[WEC] RSVP by Friday 10/15 for WEC / EmX Discussion #2
robzako at gmail.com
Thu Oct 14 16:46:45 PDT 2010
Dear WEC friends ... and City of Eugene and LTD friends,
Please click on the following link and indicate you availability for a second meeting ... and please do so by the end of Friday, October 15.
For those who are technologically challenged, here are the choices:
Mon 11/1 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Mon 11/1 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Tue 11/2 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Tue 11/2 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Tue 11/9 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Fri 11/12 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM
On Oct 14, 2010, at 12:52 PM, Rob Zako wrote:
Dear WEC friends ... and City of Eugene and LTD friends,
Thank you to everyone who participated in our discussion this morning about a vision for west Eugene and EmX. It felt like a big, happy reunion ... especially with Mary making an appearance from Utah. By my count, 20 of us were able to participate: Rick, John Allcott, Rusty, Chris. Emily, Jim Welsh, Kitty, Larry, Gary, Pat, Kevin, Jack, Don, Tom Schwetz, Deborah, Jan, Rob Inerfeld, Mary, Tim and me. We were also joined by Eugene City Manager Jon Ruiz and by Mike Eyster, Mark Pangborn, Stef Viggiano and John Evans from LTD.
In brief, I would say all around the table there was an appreciate for the need for better transit service as a key component of a vision for improving our community. There was an appreciation for LTD, but also criticism for missteps. There was an understanding that we can't lose EmX. And there was a willingness to help be part of the solution, although in what form is still an open question.
Although I did not take complete notes, here are some of the comments I heard:
The WEC vision has not been adopted or embraced by the community.
The WEC is an elitist group. Few of its members live in west Eugene (and none showed up today).
In the community there is a lot of appreciation for the WEC PROCESS: People with different points of view came together, didn't kill each other, talked respectfully and are now friends. But there is almost no support for (or understanding of) the WEC VISION.
The WEC has the power to help heal the divisions in our community.
Several people around the table offered to help resolve the conflict.
We should each contribute not only our time but also our money to demonstrate our commitment.
LTD should partner with the WEC.
There is a large distrust of LTD (and the City of Eugene?). LTD's board is note elected and not accountable.
LTD started out as a social service agency and has turned into a transit agency, but it system of governance has not evolved.
What is LTD's mission?
There needs to be an intervention with LTD. The process moving forward needs to be different. There needs to be a "time out" in the process to develop EmX.
Do we have a problem along West 11th Avenue? If people don't see a problem, it is hard to sell a solution.
We need to rethink how the process for developing EmX, not starting from the beginning, but incorporate new information.
We need resources (expertise, money, etc.) to help resolve the conflict.
Can we use Hans Bleiker's "Systematic Development of Informed Consent"? (Several local staff recently went through his training.)
If the fight over EmX in west Eugene is lost, Eugene will lose EmX altogether and more. EmX will be something in Springfield, where the citizens don't oppose things so much.
EmX without mixed-use redevelopment is just half a loaf (and not worth doing).
Transit doesn't reduce congestion; it provides mobility and offers more options.
Upzoning increases property values, and is a benefit that some property owners might not yet see.
The debate in west Eugene is framed as one between Big Government (federal funding, LTD, City of Eugene) and the "Little Guy" just trying to protect his/her way of life during hard economic times.
The people opposed to EmX with "No Build" signs don't see a problem along West 11th. They want to keep what they have: their businesses, their parking spaces, their driveways and access. Indeed, the West 11th Avenue Corridor Study said that traffic is currently fine.
People favoring "No Build" are not willing to make sacrifices for the greater good. They don't see a greater good, or don't see that there is anything in it for them.
There is a lot of misinformation, and the debate is perhaps pushed more by passions than facts.
What about social equity issues?
Val Hoyle and/or Susan Ban would be good people to involve.
In addition the businesses and property owners along the proposed route (the "Right") there is also significant opposition from Residents for Responsible Rapid Transit (3RT) (the "Left"). Indeed, 3RT appears to be fomenting opposition.
As we ran out of time, Kitty asked some people to volunteer to do research and to develop options for next steps for the full WEC to consider. I agreed to help bring together this ad hoc subcommittee:
I will follow up with the subcommittee to try to schedule a meeting in the next week or so. I will also check with Kitty's schedule and put out a Doodle poll to try to have another meeting of the full group, say, in 2-4 weeks.
Mary agreed to contact the transportation person at the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution (the same folks who originally brought John Huyler and Dennis Donald to the community) for their advice.
Tim agreed to contact Jamie Damon for her advice, and I am hoping to be in on that conversation.
Lastly, in the interest of full disclosure, I am volunteering my time -- as we all are -- because Kitty asked me to help facilitate this discussion.
But I am also helping LTD organize a "Let's Talk Transit" public forum sometime in November or early December. We are thinking of that public forum as a kind of bridge between the ongoing debate over EmX in west Eugene and the larger vision for transit outlined in TransPlan and now being reconsider as LTD develops a Long-Range Transit Plan. Of course, you will all be invited to the "Let's Talk Transit" forum, once we pin down a time and place. We are looking to invite John Inglish, former general manager of Utah Transit Authority (greater Salt Lake City) to talk about their experience improving transit. John Fregonese also helped UTA and might come speak. But the "Let's Talk Transit" public forum is being conceived as a conversation, with a significant portion of the time to small-table discussions. More soon.
I just wanted you to know that I wear different hats -- as we all do -- and strive to keep them straight.
P.S. If you can, you will definitely want to attend the City Club of Eugene program this Friday, 11:50 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Silva Concert Hall inside the Hult Center:
Place-Making & Parochialism: A Conundrum for Mid-Sized Communities
Kitty Piercy, Mayor of Eugene
Charlie Tomlinson, Mayor of Corvallis
Shelley Poticha, Senior Advisor for Sustainable Housing and Communities, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be on the stage of the Silva Concert Hall? Here's your chance. In a collaboration of unparalleled dimensions, the City Club of Eugene is partnering with the Northwest & Pacific Region Conference of the American Institute of Architects, the Eugene Ballet Company, the City of Eugene, Summit Bank, and the Corvallis City Club to bring you a panel discussion about the special challenges we face as a city that's not quite a city, but almost too big to still call itself a town. How does a mid-sized community take pride in its identity without making outsiders feel unwelcome? How do we grow and continue to feel good about ourselves? Anyone who has ever been or raised a teenager understands the awkwardness that can come with rapid growth. Communities struggle with similar growing pains. To discuss this topic together, we've invited the mayors of Oregon's two most distinctive town-cities — Eugene and Corvallis — as well as the woman who has the U.S. President's ear when it comes to sustainable growth, Shelley Poticha. (If her name sounds familiar, it's because her father has been a notable architect, educator and provocateur in Eugene for more than 40 years.)
Lunch will be served on the stage of the Silva Concert Hall inside the Hult Center, so we've made every effort to make this discussion of Place-Making happen in a very memorable place indeed. You'll be surrounded by Eugene Ballet Company's set for "Cinderella," which will take the stage the following evening. We will be joined by 150 architects visiting Eugene that week from all over the Pacific Northwest, as well as several members of the Corvallis City Club. City Club members can sit in the auditorium without lunch for free. (Guests may observe for $5, as usual.) The program was coordinated by and will be introduced by Don Kahle, former City Club of Eugene president, Register-Guard columnist, and executive director for the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
Our first question will be asked by author and deep-thinker Alan Durning from Seattle's Sightline Institute. Durning will give a free public lec-ture in the Soreng Theater at the Hult Center later that evening at 5:30 p.m. as part of what the American Institute of Architects is describing as "One Well-Designed Day," presented by Summit Bank.
P.P.S. Speaking of Shelley Poticha, it was announced just today that Lane Council of Governments was one of 45 organizations around the country be awarded a grant ($1.5 million) to promote smarter and sustainable planning for jobs and economic growth:
HUD No. 10-233
October 14, 2010
HUD AWARDS NEARLY $100 MILLION IN NEW GRANTS TO PROMOTE SMARTER AND SUSTAINABLE PLANNING
FOR JOBS AND ECONOMIC GROWTH
Part of Obama Administration’s Partnership for Sustainable Communities
WASHINGTON – For the first time ever, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is awarding nearly $100 million in new grants to support more livable and sustainable communities across the country. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced that 45 regional areas will receive funding through a new initiative intended to build economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation.
HUD’s new Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program will support State, local, and tribal governments, as well as metropolitan planning organizations, in the development and execution of regional plans that integrate affordable housing with neighboring retail and business development (see attached list of grantees). Many of the grants will leverage existing infrastructure and all reward local collaboration and innovation.
“Regions that embrace sustainable communities will have a built-in competitive edge in attracting jobs and private investment,” said Donovan. “Planning our communities smarter means parents will spend less time driving and more time with their children; more families will live in safe, stable communities near good schools and jobs; and more businesses will have access to the capital and talent they need to grow and prosper. In awarding these grants we were committed to using insight and innovation from our stakeholders and local partners to develop a ‘bottom-up’ approach to changing federal policy as opposed to ‘top-down.’ Rather than sticking to the old Washington playbook of dictating how communities can invest their grants, HUD’s application process encouraged creative, locally focused thinking.”
These grants are part of the Obama Administration’s Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which brings HUD, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency together to ensure that the agencies’ policies, programs, and funding consider affordable housing, transportation, and environmental protection together. This interagency collaboration gets better results for communities and uses taxpayer money more efficiently. Coordinating federal investments in infrastructure, facilities, and services meets multiple economic, environmental, and community objectives with each dollar spent. The Partnership is helping communities across the country to create more housing choices, make transportation more efficient and reliable, reinforce existing investments, and support vibrant and healthy neighborhoods that attract businesses. At a time when every dollar the federal government invests in jumpstarting the economy is critical, the President’s plan ensures that all these agencies are coordinating efforts and targeting resources with precision. Reflecting this new collaboration, these grants were judged by a multidisciplinary review team, drawn from eight federal agencies and from partners in philanthropy.
HUD’s inaugural grants under this program will support metropolitan and multi-jurisdictional planning efforts that incorporate housing, land use, economic development, transportation and infrastructure. This holistic planning approach will benefit diverse areas across the U.S. including $25.6 million split evenly between regions with populations less than 500,000 and rural places (fewer than 200,000 people). HUD is reserving $2 million to help all of these areas build the needed capacity to execute their plans.
The grants are awarded through one of two categories. One category of grants will assist regional planning for sustainable development where such plans do not currently exist. A second category of funding will support the implementation of existing sustainability plans.
Shelley Poticha, the director of HUD’s new Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities said, “The response to this program is huge. We were inundated with applications from every state and two territories – from central cities to rural areas and tribal governments. This program was designed by people from local government, and incorporated local input at every stage.”
Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Finalists
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.
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