St. Louis Parking Spots Free for Art Galleries, Parks, Puppy Pools And More on PARK(ing) Day

Free parking alert, St. Louis!

That is, if you've got an idea of how to use the metered spot in some way other than parking your car. The St. Louis Treasurer's Office, which oversees parking, is participating this year in the international PARK(ing) Day event where folks come up with alternative, creatives uses for spots. Reclaim public space!

"We are encouraging businesses and people to set up their own private parks and enjoy the day outside," Treasurer Tishaura Jones tells Daily RFT.

Her office today sent out applications, on view below, for St. Louisans interested in participating in the September 20 event.

Jones says the city is not limiting the number of spaces or neighborhoods and notes that it's free to apply. St. Louis has participated in the annual PARK(ing) Day events since 2011, but the treasurer's office was not involved last year.

"It's an international movement," she says. "We wanted to make sure that we recognized PARK(ing) Day."

She hopes that there are five or more spots used in each of the neighborhoods that have metered parking.

"We are not going to limit it to just downtown," she says, noting that there's interest in north St. Louis, the Central West End, South Grand, Cherokee Street and elsewhere.

What can you do with the space?

Some suggestions via the application: public park, hammock park, arts and crafts, lemonade stand, art gallery, free massages, puppy pools, exercise classes, poetry readings , solar panel demonstrations and more. Basically...anything!

Here's the announcement from Jones' office, followed by the full application.

Treasurer's Office to Recognize PARK(ing) Day On September 20, 2013

PARK(ing) Day STL is a collaborative effort between the City of St. Louis Treasurer's Office and several neighborhood organizations to allow businesses and local organizations to find alternative usages for parking meters for a single day. This year the event will take place on Friday, September 20, 2013.

The goal of PARK(ing) Day is to draw attention to how we use public space and explore new ways of interacting with our city. The event calls attention to the need for more urban open space, generates critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and how to improve the quality of urban human habitat... at least until the meter runs out!

PARK(ing) Day is an annual, global event on the third Friday of September. Citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into "PARK(ing)" spaces: temporary public places. The international event began in San Francisco in 2005 when a group of architects "rented" a parking space by paying the meter and set up a miniature park. In 2011, over 975 PARK(ing) Day spots were created in 162 cities across the globe. St. Louis's first PARK(ing) Day spot was built in 2011 and we are looking to expand the number of participants. In addition to miniature parks, parking spaces have been rented out for a variety of creative displays, including performance spaces, art galleries, refreshment stands, and lawn bowling.

The Treasurer's Office will waive the customary $25 application fee and the meter rental fee for PARK(ing) Day participants. Applications can be downloaded from the Treasurer's Office website at

Parking Day Application

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

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