By BRADEN LAMMERS
Parking places in downtown Jeffersonville will be going green on Friday.
For the second time Jeffersonville will be participating in PARK[ing] Day, a nationwide initiative designed to temporarily transform parking spaces into miniature public parks, or green spaces.
Jeffersonville Planning Director Shane Corbin said participation has grown from last year’s event.
Eleven businesses will be participating in the all-day event Friday, up from seven that participated last year. All but one of the businesses is located on Spring Street in downtown Jeffersonville, with Affairs of the Heart Florist located on Meigs Avenue also participating in the initiative.
PARK[ing] Day launched in San Francisco in 2005 and since has evolved into a global movement. For Corbin, Jeffersonville’s participation allows residents to take a different view of downtown and explore the area’s potential.
“[It’s] to get people thinking about how to use space in urban areas differently and not just design our cities for cars,” he said of the event’s purpose. “Spring Street is going to have a lot more bike and foot pedestrian traffic here in the future [and] we have limited outdoor seating.”
Part of the goal is to begin looking at how, and if, the downtown area should be transformed to accommodate the changes occurring in the area, especially with the completion of the Big Four Bridge ramp.
Corbin said the city is in preliminary discussions about redoing the streetscape downtown, where there is potential for widening sidewalks or adding bump-outs to the historic corridor. He added the purpose is to get people talking about what they would like to see in historic downtown and determine areas where it would or would not work.
Highlighting Friday’s activities will be the spaces that line Spring Street, including a themed space in front of Schimpff’s Confectionery, which is working with Gresham, Smith and Partners, a landscape engineering firm from Louisville, to create the display.
In addition, Silica Ceramic Studio, located at 246 Spring Street and which is scheduled to open in the fall, is planning an interactive mural for people to paint that will be an art piece created by the public.
Corbin added that PARK[ing] Day is sponsored by the city’s Urban Enterprise Zone and plants are being donated for the day by Walnut Ridge Nursery.