ALEXANDRIA, VA – The City of Alexandria is currently accepting permit applications for “parklets” — temporary parks located in parking spaces around Alexandria as part of PARK(ing) Day on September 20. This annual, worldwide event demonstrates the importance of preserving and creating public open space in urban areas.
What is PARK(ing) Day?
PARK(ing) Day is a global event that occurs annually on the third Friday of September, aimed at reclaiming on-street parking spaces by temporarily transforming them into exciting and imaginative park spaces or parklets.
The idea for PARK(ing) Day originally started in San Francisco in 2005. Rebar, an art and design studio, created a temporary park to draw attention to the lack of open space and need for more space for pedestrians. The PARK(ing) Day movement has since grown throughout the world to more than 160 different cities. Local businesses, non-profits, and City Departments can all design and host their own temporary park by following the steps below.
This year, PARK(ing) Day is Friday, September 20. Please consider participating in PARK(ing) Day by submitting your PARK(ing) Day Permit Application no later than Friday, August 30. A map identifying the locations of parklets in Alexandria will be posted in early September .
Extended hours! This year, parklets may remain in place until 7:00 PM.
How to Obtain a Permit for PARK(ing) Day
- SELECT a site for your Parklet that meets these general criteria:
- Located mid-block: Parklets should not be located on corners and must be at least 50 feet from the intersection to maintain safety.
- Located on low speed limit streets: Parklets should be on streets with a speed limit of 25 mph or less.
- Not located on an HOV street, including Washington Street, Henry Street, or Patrick Street.
Note – No more than two parklets will be approved per block face. Final location is subject to City approval through the permit process.
- DESIGN your Parklet, using the PARK(ing) Day Guidelines keeping the following considerations in mind:
- PARK(ing) Day parklets should:
- Be ADA accessible: ADA Compliance mandates that an entrance to a parklet must be accessible via wheelchair; therefore, aim to make design your parklet to be flush with the curb. The standard curb height is 6 inches; however, curb heights vary throughout the City.
- Be level: Based on the pitch of the road, you may need to adjust the heights of either width of your parklet using shims or planks that are designed to carry loads.
- Include a buffer zone: A minimum 10-foot buffer zone must be included along each end of the parklet and a 2-foot buffer must be provided between the parklet and the travel lane. The edge of the Parking Area shall be highly visible and clearly marked with warning tape, bollards, or other traffic control devices.
- Safety comes first. Always consult a professional engineer regarding parklet siting.
- Consider including the following in your PARK(ing) Day parklet:
- Symbolic groundcover: Cover up asphalt to create a more visually appealing space!
- Seating: Provide a place for pedestrians to stop and sit!
- Shade: Trees, landscaping, or other materials can provide welcoming shade!
- APPLYfor a PARK(ing) Day Permit which includes:
- Submitting a Permit Applicationto the T&ES Permit office (301 King Street, Room 4130) or by email. Ensure all required application materials are submitted, including:
- Sketch showing parklet location: Show the entire block and adjacent cross streets. Label and show all streets, bike lanes, parking lanes, meter locations, driveway aprons, fire hydrants or other features within the right-of-way.
- Detailed sketch showing the layout of the proposed parklet: Include all dimensions, buffer areas, and items to be placed within the allowed area.
- Affirmative acknowledgement of legal liability statement.
- Pay the Permit Fee: $40 per meter space, $30 per non-meter space.
Note – A minimum of two spaces must be reserved to accommodate the parklet and required buffer zone.
- BUILD and STAFF your parklet
- On PARK(ing) Day, parklets may not be assembled until 9:00 AM.
- Someone must be present at all times the parklet is assembled.
- Share pictures on social media by tagging @AlexandriaVATES as well as using #PARKingDay and #PARKingDayALX
- REMOVE your Parklet:
- By 7:00 PM, the parklet must be completely removed and returned the original on-street parking conditions.
- Parklets not removed by 7:00 PM may be subject to fines.
If you have additional questions about the permit process, contact the T&ES Permit Office at 703.746.4035.
On PARK(ing) Day, members of the public will be encouraged to explore parklets around the City and learn more about the City agencies and private organizations sponsoring these pop-up spaces. The parklets are a fun, creative way to engage with City residents and visitors.
For more information about Alexandria’s PARK(ing) Day event, including the permit process for creating a parklet and applicable fees and guidelines, visit the City’s PARK(ing) Day page. After the permit deadline, a map of parklet locations will be posted.