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What's Park(ing) Day?

September 14, 2022

Category:  Events

The Tavern's outdoor parakeet with Umbrellas
The Tavern

Have you eaten or had drinks at a parklet in Downtown Tulsa yet? The weather is right for it, and there are so many places to choose from! Parklets are wonderful outdoor areas that utilize parking spaces in front of restaurants, bars, and coffee shops.

Maybe you're a parklet pro, but you've never heard of the event credited with launching the concept of parklets: Park(ing) Day. Here's some background on this public, participatory project celebrated globally September 16th-18th, and how it relates to Tulsa's parklet program.

Elote Cafe & Catering's Parklet
Elote Cafe & Catering

The rundown  

Parklets are public seating platforms that convert curbside parking spaces into vibrant community spaces. Parklets are the product of partnerships between cities and their local businesses, residents, or neighborhood associations that keep thriving communities at the forefront. 

Most parklets have a distinctive design that incorporates seating, greenery, and bike racks and accommodate unmet demand for public space on thriving neighborhood retail streets or commercial areas. They also have to meet certain standards to keep customers safe from vehicular harm, like wheel buffers four feet away from the parklet and vertical parking signals for moving traffic. 

A group of urbanists in Downtown San Francisco is credited with creating the first parklets in 2005 to reimagine a drab street into community spaces that encouraged social interaction. They temporary converted parking into a mini park, rolling out sod, putting up a bench and potted tree. These visionaries made their concept open source, and the rest is history.

Topeca's parklet on Boston Ave.
Topeca on Boston Ave.

Where can I find parklets in Tulsa?

Downtown Tulsa has some of the best food and drinks; we all know this. But only some locations have parklets. Here are some of our favorites: 

So, it's a Covid thing? 

Covid certainly boosted the use of parklets worldwide!

Tulsa's parklet program was introduced right before the pandemic, and permit fees were waived for the first two years after the pandemic hit. This helped Downtown restaurants to continue to serve guests safely outdoors.

Lone Wolf's Parklet
Lone Wolf on Archer

Not too late for more parklets

Parklets are great for our cities as they provide new experiences, promote foot traffic, and spur economic development! If you are a business owner in Downtown Tulsa, we hope you'll consider having a parklet of your own. We think it'll do wonders for your business and our community. 

Happy Park(ing) Day!

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