Today we walked from home-base to City Hall to have a meeting with Nick Fish, a commissioner for Portland and also the head of the Parks Bureau and the Housing Bureau. He began with his journey to become commissioner, then answered our questions on what he does and the Parks Bureau. After meeting with Nick Fish, we walked across the Hawthorne bridge to a company called Alta. Alta designs safe ways for bikes, pedestrians, and cars to share the road. Alta has worked all over the world to help cities integrate safer routes for non-motorized vehicles into already existing streets. We were introduced to Google Sketch during the presentation, a program that we will use to design a park. The program allows the user to create a 3D model of buildings and open space. The presentation at Alta was followed by a long walk back to the Ladd Tower, by the river.
When we walked back, we took a route called the east bank esplanade. This esplanade was designed by Alta and completed a circuit which went across the river and bridges. The walk was quite long and hot, but peaceful at the same time with pleasant breezes and views of the river. Countless people passed by on bike and foot. Nearing the Steel Bridge, the group paused as Christian gave his beautiful, amazing, memorable, well-prepared, flawless, deep, passionate, meaningful, life-changing speech about why the bridge was the greatest bridge of all time. The bridge supports light rail, heavy rail, foot traffic, bike traffic, and the usual cars and buses. It is also the only bridge in the world that can telescope into itself, allowing small watercraft to pass without disturbing traffic. To be honest, the rest of the students did not show this much affection, for the bridge was rusting and breaking down.
We continued to walk back to the Ladd Tower where we reflected a bit on the program so far and gave our “appreciations.”