Mississauga Marking International Park(ing) Day
September 21 is International Park(ing) Day, when participating cities around the world replace some of their metered street parking spots with car-less projects that range from free health clinics and free bike repair shops, to tiny green parks and art installations.
Park(ing) Day began in 2005, in San Francisco, with one two-hour metered spot; in 2011, some 162 cities, in 35 countries took part.
This year, the City of Mississauga is taking part for the first time, with four art installations along Lakeshore Road East in Port Credit. Taking Park(ing) 'Day' to Park(ing) DayS, these installations will remain in place for 10 days to encompass next weekend's Mississauga Culture Days events (see below).
|Setting up on Lakeshore Road East Outside LCBO|
|Parking Cone 'planters' for Flowerpot Garden|
|Yellow Xs and Os West of Hurontario on Lakeshore in Mississauga|
I will let you know what it is when I find out. But at least, from this viewpoint, it looks like Something. Not sure if kids are intended to climb and slide, or spin the Xs and Os. The absence of signage on any of the projects, which have been in place for the past two days, has left many passersby scratching their heads. Perhaps the signs will go up over the coming days.
|The View from Across the Street: A Dumpster?|
|Abandoned Van or Art: Outside old Post Office|
|The Far Side View: Art Not on Display from across the street.|
|Brochures for Parking) Day and Mississauga Culture Days|
|New Signs are Part of the Art in Port Credit.|
|Ward One Councillor, Jim Tovey, beside 'Art Sign' near Ten Restaurant|
Tovey had a hand in the 'piano-keyboard' crosswalk design at the intersection of Hurontario and Lakeshore directly behind him in the above photo. That looks amazing and will last for years.
|NO Cycling on Sidewalks in Mississauga (or Toronto, for that matter)|
A few thoughts about the temporary patios in Port Credit:
|Patios Lakeshore Road Port Credit, looking east towards Elizabeth St.|
These signs with large arrows (Please Use the Boardwalk. Please Don't Walk on the Street) are good to have, though it took several weeks of many bewildered pedestrians who inferred the sidewalk was closed and proceeded along the live traffic lanes to get past the restos. Interesting yet dangerous times.
These temporary and wood-heavy patios are another Port Credit pilot project that is met with mixed reviews from resident walkers and those looking for a place to park. No word on how the patrons felt about sitting out in traffic with cyclists and pedestrians pausing to check out the food they were forking in. Adjacent business said they were not very happy as customers couldn't park close by.
|Boardwalk along Lakeshore Road Port Credit.|
|Patio Viewed from Lakeshore Road in Port Credit.|
|Looking West along Lakeshore Road south sidewalk.|
Here's the view walking west; the large direction signs are not visible until you are upon them, with some pedestrians still opting to walk along the live traffic lanes.
Oddly enough, this stretch of Lakeshore Road in afternoon and early evening, is the hottest and least windy part of all of Port Credit. One has to wonder if a rooftop or backyard patio would better suit those patrons who enjoy patios with their restaurants. One also has to wonder on the return on investment for these temporary structures. I can hardly wait for next summer to find out.
But back to Park(ing) Days and Culture Days:
While I applaud the concept, and appreciate the hard work by both City staff and artists in setting it up, I think the execution can be improved in coming years.
Do come and take a walk in Port Credit, and let me know if I am just nit-picking or if I do have a point. Either way, it's a lot of fun to live here, and I am learning to go with the flow.
- For Parking Day information see parking day. org
- For Mississauga Culture Days, see the City Site.
- For Parking Day videos see Jacksonville FL and (my favourite) this video from Ireland.