Over at the Burnside Blog, they published part 3 of a series entitled
“IF I WERE KING OF THE (URBAN) FOREST Here are some excerpts that we wanted to share with you:
Architect Rick Potestio is one of the design community’s most engaging thinkers—the product of a childhood spent basking in the work of masters like Johns Yeon and Storrs, Pietro Belluschi, Zaik and Zimmer. Portland-born, U of O-trained during the ‘70s heyday that also brought us Nancy Merryman, Brad Cloepfil, John Cava and others, Potestio went on to work in the offices of Thomas Hacker, SERA, Mahlum, among others. He’s been described as “an architect’s architect, in the vein of Kahn, Scarpa, etc. Almost the id and super-ego to the ego of Brad Cloepfil.” If you saw his bold, speculative work as part of last year’s PDXplore exhibition at PNCA or if you’ve ever talked with Potestio, the first thing that strikes you is his sincerity and enthusiasm for big ideas—the type of utopian fervor that got us all excited once upon a time about the possibilities of architecture and planning. It’s a welcome reminder that cities can and should remain aspirational.
Here’s a sampling of some of Rick’s vision of a Portland that might be. If you had unlimited funds and a full-pass to develop, rehab, or build, what would you do, where, and why?
“Well OK, you asked. . .
* develop a city-wide Streetcar system. (However it may have to be rubber wheeled—bikes and tracks don’t mix well).
* build a bridge connecting NE Fremont with NW 23rd Avenue. I’d complete [the] bike path system, create bike boulevards or a woonerf street system [a “residential yard” where motorists, bikes, peds share a street without boundaries such as lanes and curbs and have access to the whole street, not just sidewalks].
* create a boulevard system, with roundabouts at principle intersections.
* I would create a funicular system for the West Hills.
* cap portions of 405 and all of I-5 from the Rose Garden to the Columbia River. I would tear down or build over I-5 on the East Bank.
* Institute a bike share program as in Europe.
* Ask Trimet to base bus schedules and routes on activities, not just on commutes to the core—i.e. I’d advocate for evening Trimet routes to connect enertainment centers, weekend routes that connect activity areas/parks. I’d also ask them to buy smaller, more friendly and fun buses.
* Remove all the traffic circles (and other traffic calming devices) at intersections lower the general speed limit—and increase enforcement and fines.
* Study, with intent to implement on a test basis in some neighborhoods, a designing of streets as is currently being approached in German and the Netherlands.
Click here to read the complete article at Portland Spaces.
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