Tuesday, September 25, 2012

99E: The Heart of Canby.....Let's Make It Better

HWY 99e travels through the heart of Canby and is home to nearly 24,000 cars daily, yet sadly a great many of them never stop within the city limits. Despite being the main thoroughfare for our city, it doesn’t always give the best first impression of what we have to offer, causing many businesses to suffer and ultimately our town loses as a result. When I talk with business owners along this corridor, the general consensus is that we as city leaders haven’t treated it as a unified issue that needs to be resolved. It is often broken up into areas such as 99e, Downtown, 99e by Fred Meyer, or 99e by Safeway and while we can complete projects by doing this, we are ignoring the larger issue. This method of improving the existing highway causes areas to be forgotten, inconsistent infrastructure is created, and ultimately the average passerby is left scratching their head about how or why things are being done.  I believe this has diminished the ability of our city to effectively create a strong, attractive, and cohesive avenue of travel that will make people slow down and eventually stop to see what we have to offer.

I am convinced that ALL of Hwy 99e needs to represent the pride that our citizens and business owners show on a daily basis. It can’t be just about the ‘Big Box’ strip malls or the downtown corridor and I am prepared to take action that will turn this problem around. Sidewalks, bike lanes, street front signage, and fa├žade renovations from one end of town to the other are all areas that city and public committees have identified as major areas of opportunity and I couldn’t agree more. I would love nothing more than to see safe sidewalks and bike lanes that cover the length of 99e through town and provide an enjoyable experience for families and commuters alike. Business owners need foot traffic and that starts with people slowing down and ultimately stopping to shop. I will ensure that bright, lively, and functional signage is visible to all the commuters that pass through both morning and night. These are untapped customers who need to know the value of our town and I am confident we can attract them with the right visual message. The last thing is to encourage business and property owners to bring their buildings into the 21 century. Canby is a town rich with tradition and history and I have no doubt we can help street front properties renovate and beautify without compromising those values. This combination of visual and physical cues will encourage every traveler through town to finally take notice of everything we have to offer.

So where do we start?

My plan is a straight forward approach to the following projects:

·        Vibrant and meaningful signage along the entire 99e corridor
o       Cohesive signs defining major shopping districts
o       Draw attention to established event areas
o       Showcase those businesses that are unique to Canby

·        Improve and maintain sidewalks and bike lanes
o       Repair existing sidewalks
o       Create walkways in those areas where there are none
o       Clearly mark all crosswalks
o       Improve or install landscaping for better curb appeal

·        Bring many of the buildings up to current code and visual standards       
o       Review existing codes on a city, county, and state level
o       Promote city incentives for renovations
o       Create a feeling of community and caring

I understand this will not be an overnight process and I am committed to working with citizens, business owners, as well as city, county, and state officials to ensure we are all communicating in a clear and concise voice towards a common goal. This is going to be a process that isn’t just ABOUT the people, but is truly FOR the people. At the end of day, my goal is to present a highway corridor that is thoughtfully created, well maintained, and a positive reflection of all the great things Canby has shown me it can be.
 
 


3 comments:

  1. I would like improvements along Hwy 99, and support it, but before we begin, the city departments, the city council and the public, need to be involved. There needs to be collaboration amongst the groups. There wasn't enough public involvement in the library issue. I saw it as a one sided, complex, internal cave in.
    On the First Ave, it appears some of the players involved, didn't know some of the specifics that were taking place on the project. Just because you present a project for approval, a signature should not happen until after the plan designs are thoroughly gone over. This is not operating a city in a professional way.
    I'm not seeing transparency in our city process. Some departments are taking the position as if it's their own personal project. This causes discern in the community. With community backing on projects within the city, this creates a smooth transition of projects going forward. I know what makes the city councils job easier, when there's no opposition. If you have the community backing on issues and projects within the city, then the discontent is not with you.
    Other concerns within our city are, individuals are leaving their professionalism out of the equation. This can cause integrity issues. Operating in this manner must cease. By not abiding by the guidelines,and what you were sworn to do, could cause embarrassment to individuals involved, not to mention the City of Canby. If individuals try to control the process and are not satisfied, because of not getting their way on project, they should move on. Find another job. There are others waiting in line for their position, better qualified and willing to be a team member of the city. We don't need another scandal in our city. We as a city, need to operate on the up and up, and conduct business in a professional manner.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment. The overall impression that I am gathering from your post is that there needs to be a "team effort" when new projects, programs, and endeavors are taken on by the city. I couldn't agree with you more in regards to that. That was my main issue with the library. I didn't feel there was enough communication between staff, the current mayor, and the council. I also didn't feel that there was enough community involvement.

      In regards to this post specifically on Hwy 99E, these are ideas I feel need to be addressed. If elected as mayor, I do not have the authority to spearhead such changes on my own. I would insist on city staff, the council, and above all, the community to provide input and guidance.

      This is why I am running for mayor. There has not been community involvement on a lot of decisions the city has made and the current mayor has provided poor leadership and communication in this regard.

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  2. I'm very puzzled by the post above. Are you just ranting in general, in favor of Mr. Hodson, or against him? I'm not saying I agree or disagree but I'm confused where/who this frustration is specifically aimed at?? If it's in hopes that Mr. Hodson will be a positive change, I'd like to know. If it's suggesting he's part of the problem, I'd like to know. I'm just saying, if you're gonna rant, at least make it clear where it's aimed.....

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