One of them was an opportunity to see the winning parklets installed on the street.
|Three of the four winning parklets in Eugene|
"Vivid Summer," on the left, is full; the other two are empty
|Though empty in this image, "Vivid Summer" was sometimes full|
via Southwest Oregon Architect
during my quick stroll-by I found all to be unoccupied, despite plenty of passersby on a busy Saturday afternoon. They appeared forlorn and all too quickly forsaken.This was not what I saw the weekend before, or what I heard about the weekend of Sunday Streets a week prior to that. I saw and heard that one of the parklets - but not all four of them - seemed to enjoy consistent visitors. That was the "Vivid Summer" project.
It may have offered better seating, better chances to mingle and socialize, and a more dynamic set of levels.
In any case, of the four it seemed to be the clear winner, and it will be interesting to see how the City of Eugene formally evaluates it, hopefully having assessed it over a much greater time interval, and perhaps finding reason to make it, or a variation on it, a more permanent installation.
The other three - one of them hampered by an immediately adjacent storage pod - did not seem to be able to keep people, and it seems likely that one or more design elements in each would need to be altered for greater success. Maybe there are things to learn from them for a subsequent iteration.
One thing seems clear: Just the mere existence of any parklet, of whatever design, is no guarantee of success. Demand for the extra sidewalk space was not that overwhelming, and the right design is necessary for persistent visitors once the novelty has worn off.
(If I learn of a City of Eugene evaluation, I will update this post with a link and any relevant comments.)
|Basically that's 17 miles of separated path from west to east|
In January, the City of Springfield opened the newest segment.
|Springfield's new Mill Race path runs along industry|
(one of the hazy days, alas)
The Mill Race path runs right along a working plywood mill, and then connects to the Booth Kelly Center, the vestige of an important lumber company, and which seems to be a mixed-use project in development (see a maker space concept here, notes on a Sustainable Cities Initiative project here; the Eugene Opera also appears to have shops there).
The total path system along Amazon Creek and the Willamette River really underscores how much we missed out on Mill Creek and a connection to Keizer Rapids park.
|New stormwater swales in a residential district|
I had not previously seen these in residential neighborhoods, so that was pretty cool.
(Though even with the curb extensions, the one-way traffic on Jefferson and Washington is quite zoomy, and drivers generally unwilling to observe our crosswalk laws for people on foot.)
|The brooding ramp spaghetti on 5th Ave|
for I-105 in downtown Eugene over the park