As I’ve argued before, cities like Provo sometimes have too much empty paved space that’s ostensibly reserved for cars but really just sits empty much of the time. Last month, I also mentioned how New York has tackled this problem by converting street space to cafe seating.
Provo’s population isn’t big enough to turn every parking spot and over-wide street into a cafe, but there are examples of this concept working in the city already.
The two examples above are officially sanctioned temporary conversions of parking to pedestrian space. However, this sort of conversion also occasionally happens on a kind of impromptu, de facto level as well:
Other times, cars and people share the same space, such as at the Rooftop Concert Series food market:
These are all dynamic and interesting examples, though I’ve never actually heard these events discussed in the context of conflicts between demand for pedestrian space and demand for parking space. However, while I think the conversation in Provo would benefit from recognizing these instances for what they are — moments when pedestrian demand exceeds and trumps parking demand — they nevertheless show that a city doesn’t have to be a major metropolis to repurpose pavement.