(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
Last night our friends at Lancaster Engineering and I were honored to host another Wonk Night. A few dozen of Portland's smartest transportation thinkers showed up for some in-depth and wide-ranging discussions about policy, politics, and projects (and yes, some of them might have just been there for the free beer and snacks).
We had several staffers from the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), lots of professionals who work in the transportation field, several planning/engineering students, and a smattering of citizen activists. It was a great mix!
We're still finding our way with Wonk Night; but I feel like something special is beginning to emerge from these last two events. The level of candor and detail we're able to get to is something you just don't hear anywhere else. At things like advisory committee meetings or open houses; the engineers, consultants, bureaucrats, and advocates always have a filter on. As a member of the public, it's hard to get beneath that filter to the really good stuff. At Wonk Night, I try to facilitate open, candid discussions, while still making everyone feel supported and respected. Based on what was shared last night, I think it's sort of working. (more...)