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Quips, queries, and querulous quibbles from the quirky mind of Don Kahle

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Week 39, #1

September 22nd, 2007 by dk

Would anyone not like a great park downtown? I don’t think so. I think it’s unanimous. Everybody recognizes that open space and recreation, embedded in a dense and diverse downtown, would be best for everyone: residents, visitors, families, merchants, office workers. There’s no debate. That’s our future, but how do we get there from here? Ahh, now it starts to sound more like Eugene. Some want to start with a park, claiming it will be a magnet for development. Some of those insist that the West Broadway development being contemplated includea park inside those two blocks. “You want us to build you parking? We want you to build us a park.”

There’s a better way to get there, that won’t shoo off the developers who have shown an interest and claim they have a plan that will work. Our city code already contains a guideline to build and make available 1.7 acres of parkland within walking distance for each 1000 residents. Well and good, but often neglected. If what we want is the city to follow its own guidelines, we can move it to our city charter and make it a mandate. Then it must happen and we can decree together by whom and by when. That’s the better way to do it, in our new low-tax world.

* * *

One of these four ideas will be developed into a column on Wednesday to be published in The Register-Guard on Friday. I’m asking you to help me choose between them. Between now and the end of Tuesday, leave comments here or send me an e-mail if you’d rather be more private. Or, at the very least, RATE the idea (and the others) so I know which one people like best. No promises, though. This ain’t American Idol. But I will post an entry on Wednesday to say which one I’m choosing (and probably why.) I plan to do this each week — often by Friday, but always by Monday, so visit often and tell me which idea intrigues you the most. Thanks!

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