Thursday, April 3, 2008

Ventura Freeway Cap - Public Design Workshop

Hey everyone!

If you noticed, I wasn't in class last night. I took a trip up to Ventura to attend a public design workshop on capping the 101 freeway.

This workshop was presented by Glen Bolen from Fregonese Associates , an Oregon based planning firm. According to the City of Ventura's press release of the event, the workshop was, "part of a six-month Compass Blueprint Demonstration Project by the City of Ventura in partnership with the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and consultants from Fregonese Associates and Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., to determine feasibility, estimate costs, measure benefits, propose possible economic paybacks and identify challenges of freeway capping options. " It was designed to gain an understanding of the broad scope of issues that would affect the members of the community in the development of the freeway cap to connect downtown with the beach.

The participants were split into groups of about 8 - 10 people and each team was given a large map to draw out and design their vision for the freeway cap. They were given three initial feasibility options to choose from and then had to come up with a development plan to help offset the costs associated with their chosen project. It seemed a large number of groups choose a medium sized cap and understood there would necessarily have to be higher density of both retail and housing in the future. By providing the community members with information about the options, issues and having them discuss the trade-offs between costs and development options, participants were able to bring their own opinions and visions for the city into the development plan.

I enjoyed myself and thought it was a wonderful way to encourage participation in the community.

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