Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on February 9th, 2010 at 1:32 pm
Last night, at a community meeting to hear feedback on the Last Thursday on Alberta event (read my analysis here), Commissioner Amanda Fritz and Mayor Sam Adams heard loud and clear that many people love the event just the way it is.
According to sources at the meeting and reports in the local media, upwards of 400 people crammed into the Acadian Ballroom on Alberta last night. There were many opinions expressed, but it seems the dominant opinion was that despite the growing pains, expense, and crowd control issues, the carfree environment of Last Thursday is something people feel is worth supporting.
The Portland Mercury’s Sarah Mirk wrote:
“…one thing was made overwhelmingly clear: there is massive community and business support for Last Thursday, despite the cost.”
The Willamette Week reported:
“The night’s strongest showing of jazz hands [Adams’ alternative to clapping] might have come when one woman said “the city has a responsibility to fund Last Thursday to perpetuity, especially because of all the positive economic reverberations it causes.”
KATU also offered good coverage of the testimony via video:
Last Thursday is Portland’s only regularly occurring carfree event. Because of that, it is an absolute jewel that thousands of people flock to in the summer months. Yes, there are problems associated with those crowds, but hopefully the City and the community can work them out. After last night’s meeting I remain hopeful they can.
— Browse my previous coverage of Last Thursday on Alberta here.