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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Portland City Hall: Go play in the street

We wish we were kidding, but that's the latest fad: Some dudes from Berkeley are coming up to tell us how "streets can be places that support transportation and community interaction, play, sustainability and more." So precious. The Fellini movie rolls on.

Comments (15)

I knew it would come to this... using children as impediments to traffic flow.

I'd love to see Jefferson Smith dangling from a helicopter.

Unfortunately, it would only feed his messiah complex.

I sense the need for a sign in front of city hall,
"slow children at play"

Sorry, Jack, but this moves way beyond Fellini and even George Romero into Mike Judge territory. As far as playing in the street is concerned, will there be Kool-Aid, or just Brawndo?

Re:STREETS is a fundamental rethinking of America's streets. Building on the Complete Streets movement, the Re:STREETS project is developing a comprehensive design manual for creating streets that are truly for everyone. What would streets look like if they accommodated people of all ages and abilities, promoted healthy urban living, social interaction and business, the movement of people and goods and regeneration of the environment? How will the form and function of streets change as we adopt new technologies?

The project will develop a wide variety of innovative solutions by gathering the most recent, cutting edge research on street design, combined with a design charrette featuring experts and innovators in professions related to the design of streets. The most effective solutions will be published in a manual and online as an eBook. Some of the solutions will be methods that have already been tested and proven effective; others will be experimental.

Information from the Re:STREETS project will be available to anyone who wants to design a better street for their community. The project eBook will be downloadable for free. As solutions are tried and streets are built or remodeled, the results will be added to the Re:STREETS eBook, creating an evolving, collaborative reference for improving our communities and the health of the planet.

Re:STREETS is a non-profit effort and no firm, organization or individual will receive direct financial gain from the project.

Project Supporters

The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency supporting artists and arts organizations and bringing the arts to all Americans. www.arts.gov

The National Complete Streets Coalition seeks to fundamentally transform the look, feel and function of roads and streets in the United States. www.completestreets.org

The University of California, Berkeley College of Environmental Design is a community of designers, planners, and scholars concerned with the built environment in all its complexity.

This from completestreets.org
Instituting a Complete Streets policy ensures that transportation planners and engineers consistently design and operate the entire roadway with all users in mind - including bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and riders, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.

The only good city planner is an unemployed planner!


Here is an additional wrinkle to this "streets" talk. At a recent meeting of our neighborhood association in inner SE Portland there was talk from neighbors and officials about the move away from cars - that this is definitely "where things are going" reality and specifically I quote "if you own a car you are going to have to have somewhere to put it." Meaning - not on a public (tax-payer funded street) rather a driveway or garage. So more concrete around our city lots but not on the publicly owned streets. I guess kids will be out there playing in the street getting hit by cyclists.

I'll have to pave over my organic vegetable garden and chicken coop and the mother of 3 who lives in an apartment in SE will have to slog her laundry to the laundromat on her bike. Yep - that's how we roll - lots of bs, shuck and jive and nazi-like tactics.

This may be 10 or 15 years off unless we muster the guts to say NO and stop putting up with these dummies telling us what to do.


Living in Madrid at the moment I am probably in tune with lots of these ideas. (Multi-modal is pretty awesome here--no rain) But the 600 scare letters after the guy's name totally turn me off. Really what do you need after PHD? That's pretty impressive by itself, the other letters just make me question its value.

I'll admit though, that I am inclined to think that Americans probably shouldn't have surrendered our streets to the car. It actually seems strange that we did but the trade off was economic growth and some extra yard space..so what do you do?

"It actually seems strange that we did but the trade off was economic growth and some extra yard space..so what do you do? "

You keep promoting cars because cars cause a higher standard of living! They are faster, cheaper and more convenient than transit - that is why transit has been declining for almost 100 years and part of why we have high standard of living. (And don't let any of those lying planners tell you that cars are highly subsidized, because they are not.)


This is just another city planning department incantation to rationalize support for the developer vampires' desire to acquire city parklands.

As a new kids' game rages in Portland: "If A Car Hits You, You're Dead!"

*Portland: The City That Quirks* Go by propellered hat!

When the roads return to dirt tracks and horses are liveried in every garage, I'll be gone. Where DO these insane non-profits get their money to advance these nutty ideas? There are so many of them, the pot of money from private deep pockets would have run dry by now, yet they keep coming!

Let's just cut to the chase. Every street should look just like this:


I'm at a loss of words. Has the Parks Department been merged into the Transportation Department. Will we have in the near future the "Burnside / Couche Couplet Park" or the "Martin Luther King Three-mile-long Playground?"

Fortunately, by the time this city becomes entirely populated with like minded twits, I'll be dead.

If the majority of the people that have lived here and paid for infrastructure will not stand up for maintaining the community they invested in, and then allow others to come in and dictate how we should all live, what do those of us who care do? Most of this is done with our money propagandizing and paying for the redo. Unfortunately, this is being done not only with physical building, but with our behavior! This "behavioral change" foisted upon our community parallel with the physical change of our neighborhoods/city is more than a community should have to deal with. Just take care of the basics and leave the rest alone.
We need a moratorium.
We need new leadership.
That doesn't look likely with the same career politicians
promoted by insiders to continue the agenda.

2012 May 31 Thursday 10:35 U (10:35 AM PT)

"Conversations" on the subject of taking back the streets for pedestrian involvement have been "moving forward" for a number of months.

Examine the efforts along OR Hwy 43 between Portland and Oregon City through Lake Oswego and West Linn for the transfer of ownership (administration and finance of deferred repairs) from ODOT to local governments.

Many times in different venues slips of the tongue have indicated posted speeds would be reduced along with the number of lanes; this to facilitate bicycle commuting. Most recently Mayor Jack D. Hoffman of Lake Oswego jokingly referred to this as an option for the OR Hwy 43 segment in Lake Oswego aka State St. See the LO Council session of 2012 May 29 Tuesday. Sorry can not pin point the time mark on the video.

Also examine citizen involvement efforts along OR Hwy 43 aka Willamette Drive in West Linn in and around the intersection with Hidden Springs Road. It would be relevant for bicycle transportation advocates to request funds to produce "quadrangle maps" and published GIS (Geographical Information Layers) of percent slope as part of Clackamas County and Lake Oswego Transportation System Plans. Such maps and data give a quick indication whether contemplated bike routes can be navigated by a tyke on a trike or Lance Armstrong in the French Alps.

Maybe those from City of Lake Oswego commuting to Oregon City Court House for the Buford trial (inquisition) might make use of the information.

Charles Ormsby (Skip) aka "sentinelskip"

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