A portion of Gay Street will be closed to cars and some 40 parking spaces will be converted to public spaces from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, as the city observes PARK(ing) Day. According to organizer Justin Hare, the free and open event will stretch across three blocks of Gay Street.
“So many people look at parking spaces as belonging to cars. They don’t think about parking spaces as a place for people. Our taxes help to fund them and you’re effectively renting the space when you feed a meter. PARK(ing) Day asks people to consider how public space is allocated and encourages them to reimagine what is possible in the limited area of a parking space.” said Hare. Other organizers are Alli Montgomery and Trey McMillan.
With support from the city of Knoxville, the Community Design Center and the local AIA Chapter (American Institute of Architects), the trio organized more than 30 participants for the first PARK(ing) Day last year. (See the PARK(ing) Day Knoxville website for examples from previous years.)