PARK(ing) Day brings visitors to downtown Columbia
COLUMBIA- PARK(ing) Day is a yearly global celebration of sustainable living and community building in urban areas. Businesses and individuals take over one or two metered parking spots to create a small temporary public space or park.
Downtown Columbia participated for the third time in hopes to draw tourism and foot traffic. Businesses transformed the spots into cozy reading nooks, a bocce lawn and green areas for people and their pets to enjoy.
The Community Improvement District's assistant director Jennifer Coffman said she hoped this would create a special and enjoyable downtown atmosphere where people would want to stick around.
Janie Backs, a frequent downtown visitor, had high hopes for the day as well. She was lounging outside of Muse Clothing at their bohemian lounge themed parking space.
"I think this is great for the downtown community. It definitely brings a lot of students downtown and people who normally don't come downtown," Backs said.
She added, she was glad to see business owners who aren't typically in the shops everyday and hear why they chose to celebrate PARK(ing) Day too.
Jennifer Coffman said that there was some concern from business owners about people not being able to get downtown. She said the Community Improvement District took this into consideration, but since the event is just one day long, they decided to hold it anyway.