Feedback Loop

We’re into Day 3 already of the four-day intensive Woodstock Charrette (a.k.a. Visioning Project)…. The National Charrette Institute team, assisted by volunteers from the neighborhood, have been hard at work listening, collecting ideas, compiling data, and beginning to render some visions and solutions on paper for our consideration.

All Saints Episcopal Church has been converted into a design studio which has been open these past couple days for people to drop in and observe the process or just take a look at all the evidence of the big visioning session that took place Thursday evening.

Based on my personal observation, some of the main conversational themes that have emerged so far in the charrette process are:

  • Community—creating public gathering spaces and developing in a way that welcomes diversity.
  • Walkability—encouraging a safe and friendly environment for pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Autos—finding solutions for slowing, traffic, decreasing congestion and solving parking problems before they develop. One challenge is to remove parking lots the face the boulevard (which now create an unattractive “gap-toothed” pattern along Woodstock) while avoiding the kinds of parking nightmares experiences in the Hawthorne and Division commercial districts. Unimproved streets figure prominently in the traffic management conversation, especially those closest to Woodstock. Public transit is another important element.
  • Zoning and Buildings—locals are open to a future that includes larger mixed-use buildings along Woodstock (roughly SE Cesar Chavez to SE 57th), i.e., retail on ground floor with apartments or office spaces above, but prefer the height of those buildings to be capped at 3 floors (as opposed to 4).

Please join us for the Open House event, today (Saturday, Oct. 25) from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. This is one of the main feedback loops of the charrette, our chance to let the designers know whether they’re taking us in the right direction…. Hope to see you there!

Please also turn out and tell your neighbors about the Public Results Meeting scheduled for 6:30 to 9:00 pm on Monday, Oct. 27. This is where we get to see the final results of the community design process.

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