An inexpensive source of programming. Oregon Humanities website states, "the Conversation Project works like this: a local nonprofit, community group, or business applies to host a Conversation Project program on a topic relevant to their community. An Oregon Humanities facilitator comes to that community to lead the conversation, which typically lasts an hour and a half." They currently have approx. 60 topics to choose from.
I enjoy walking as a form of exercise and recreation. I prefer to run errands on foot whenever practical. After retiring I accomplished a goal of walking every street in Roseburg. I live near downtown and recently, when contemplating walking to the Arts Center, I realized I just didn't want to do it because Harvard is not a pleasant place to walk. Here's why I say that: The freeway onramp by the high school is difficult to safely negotiate. The multiple driveways into parking lots (especially at Grocery Outlet) create many opportunities for auto/pedestrian conflict--does each aisle of the parking lot really need access to Harvard? Sidewalks need more separation from traffic. And, what I would really love to see would be some vegetation to soften all the asphalt and concrete and help muffle traffic noise. Street trees would make it (and any other street in town) much more appealing. We have to go beyond just thinking about traffic signals, road width, etc. in this planning process and consider aesthetics. Make our city streets into something that makes people say, "Wow, Roseburg is a beautiful place." (I singled out Harvard because I live nearby, but the same could be said for Garden Valley Blvd.)
Recognition of the surroundings needs to be part of decision-making on projects, and the scale and look of all projects need to reflect the urban environment. An example is the new Highway 138 project where signs are essentially freeway signs, yet located in a downtown urban area. They do work to direct traffic perhaps, but are probably overkill, and make the street look like it could be a freeway. Even if they work to direct traffic, other attractive wayfinding signs could be used.
On the same project, the new “railing” between the sidewalk and the grassy hillside on the east side of the Washington Ave. Bridge is actually a highway or freeway guard rail, large wooden posts, and metal guard rail. Not the type of thing one sees on an urban street. What was needed was a railing to prevent pedestrians from falling down the bank, not a guard rail to keep motor vehicles from crashing through.
If we truly want downtown to flourish, we need to realize that every time money is spent on new, enlarged, or otherwise improved projects elsewhere, this is counterproductive to making downtown successful. Spending large sums of money to keep traffic moving traffic efficiently in the newer areas of town draws locals and visitors from downtown, including south Roseburg. Those who own property and have invested in downtown and to the south need to be respected and their investments protected and further encouraged.
Submitted on Behalf of Dick Dolgonas