.
 
Through an application process, PARK(ing) Day participants vied for the opportunity to temporarily makeover one or more downtown parking spaces:
 
Abell Crozier
Architects Southwest
Designing Women of Acadiana
Downtown Faith Alliance
Genterie
Jefferson Street Pub
Krewe de Canailles
Lafayette Science Museum
Legends
Legends Annex
Nitetown
Pamplona
Phillyana
Right Angle
Tsunami
 
As an additional incentive to create beautiful and creative public spaces, participants will also be competing for the Most Creative, Best on a Budget, Best Overall or People’s Choice PARK(ing) space. The public is invited to visit all of the PARK(ing) spaces between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on September 15. Organizers will release a map of parklet locations and voting instructions next week. The winners will be announced at DTA!
 
PARK(ing) day is an annual open-source global collaboration among citizens, artists and activists. The project had its start in 2005 when Rebar, an art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since then, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a world-wide movement, with organizations and individuals creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts. For more information visit parkingday.org. 

Gretchen Vanicor, President of ReCover Acadiana, shared the organization’s excitement and reason for hosting the event: “ReCover Acadiana is thrilled to collaborate with our community partners to bring the first PARK(ing) Day to Acadiana. This initiative is implemented in cities around the world on the third Friday in September to advance the conversations surrounding the use of urban public spaces. Downtown Lafayette is a perfect testing ground for businesses and organizations to experiment with reclaiming valuable public space for purposes other than street parking.”
 
The inaugural event will feature more than a dozen metered spaces in the Downtown district. Downtown Development Authority CEO Geoff Dyer is looking forward to PARK(ing) Day as part of a slate of fall programming: “This fall we are getting back to our roots, relaunching our free Downtown Alive! concert series as ‘Lafayette’s Original Street Party.’ What better way to kick off our season than to transform some of our on-street parking spaces into on-street people spaces! As part of this national event, we look forward to a family-friendly party in the street and in our parks, that can show the world the food, music, and hospitality that makes us Acadiana!”
 
Britlyn Delahoussaye, with DLRBA, offered the organization’s support: “PARK(ing) Day would provide a visual of downtown's stored potential to create consistent vibrancy in the downtown area through engaging parklets. Implementing parklets, initially a short term goal, would directly influence long term goals such as constructing residential space, enhancing the beautification of downtown, and attracting tourists to downtown businesses. On behalf of DLRBA, I believe parklets are a necessary, progressive step in downtown development.”
 
“PARK(ing) Day is exactly the type of event we need to help prove a concept in order to test policy ideas of what can and cannot work for Lafayette. We are thrilled with all our partners who are using this event to help test out an important policy idea to bring additional vibrancy to Downtown Lafayette,” said Carlee Alm-LaBar, Planning, Zoning, and Development Director.