Parting Shot

Randy Gragg is leaving the Oregonian.

And in his final column on Sunday (maddeningly, it doesn’t seem to be on OregonLive – go out and find a copy), Gragg throws down the gauntlet and suggests that our region is now approaching transit with timid incrementalism, while other regions are passing $10 and $15B packages for multi-modal transportation improvements.

By way of contrast, a piece on Planetizen yesterday (quoting the NY Times) described Jaime Lerner’s approach in Curitiba:

“Back in 1972, the new mayor of the city, an architect and urban planner named Jaime Lerner, ordered a lightning transformation of six blocks of the street into a pedestrian zone. The change was recommended in a master plan for the city that was approved six years earlier, but fierce objections from the downtown merchants blocked its implementation. Lerner instructed his secretary of public works to institute the change quickly and asked how long it would take. “He said he needed four months,” Lerner recalled recently. “I said, ‘Forty-eight hours.’ He said, ‘You’re crazy.’ I said, ‘Yes, I’m crazy, but do it in 48 hours.’ ””

So how can we assemble the political will to be bolder?

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