Parks will pop up Friday in Dayton

Park People

Is that a parking space or a park?

If you happen to be in the Oregon District or downtown Dayton on West Second Street on Friday, you may see something surprising.

To celebrate National PARK(ing) Day, Garden Station and Bike Miami Valley will be installing pop-up parks in parking spaces along the streets.

The Oregon District parking space park will be in front of Blind Bob’s on East Fifth Street and will be installed by the folks who maintain Garden Station, the community garden, art park and sustainable living education center at Fourth Street and Wayne Avenue.

The Fifth Street pop-up park will also feature activities for children and a noon concert by Todd the Fox.

Protected Bike Lane Pic

Bicyclists enjoy a more comfortable urban ride on a permanent protected bike lane.

The Second Street park will be installed by Bike Miami Valley, and will also feature a demonstration protected bike lane. The advocacy organization will also be passing out free one-day passes to the Link BikeShare system.

Five Rivers MetroParks and Green Velvet Sod Farms are supporting both parks with sod and plants.

National PARK(ing) Day, which was invented in 2005 by Rebar, a San Francisco-based art and design studio, is aimed at getting people to take a fresh look at their cities, said Amy Fabich, program manager at Bike Miami Valley.

“The National PARK(ing) Day is focused on taking over those meters and making pop-up parks where people can do activities, or just hang out and enjoy some fresh air,” Fabich said.

“They are obviously very atypical places. That’s the point: to kind of draw attention to a park being somewhere somebody wouldn’t expect it. It’s kind of re-imagining that urban landscape.”

The Second Street installation will have a pop-up park in two spaces, and a demonstration protected bike lane in three more, Fabich said. People will be able to ride a Link bike in the protected bike lane to get an idea of what it would feel like.

The point, she said, is to “rethink the way streets are used, to get people to think about their urban spaces a little differently, and to make them more people-focuses places.”

Ken McCall is the database reporter for the Dayton Daily News and an avid cyclist. He is a member of Bike Miami Valley, where he serves as co-chairman of the Regional Advocacy Committee; the Dayton Cycling Club; the Ohio Bike Federation; and the League of American Bicyclists. If you have any story ideas or bike news, contact him at or call (937) 225-2393.

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