The first round of comments really tended towards the idea of the public space of a park as a quasi-private space and ornamental emptiness. It's true the park is being planned as a "neighborhood park," and not one of the larger "community parks" or "urban parks," City classifications for parks that serve and draw on an area larger than a neighborhood.
But like with on-street parking, there's this creeping proprietary claim to public space for personal use, an extension of one's yard. It's just something to register.
They published three concepts, and one aspect in particular deserves comment.
|The "minimal" and "nature park" options are closed on west end|
|The "standard" option envisions a connection to Hilfiker Lane|
East-west connectivity is important.
|Morningside neighbors want single-family homes|
and a collector-level street punched through at Hilfiker
Additionally, there will be fewer eyes and ears on the park in a cul-de-sac configuration, and it will likely be less safe than configuration with access on three sides.
|Burning Rubber at the Park|
Just a few blocks south of Clark Creek Park, also in Morningside, South Village Park has full street frontage on two sides, on Ewald and Harris Avenues. It is much more open, without any hidden pockets, and I can't remember ever seeing it mentioned in the Morningside minutes.
An important element of park design that we don't talk enough about are these edge conditions. People think that park security will be maintained by low-access and infrequent visitors, but the opposite is more likely true: Very open access and frequent visitors are a better guarantee of park security.
So there should be a strong argument for more access and even more street frontage at the park. Even if the park itself is not very highly developed, an east-west connection with Hilfiker Lane should be desired.
For previous notes on the process see here. (Update - see Preferred Alternative below.)
The second Hilfiker Park planning meeting is at Pringle Creek Community Painters Hall, 3911 Village Center Drive SE on Wednesday the 28th at 6:30pm.
Open Streets Salem is Hiring
|Part of the job description|
It is interesting that this is not a City of Salem position. Maybe while we continue to pilot the project that make sense, but it is also disappointing not to see the City fully embrace it in an institutional way. You will recall that the City of Eugene has three City staff working on it (not all full-time, of course). Maybe some of Cherriots staff time should be included in this count. Still, in this way we staff the event, we aren't yet saying that this is an official part of the way we conceive of transportation in Salem. It's this weird social-service-recreational amalgam sponsored by a religious institution. (Skillern, to whom the position reports, is Executive Director of the Salem Leadership Foundation, an explicitly faith-based organization. The North Neighborhood Community Partnership is one of their projects.)
|City of Eugene|
So if you are interested, consider these things. There is huge upside to making it a success. Tons of opportunity and untapped potential in Salem! The downside may be a lack of institutional support, however. It might reward an entrepreneurial personality more than bureaucratic personality.
If you are interested in this, check it out and take the event to the next level.
Update, March 1st
And here is the preferred alternative for Hilfiker Park, which includes the path connection on the west. That looks like a solid compromise.