Portland Civil Links 10/10/14

Transportation funding, Portland’s parks and using active transportation to promote health in our school system. Here are the Portland Civil links for the past week.

  • First, I would like to encourage Portland voters to check out the Fix Our Park campaign, which is working to pass the upcoming Parks Replacement Bond. This bond will fund much needed repairs to Portland’s park system and will not result in a tax increase. As a parent and President of our local Little League, I can testify first hand to how critical these parks are to our community and how much they contribute to livability in our city.
  • Here at Civil PDX, I explored how the OTIA funding surge has affected competition between engineering firms for public infrastructure projects. In short, I believe that the OTIA work has created a large supply of qualified engineering firms, while transportation funding problems have resulted in less demand for their services.
  • Portland Parks and Recreation opened the agency’s first entirely nature based playground at Westmoreland Park, a KPFF project that I had the opportunity to work on. The park uses logs, boulders, plants and other natural elements to create a fun, exploration based environment for kids to play in.
  • Metro debuted an innovative stormwater wall at the Portland Expo Center last week. Designed by landscape architecture firm GreenWorks PC, the wall uses vegetation to treat runoff from the building’s roof before it is directed into the sewer system.
  • A new effort is underway to define the future of Veterans Memorial Coliseum.  The study will explore options ranging from addressing deferred maintenance to gutting the building and creating an entirely different venue.
  • Finally, Wednesday was International Bike and Walk to School Day! In a country that struggles with obesity, teaching our kids about the benefits of active transportation is a critical piece of maintaining the health of our communities. Growing up in a rural area, I didn’t get to enjoy the benefits of biking and walking places until I was an adult, but my own kids testify that their walk to and from school is one of the most enjoyable parts of their day.

That’s all for this week. It looks like the rain might hold off to give us a last weekend of beautiful fall weather before the pineapple express blows Oregon’s real fall into action.

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