Rutgers Students Reclaim Parking Spaces For The Day in Downtown

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A miniature park sprouted up in downtown on Friday September 20, spanning five spaces on Bayard Street and commemorating a holiday of sorts.

The occasion was "PARK(ing) Day," on which people occupy parking spaces with temporary "parklets" in cities across the world.

The PARK(ing) Day movement began with a parking space in San Francisco in 2005, and spread around the world by 2011. 

This parklet consisted of a sports turf floor, potted plants, a greenery wall, seating, and featured activities like yoga and  zumba as well as performances by musicians of such varied styles as West African drumming, acoustic guitar, and a mariachi band.

Tables and chairs on appeared to be the ones formerly located in the FreshGrocer supermarket, which closed in May.

Among the other highlights was an oversized chess board, and free seeds from courtesy of the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance.

Sponsoring the event were two Rutgers student groups, Walk Bloustein Bike Bloustein of the Bloustein School and the NJ Student Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (NJASLA).  Rutgers Gardens, a local girl scout troop, and some of the neighboring businesses were also involved.

Visitors to the parklet included Mayor Jim Cahill and other city officials, as well as Planning Director Glenn Patterson, Environmental Commissioner Heather Fenyk, and Food & Water Watch State Director Jim Walsh.

Reporter at New Brunswick Today

Richard researched transportation, land use, history, and other topics. Investigated site plans. Attended public meetings (planning board, zoning board, parking authority board of directors, City Council) to record and help determine what was discussed. Analyzed blueprints and site plans to determine what land uses sites would be put to. Photographed sites that would be affected by proposed projects, as well as sites involved in news events. Employed Sketchup CAD to visualize new land uses, such as buildings and structures. Critiqued and wrote articles in fast-paced work environment, writing before deadlines. Made judgments as to what constituted proper material to include in articles. Created a zoning map; am working on ways to show it to the public. Consulted vintage maps to determine historic land uses.