And, I’m off…

I’m sitting on my direct flight to Amsterdam and my mind is still in Portland’s Cully Neighborhood. Recent weeks have centered around preparations – not for this trip but – for an open house held last Thursday at Rigler Elementary. Here is a sampling of the things I heard:
• Simply paving the travel lane on quiet streets is enough, at least as a start.
• I feel safe walking in the roadway on most streets.
• Resident cannot afford and don’t want the full standard package (paved, drainage, sidewalks, etc.)
• It is okay to improve quiet routes to school, but make sure you can reach them safely from the busy streets where many live.

Cully residents have a unique and diverse identity. It is something they take pride in (as they should). It is something they value not only in their neighbors but also in their community’s built environment. “I love the variety of people who live here,” commented a resident of 40+ years. “I would be bored living in a neighborhood where everyone looks the same.” Based on the conversations I had on Thursday night I have a feeling they feel the same way about their streets.

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About Denver Igarta

This blog was established to document my search for streets that my 5-year old can play near without my constant supervision. Where kids can live active lives and learn independence. My quest began when I was selected as an Urban and Regional Policy Fellow by the German Marshall Fund, for info: gmfus.org/cdp/fellowships. I am a multi-modal transportation planner for the City of Portland (OR), America's sustainable transportation capital. SHORT BIO/PROJECT DESCRIPTION Denver Igarta (October-November 2011), Urban Planner, City of Portland Bureau of Transportation Project: Livable Streets Where People Live: Fostering People-Friendly Streets by De-emphasizing Automobile Traffic in Residential Areas Cities: Munich, Rotterdam, Copenhagen, Malmö Denver Igarta is an urban planner with the Transportation Bureau of the City of Portland. He works on a broad range of transportation policy, street design initiatives and pedestrian, bicycle and freight planning efforts. He recently served as one of the principal authors of Portland's new bicycle plan. He is currently staffing two “active transportation” projects: a rails-with-trails project along the Banfield Freeway and a local street system plan for one of the state's most diverse neighborhoods. He performed his graduate studies at the University of Dortmund, Germany and the University of the Philippines and holds a Master of Science in Regional Development Planning. Portland is struggling to reverse generations of auto-oriented development patterns and make neighborhood streets more “livable” (people-friendly) by restoring their multimodal and placemaking functions. Mr. Igarta's research will evaluate how cities in Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden have enacted policies to restore the multiple functions of public streets through traffic management, green infrastructure and giving priority to sustainable travel modes. He will meet with local practitioners, policymakers and civic leaders involved in transportation planning, traffic safety and neighborhood livability projects, street design, and implementation of multi-modal traffic policies. The ultimate aim of the study is to compile a set of best practices and policies implemented in European cities that have broadened the role of residential streets beyond automobile mobility. Additional focus will be given to understanding how acceptable policy tradeoffs are determined within city agencies and the level of public support for measures that restrict car movements, such as reduced speed zones, bicycle streets, shared spaces, residents-only streets and residential parking restrictions.
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3 Responses to And, I’m off…

  1. david says:

    Hey Denver – Were folks concerned about being able to access their schools from busy streets, or being able to access the quiet streets from busy streets? Just curious…

    • Hey David,
      This will be a good question for my meeting tomorrow with staff of Green City, a creative nonprofit working closely with the city to promote alternatives to the car. http://www.greencity.de
      Video in English:

      I will let you know what I learn. Hope you are well! Later,
      Den

    • Okay…my mind has shifted to Munich. I just realized your question was about Cully. Yes, a common response to our suggested routes to school was…they’re great but when I open my door I’m faced with Killingsworth, which lacks continuous sidewalks and has heavy traffic.

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