Updated: Centers Happen?

Update: 7/20/07

Almost two years ago I asked the question: what happens when a center may be coming into existence where we didn’t plan one.

Now the Oregonian reports on discussion among some Metro Council members about just that question, about that same center.

Original Post: 7/26/05

Metro President David Bragdon has been spending the last couple of years pointing out in his State of the Region addresses and elsewhere that the Urban Growth Boundary has preserved farm and forest land, but by itself hasn’t driven the development of the regional and town centers in the 2040 plan. Instead, Bragdon tells us that strategic investment will be required to make these centers happen.

The Regional Transportation Plan and MTIP processes already direct transportation investments toward centers.

Here are some other ideas I’ve heard for investments that could help drive centers:

– Bike Lanes
– Streetcars
– WiFi Clouds

I’d like to hear more ideas for what kind of investments would drive centers to coalesce, but that’s not today’s main question.

What do we do when a Center comes into existence where we didn’t plan it? The question is prompted by recent coverage in the Oregonian about Bridgeport Village and new developments likely to rise up next to it.

Is this a new center coming into existence? Certainly Metro didn’t plan for it. Lake Oswego even got into an argument with the developer about whether it detracted from LO’s town center in downtown.

There’s a small transit center across the street (more of a park-and-ride) but none of the busses are routed to serve Bridgeport very effectively.

So what should we do as a region? Redirect our transportation investment to serve what appears to be an unplanned emergent center? Or reserve our resources for the centers that we have planned (and zoned land uses) for?

It could be argued that the same sort of phenomenon has occurred at Kruse Way, now an employment center. Is it dense enough to serve effectively with transit?

What do we do with de facto centers?

134 Responses to Updated: Centers Happen?