As a transportation planner at the Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), Denver Igarta has had a front-row seat to the development of Portland’s burgeoning network of low-stress, “neighborhood greenway” streets. Now Igarta will head to Europe to “uncover the secrets of residential streets that were built to first serve people rather than cars.”
Igarta has been selected as an Urban and Regional Policy Fellow by the German Marshall Fund. His research will include a one-month, four city tour with stops in Munich, Germany; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Malmö, Sweden.
Igarta says he’ll be on the lookout for streets where, “you can cross without ‘looking both ways’ first; you can take a carefree stroll or bike ride; invite the neighbors to gather and interact; my 6-year old can play on without my constant supervision; allow kids to live active lives and learn independence (close to home).”
A great example of this would be PBOT’s NE Holman pocket park project.
We need more streets like that in Portland and having real-life examples to draw from — and people at PBOT that know how to make it happen — is very important.
Along with chief bike planner Roger Geller, PBOT already boasts some of the best and brightest when it comes to developing people-friendly residential streets. PBOT Traffic safety specialists Mark Lear and Greg Raisman were invited to give a presentation in Seattle (and were lovingly dubbed the “backstreet boys”).
Igarta will be blogging his experiences along the way. Good luck Denver!