Wednesday, January 26I was at the meeting Saturday and it turned out pretty good. If you're interested you can check out the link below for the full story. It wasn't like any of the previous meetings I have attended concerning the bridgehead development. When I arrived I was given a nametag with a number, which was my assigned table. I was table 7 of the 16 tables of about 9 people each. What each table had to do was discuss and come up with our 3 biggest hopes and 3 biggest concerns concerning the project.
At my table were a couple of representatives of local neighborhood assoc., one of which was on the committee that will be choosing the developer, a PDC rep, and Bruce Woods of OPUS NW, one of the developers bidding on the project. I was able to get the skatepark on our list of 3 hopes and didn't feel it needed to be added to the concerns since it is a requirement of the developer to be sensitive to the park.
After all of the tables had presented their lists to the PDC committee, the PDC chairman, Matt Hennessee, went through and listed the top 13 as the PDC understood them. Around number 7, one of the most outspoken at the meeting and rep of the Kerns neighborhood, stood up and reiterated the point, which I don't recall, and said "and don't forget the skatepark". Matt then responded by saying "Don't worry, we'll be getting to the skatepark in a minute." Matt continued going down the list and at number 2 he said "Skateboarders! We need to take care of them and what they have under the bridge." The skatepark is mentioned at every single meeting concerning this project and it's all good. Everybody I have spoken with supports us 100%.
On Sunday I had the chance to walk around the park with one of the OPUS NW team members. I had just walked up and saw them checking out the park so I took the opportunity to give my pitch, again. My main points were lights and extra space. From talking to all of the developers though, lights are a given. The extra space is what I've really been pushing lately.
My pitch is that if a new development goes up, do they want that ugly, grey cinderblock wall butting up against their project. I propose that they allow the skatepark to transition north out of the existing park into a street plaza of sorts. It wouldn't be large, but we could easily put in some good benches, planter boxes, and ledges that all would be skateable. They seem to like the idea, but it's still a bit early for any difinitive answers. So far all of the developers have expressed an interest in creating some sort of viewing platform. I don't know, like I said it's still too early for real solid solutions, but they're coming. Just know this, the park will change. How is still up in the air, but it will happen, good or bad.
Link to full story at Portland Communique
That's it. Go skate!