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PortlandBuilt

Hi Brian,

Thanks for the intriguing article - it's always interesting to see how other civic leaders perceive our fair city.

I found many of Gavron's comments quite compelling - for example, her skepticism of road widening given the debate over the Columbia River Crossing. It remains to be seen whether this bridge solves a problem or simply shifts the issue elsewhere (i.e. I-5/I-84 interchange)

One portion of the article that caused me to say, "huh?" was this quote: "Portland’s also got something which I hugely admire, which is your economic development
strategy...And I think it’s a focused, very good strategy."

What perplexes me is that most indicators show Portland's economic development has been lackluster in comparison to surrounding cities, and decidedly weak in relation to other urban markets. Oregon (and Portland's) sluggish return from the great recession calls into question how well our leaders have helped foster a business-friendly climate.

It's clear Portland is a leader in green and clean tech. And, that this leadership will lead to long-term benefits. However, it remains to be seen whether past strategies are working (OSU Tram, South Waterfront, Bio Tech, for example) or if Gavron is merely reflecting on the current strategy that emphasizes green, clean, software, etc.

On the topic of mass transit, Gavron hits the nail on the head. The Max is without question of of the most visionary and economically impactful systems in the city's history. I have no doubt that the North Portland yellow-line has had a massive net-positive effoect on businesses and workers in an area that was woefully underserved.

On the flip side, cynics might point out that Gavron's recommendation for more bike lanes is great, provided we actually have jobs for people to bike to.

I'd love to hear some other perspectives on Gavron's comments, and how our current leaders are or aren't addressing economic growth and sustainability.

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