Home > Announcement, Crank, Editorial > Meeting Ron Where A Train Depot Once Stood

Meeting Ron Where A Train Depot Once Stood

Tonight • 7pm

Governmental Center Cafeteria

Tonight is the first of two public meetings dubbed the West Boardman Lake Development project (the second is on March 22). It’s difficult to know what to expect.

Will it primarily be about the proposed avenue? Or, will the process be allowed to seriously consider alternative visions for the area that may include a street or portions of streets?

Over the last month I’ve spent a lot of time walking through this corridor. It’s a treasure even without any development. It provides a place away from the streets and our motorized habits. It’s place where people are compelled to interact; the social capital potential is strong here.

Meeting Ron

During this month, I met an older gentleman walking his dog on 4 separate occasions in the exact same spot: the space just east of Oryana along the trail and next to the bench. It’s a place that overlooks Boardman Lake, the trail, the bridge and its a place where people are encouraged to actually stop and talk to someone they don’t know. I even recalled his correct name (finally) by the 3rd meeting (sorry, Ron).

The original Pere Marquette depot

This meeting space happens also to be right in the path of the proposed West Boardman Lake Ave.

If the road goes in, those recent conversations with Ron would have likely not occurred as up to 20,000 cars would be going by at speeds 35-40-mph (yes, we keep hearing that speeds will be kept to 25-mph, but so far the design does nothing to achieve that). It’s also interesting to point out that near this space was at one time the Pere Marquette depot with a small public square in front of it. I can only imagine the conversations and meet-ups that happened.

I’m not opposed to development and change; I embrace both. However, I’m a proponent of development and change that is intentional and not driven by a desire for a quick-fix to perceived issues. When I say intentional, I mean that it’s a choice that the community has made after thinking through the known and unknown consequences. We are attempting to do that here, but the risk remains that the process will be geared towards a particular favored outcome.

I’m not sure about others, but I’m preparing myself for tonight’s meeting with an open mind and an open heart. I trust that the known facts will be presented and that the remaining questions won’t be ignored. I look forward to seeing the community come together and trust I’ll meet Ron for the 5th time.

See you tonight at 7-PM in the Governmental Center Cafeteria.

NOTE: I’ll have a follow-up post this morning with a list of pros and cons for the proposed avenue.

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