Let’s start dreaming big! The Future of Outdoor Public Space
The pandemic brought about several major changes in downtown, most notable being the addition of outdoor dining areas.
In May and June of 2020, we saw over a dozen restaurants expand their services into on-street parking spaces, instead using the pavement as outdoor patio seating areas. This extra business space was, in some cases, the sole reason many businesses were able to stay open.
Now that businesses are reopening and regulations are relaxing, we are at a decision point.
How do we want to use outdoor space in downtown to make for a better community?
We can go back to how it was before and have free parking without enforcement that takes up public space for hours or days on end. Or we can allow ourselves to explore how we can use public land in a more equitable, more environmentally-friendly, and more economical way.
Imagine shaded seating areas for businesses along the sidewalks. Think of tree-lined streets with play activities for children. Picture a pollinator gardens and edible plants. Envision streets that are safe for biking, walking, and rolling. Hear the music coming from storefronts and street buskers.
Our public outdoor spaces have become more valuable than ever, and downtown does not have a lot of it. This is our chance to build upon the lessons learned through the pandemic and do things that’ll make this a stronger neighborhood long into the future.
The City of Beaverton is currently accepting feedback on the future of Watson Avenue and Hall Boulevard. To give your input, Google search “Beaverton Loop Community Advisory Committee.” Let’s start dreaming big!
P.S. The Fountain Project is continuing forward, but it may not be complete until August (or so). When it is done, City Park will reopen and your family will be able to use the fountain, playground, and picnic area once again.
The Beaverton Downtown Association promotes the historic preservation and economic development of Old Town Beaverton. Want to get involved? Check out our website at www.downtownbeaverton.org.