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With pilot project, City will turn Naito Parkway into public space for all (Bike Portland)

By Jonathan Maus

“This is Janette Sadik-Khan style public space. It’s ‘8-80’ for everyone,” explained Timur Ender in a phone interview yesterday where he referenced two heroes of public space: the former New York City Department of Transportation leader widely credited with that city’s inspiring urban streets renaissance, and Gil Peñalosa of 8-80 Cities who sees quality public spaces where people of all ages and incomes mingle as the cornerstone of democracy.

Ender is Novick’s transportation policy advisor who has helped spearhead the Naito project (he’s also a former volunteer with Better Block). “This pilot project shows PBOT’s efforts to use their streets in a way that fosters economic development, tourism, and public health,” Ender added. “I think it’s a cultural shift for PBOT. Instead of looking at streets to move people and goods as fast as possible, they’re looking at streets as public space.”

Ender emphasized the “streets as public space” has long been a priority for PBOT staff (see events like Sunday Parkways or programs like Street Seats), but the Naito Pilot Project takes that focus to a new level.

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