The City Council might not want to admit it, but what I observed in watching Monday’s meeting was a generation gap. It mostly was people my age — grandparents and great-grandparents — declaring what would be best for younger people.But not to put too fine a point on it, he misses one basic fact:
Hill Architects was engaged for the design of the park parcel and here is how they self-describe their expertise:
HILL ARCHITECTS is a multi-disciplined design firm with specialized expertise in the master planning and design of destination resorts, hotels, senior living communities, corporate and multi-tenant office buildings, retail, mixed-use, multi-family residential and custom residential projects.Destination resorts, hotels, and senior living communities. Pretty exciting, right?
Next door, another so-called "key" piece in the development is a nursing home.
Is it really that surprising that young people haven't been flocking to support the project? It's quite possible that young people are speaking: With a yawn and a shrug.
There's a mismatch here. And it's not simply between the young and the old.
There's also a gap between the design that's on the table, and a vibrant urban one. A better design - and it's not too late for one! - can accommodate concerns about the Carousel and traffic, better knit the project with downtown, and create a more energetic mixed-use project that will attract the enthusiastic interest of younger adults.
Other Dots to Connect
The all-or-nothing stances is alarming, too. Just because a person might oppose or have serious questions about the particular project details that are on the table for Boise doesn't mean that person also opposes the whole project or a big project at the Boise site in general. Don't dismiss criticism of design and plan by calling it total opposition - it's not just concern trolling!
Also, as commenters have pointed out, there's a generational gap in the analysis of the Third Bridge. Young adults are clearly driving less!
If we should be building the Boise project for the next generation, why aren't we planning the right transportation for the next generation? The Third Bridge plan is stuck in your Great-Great-Grampa's Moses-Eisenhower School of Mid-Century Autoism!
(Not really mentioned in the piece are real structural problems with governance in Salem and in general. If you rely on the bus, you can't go to City Council. Latinos, young people, and the car-free are at a distinct disadvantage. So the generation gap and other problems of representation aren't just on this particular issue. But that's a whole 'nother topic.)
Footnote, September 6th: QED
|The Generation Gap in Action! Parents ages 20-40|
totally missing at PringleSquareAccess meeting Sept 5th
Current President of the Salem Bicycle Club Larry Miles had also a piece. That was nice to see!