Yesterday Madison participated in the worldwide Park(ing) Day observance, which encourages communities to fill up city parking spots with park spaces. (Parking spaces = park spaces–get it?).  Madison had two entries one downtown (below) and one in a more residential area.

While I was taking a gander at our newest (and shortest-lived downtown park), Madison’s Mayor, Dave Cieslewicz, was chatting with the folks who put the park together.  Mayor Dave is a great supporter of progressive community development and multi-model transportation systems.  (Mayor Dave, I loved the streetcar idea. I have always imagined streetcars going down University Avenue.)  I asked what it would take to get a park like this to be permanent.  The gist of his answer was “a lot”…apparently we have many permitting rules! Mayor Dave is the guy in the button-down shirt:

Mayor Dave, Sunny Day

Then I asked the landscape architects (the guys in the t-shirts) if they could just come by every day to do this during my lunch hour and they said that it was too expensive.  Still it was a neat display and did show an alternative way to use space. For Madison’s interest in smart growth and development it’s also comforting that community events such as these are on the radar of our local officials.

Also we’re getting  a new bike-friendly restaurant to prep for our future Amtrak station/public market/awesomeness.  Although summer died three weeks ago, I love this town.  Now it’s time for our four weeks of leaf Armageddon!