February 21, 2006
TriMet Convenes Mall Steering Committee - Tomorrow
I just received an e-mail notice that TriMet is convening the Transit Mall Steering Committee tomorrow (Thursday, 2/22) from 1:30-3pm. The meeting will be in the Pettygrove Room of City Hall.
The agenda includes a review of the operations plan and opportunity for public testimony.
February 22, 2006 4:29 PM
Bob R. Says:
I was at the meeting this afternoon. It went on quite awhile and unfortunately Aaron from TriMet was unable to give his visual presentation of how operations will actually work on the mall, which I felt would have been helpful to see before commentary began. I am attempting to obtain a copy of that presentation, but of course without narrative it won't be of as much value.
The summary of the summary of the summary is that representatives of Trimet, the Mall CAC, the Mayor and Commissioner Sam spoke, mostly to review what had been done so far and how the public had been involved, how these issues had been visited before, etc., and the CAC members spoke to support the plan (as well as a letter of support) and to commit to reach out more to the DNA.
15 members of the public spoke (or were listed to speak... I didn't keep score), including a member of the DNA and a former CAC chair. The majority of the persons speaking voice some kind of opposition, or at least concern, or support with reservations. I spoke in "support with reservations" mode. Another Portland Transport commentator, Ron Swaren, spoke in favor of streetcars perhaps on Front Ave.
An observation on one thing that irked me: The Rose Quarter area was offered up as an example of how multiple modes (cars, buses, peds, rail lines) all work together safely today. I don't think this is a particularly good example. It may function safely, but it does not function _well_. There is a difference. The remark drew a few laughs and groans.
Most of the presenters were calm and made their points. The first woman who spoke was quite angry, but I think she mischaracterized completely what had been said by TriMet's representative. I used part of my testimony time to try and correct the record, which I realize may be have seemed rude to her, but I feel strongly that criticism at this point needs to be reality-based and constructive or it is going to be dismissed. Having the first person to stand up be irrational and cranky did not do any of us who followed (both for and against the project) any favors.
- Bob R.