Forget city hall. The real action this week is happening across the river, at the Oregon Convention Center.
There, all day on Friday, June 6, at the "Portland Plan Leadership Summit," city officials will soak up a program that's so quintessentially Portland, it's almost laughable: "Keynote speaker and First Vice President of the Danish Parliament Svend Auken will kick off the day with an inspirational rendering of how a community can achieve its vision for sustainable development over the long term." (If the guy from the Netherlands who's going to talk about "vision" and "sustainability" rides in on a tall bike while sipping a Stumptown macchiato, all the better.)
All kidding aside, the Portland Plan is pretty damn exciting. Seriously, here's how the city describes the ambitious project's goals: "To guide the physical, economic, social, cultural, and environmental development of Portland over the next 30 years." It's something Mayor-elect Sam Adams brought up every chance he could on the campaign trail, and it's something that—unlike visionPDX—will have a tangible impact on the city.
To put it more simply, if you were lured to Portland by its relative affordability and cool amenities like the bike network, then you should pay attention to this project. It could plot a future for Portland that builds on what's already great, or adds new things we haven't even thought of yet. But you've got to speak up and let the city know what's important to you.
I've got my own list of things I'd like to see happen in Portland, like increased density in neighborhood commercial centers, which leads to vibrant street life (and night life) in pockets across the city. A bigger, bolder downtown skyline is something I dream about. East of the river, Portland could use some better north-south connections for those of us on bikes and busses. Increasing—or at the very least, maintaining—affordable housing options is key to making sure we all get to enjoy what Portland has to offer.
Also on Friday, City Commissioner Randy Leonard's duct tape ban really goes into effect. In anticipation of the Rose Festival Parade, people can save a spot on the sidewalk—if they actually save it with their own behind, up to 24 hours in advance. Since Tuesday, the city's "Parade Marking Removal Street Team" has been patrolling the parade route, educating people about the new rules.
As he did after passing a spray paint regulation aimed at curbing graffiti, Leonard plans to check up on this new rule.
"I'm going Friday night to walk the parade route with Jeff Curtis, the executive director of the Rose Festival," Leonard said on Tuesday, June 3. He'd just returned from a press conference near the Burgerville on NE MLK and Multnomah: "We noted during the press event that there was no duct tape anywhere. Normally on that route, it would be spray paint, chalk, duct tape, but there was nothing. The word's getting out." (P.S. The Mercury will be camping out on Friday night too, and Leonard plans to join us for s'mores. See the New Column for details.)