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Aneeda

"Jain also called for an extension of Sandy Boulevard past Burnside so it meets Morrison Street and connects to the Morrison Bridgehead."

Hasn't the City essentially condemned this lower section of Sandy with the east side couplet project? I don't think you will even be able to continue on Sandy after this project is complete.

Steve

I have been an Industrial Designer for decades, for the past 17 years designing furniture. Talking with potential customers or users of my products was sometimes frustrating but usually a positive and interesting learning experience, which motivated me to solve my customer’s problems. We take every opportunity to listen to our customers and it is one reason we are so successful.

As a City Planner, the citizenry are YOUR customer, and it is a disservice when a service provider considers it a “pain” to be “dogged” by customer feedback.

This attitude does not surprise me rather is confirms my experience with the city government. We need to find a mechanism, better than reelection or the threat of recall to motivate our government representatives to create an open, more welcoming relationship with their customers.

I think this less than convivial attitude toward the citizenry is part of our Mayor’s problem.

Arun

Brian, thank you for all your wonderful coverage of urban design issues.

I'd like to address Steve's issue directly and reassure him that not for a minute was I suggesting the public process was a pain. In fact, I completely agree the city has been terribly superficial in its attempts to engage its citizenry on most significant public matters.

Few would argue however that the public process when conducted poorly often results in highly skewed outcomes that do not satisfy anyone. Some say success is when no one is completely satisfied. I disagree and feel broad public consensus can be achieved.

That kind of success is only possible when the city is able to conduct a process that elevates public debate to the level where complex issues can be understood and properly considered by all. Most people do not consider long term and "big picture" solutions as part of their daily lives. Nevertheless we all have a stake in the future. It is therefore the responsibility of the city to clarify issues through due diligence in preparing material to levels where serious and meaningful public debate can occur. That is what I attempted to do with the urban design framework and all its supporting elements.

The urban design framework as described was not created in a void. It had a Resource Group of over 20 professionals and creative thinkers during its process. In addition it had a Technical Advisory Committee that represented a wide range of public agencies. You can check out the participants in the opening pages of the Urban Design Assessment available online.

Despite this engagement, the framework is at best a working draft. It was intended all along to be the first template upon which an extended public debate could occur on how we might leverage limited resources to create great public spaces and places.

If the process follows its intended course, a good public debate would now start on the framework's implications, assumptions, and the best translations of its implied opportunities. That includes reinventing it if necessary, but always keeping in mind the issues and big ideas behind the diagram. The framework should be taken as a statement of future potential and focus, not a "cooked" solution.

A final framework may not look like the one you see, but the intent in carrying it this far has been to ensure the alternatives suggested by citizens remain mature and carefully thought through.

In that vein I sincerely hope this work remains a base on which everyone can have fun with, build upon and eventually call their own.

Steve

Thank you for the well considered reply.

On a positive note, I feel the Sellwood Bridge Project is an example of the proper way to engage the public to evaluate development alternatives.

Now, we need to make this vital piece of infrastructure a priority ahead of a new smaller baseball stadium.

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