Tag Archives: (park)ing day

(park)ing Day

I wanted to one up (park)ing Day this year.  Our house is on a corner lot.  We have two parking spots.  One is kind of gravelled while the other one is more dirt than gravel.  Since moving in, I have planted seed along the side of the dirt one to keep the mud down and to make it look nicer.  Since we only have one car, the one spot is rarely used so this year, I decided to seed in the second spot and do something with it. 

I know some of you hate grass with a passion but I like lawn.  Over the years with dogs that tend to tear up grass when they run on it, we have planted a more and more hearty grass.  Instead of going to Wal-Mart of Canadian Tire, we go to Early’s and get both a tougher kind of grass but it also requires less watering.  If you need grass seed, this is where you need to go.  Since much of Mayfair was built with no topsoil, we mulch our grass, aerate it yearly, and put down compost.  It’s not ideal but it does require less water than ever before.

I really wanted to do something with that spot.  It is sheltered and will be really nice next summer but… it’s Mayfair and right beside my car and house.  I really don’t want more stuff stolen or broken into.  It’s also on the side street and not a lot of traffic.  While the City has planted an oak and a maple tree on the side boulevard over the years, the oak hasn’t taken off year and the maple is at the back part of our lot.

So I am thinking of doing something along the front of the house.  About a decade ago the City of Saskatoon planted (replanted?) a maple tree there and it is at a size where it is starting to give some shade.  We have a lot of seniors in our neighbourhood that struggle to walk down to Safeway every day and for many of them, a bench might be nice there.  I will either anchor it to the ground or use a coated chain to the tree and see how long it will be until it gets stolen. 

We are also thinking of a planter there as well.  It will be a pain in the neck to mow around it but it’s Mark and I that will be doing it and I will know who to complain to.

If it is an issue with the City, I can also put it on my property which is only more difficult in that I don’t have a tree to toss a chain around to secure it. I’d have to get to get two cement blocks and secure it to that. It’s not that hard but it’s more permanent than I want. That being said, I imagine I’ll do the same with the boulevard.

The StarPhoenix’s call for change

From a StarPhoenix editorial on Friday

In the postwar era, suburbanites ruled by the power of the ballot, and governments were forced to react to their concerns.

It’s also significant that the events in Saskatoon coincided with a report from the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado, which said that by mid-September the polar ice cap had retreated to historic levels, shattering the record retreat from 2007 and threatening to leave an ice-free Arctic decades sooner than expected.

The old way of building cities for automobiles is no longer on, Mr. Greenberg said. Except, as Saskatoon grows, that is exactly what is happening. Its suburbs still spread out in all directions, with large homes, two-vehicle-garages and car dependent citizens.

This isn’t only happening within city limits, where planners and city councillors are trying to adjust development patterns to favour denser development, but it’s happening past Saskatoon’s fringes where rural politicians argue that the city has no right to rain on their parade of sprawl.

The true test of Mr. Greenberg’s theory of a paradigm shift won’t just be the willingness of young citizens to sacrifice a Thursday evening to hear him. The test will be if they inform civic politicians on the hustings of their visions, if they turn out on Oct. 24 to mark their ballots, and if they spread the message those provincial and federal politicians and business leaders who are claiming that there is no difference between urban or rural interests.

Pocket Parks

A Bellingham Parklet

The parklet was installed in a day and could be taken out just as quickly …

“That’s what the businesses are valuing – creating space for people instead of cars,” said Rose Lathrop, green building and smart growth manager at Sustainable Connections …

Before parklets can become a local trend, the city’s Williams said staffers will have to draft policies for their installation for City Council approval.The first one was installed using the city’s existing right-of-way use permit system, which in the past has been used by businesses that wanted to park a trash bin in a city space to hold remodeling debris, Williams said.

Bothman and Lathrop said reaction to the parklet has been almost completely positive.”I’ve heard maybe one negative comment from the mailman who used to park there,” Lathrop said.

Another amazing idea that Saskatoon would be wise to take a long look at.