Residents on Friday took back the streets — one parking spot at a time — as downtown Tacoma joined cities all over the world in Park(ing) Day.
Parking spots along Pacific Avenue, A Street, Broadway and more became temporary living rooms, dining rooms and gardens, thanks to participants and organizers Downtown On the Go.
Walking tours of the transformed parking spots took place at noon from the base of the stairs at the University of Washington Tacoma. Cycle tours began at noon from the Harmon Tap Room on upper St. Helens Avenue.
The idea of Park(ing) Day, begun in 2005 in San Francisco, now is an annual worldwide event at which citizens pay for a parking spot and turn it into a miniature public space for a few hours.
The effect sometimes was promotional. Beginning at the UWT, Pacific Avenue spaces successively promoted Downtown on the Go’s Bike Week next week and MetroParks events. The Children’s Museum of Tacoma had a small play space on a tarp with water items and small toys.
Farther down, a Hilltop neighborhood group chatted on living room chairs, School of the Arts students formed a knitting circle, and the new Urban Gardener shop on A Street turned a spot into a lush garden. There even was a dining table set for 16, with free bagels and juice, part of a mobile project called The Big Table.
“We’re loving the atmosphere,” said table organizer Josh Jorgenson of Downtown On the Go, amid grinding jackhammers at a nearby work site.
Rosemary Ponnekanti: 253-597-8568