Parking Day 2019

Date: 9/1/19 - 9/20/19
WTS Students Build a Parklet for PARK(ing) Day 2019.
Student Researchers: Sebastian Montenegro, Annelies van Vonno, Nicole Bush, Stefi Szrek, Bradyn Nicholson, Phoebe Fooks (MURP), and Kristen Gough (Civil Engineering, MSU) Location: Larimer Square, Denver, CO

On Friday, September 20, 2019, students from the WTS Colorado Student Chapter hosted a pop-up parklet in Larimer Square to celebrate International PARK(ing) Day. An annual event that repurposes curbside parking spaces into spaces for people, known as parklets, PARK(ing) Day has been celebrated all over the world as designers, students, artists, and community members reimagine public streets into vibrant, people-friendly spaces.

This year, the Denver Streets Partnership collaborated with SPIN, the Better Block Foundation, the Downtown Denver Partnership, and Denver Public Works to celebrate National PARK(ing) Day in Denver. As part of this event, they encouraged community members to host their own parklets around the city. The WTS Colorado Student Chapter, an student-run organization that promotes women in the transportation field and advocates for transportation equity and innovation, decided to build their own parklet, which was themed "Larimer's Living Room". 

The small but determined group of students took over two on-street parking spaces in Larimer Square, right in front of The Market. Using mainly donated and borrowed materials, they created a peaceful and engaging space that invited passersby to sit down, relax, read a book, or play a game. One half of the parklet offered a free library - complete with over 100 architecture books, all free for the taking - and comfortable places to sit and relax. The second parking space featured artificial turf, cornhole, and giant Connect4 to entice people to play. WTS Student volunteers were on hand all day to answer questions about PARK(ing) Day and hand out snacks and cucumber water to all parklet visitors. 

The students' hard work was rewarded when "Larimer's Living Room" parklet was voted "Best Community Parklet" by Park(ing) Day visitors.