Landscaping vs. pavers downtown: how is it decided?

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On downtown’s west side, the City has opted to put in the light yellow pavers in the medians and other areas instead of grass or other forms of landscaping.

Anyone know the rationale for it?  Were local building and business owners involved in the decision?

Update 8/6, 10:30 am:

Here’s a photo of a portion on the median on Jefferson Parkway, near the NCRC building.

Jefferson Parkway media with pavers and grass

11 thoughts on “Landscaping vs. pavers downtown: how is it decided?”

  1. After a couple rough years with our parking lot torn up on the West Side, we got some nice sidewalks and a couple grass areas. However, young smokers used them for their butts and trash. City crews gouged up one of them and did not repair it. I do not believe business owners had any warning when pavers replaced the grass. Check with Dean Kjerland at Art on Water.

  2. Boy, that’s a great question to ask the city. Why don’t you ask them first, then report on what you found. Seems like a much more direct and helpful way to get your answers. Saves a lot of the guessing and many times needless bashing.

  3. Though you didn’t say it explicity, Griff, I get the impression from your post that you’re not a fan of the pavers.

    Personally, I really prefer them over grass in an area like this. It would seem to reduce maintenance for the city, and I think they gave a tidy, urban look to that portion of Water Street — goes well with the new urban style of the Larson’s/E&G and ArtOnWater buildings.

  4. Sean, I actually don’t have an opinion yet about these pavers. I had a westside resident complain about them to me… that’s what prompted me to take the photos and blog about it.

  5. Scott, I think it’s a legitimate use of our blog to prompt our visitors for some input on an issue like this. Sometimes I have/take time to do a little digging first, other times I don’t.

  6. I’ve added a photo of a portion on the median on Jefferson Parkway, near the NCRC building. It has pavers, then grass/trees, then pavers. I don’t understand the rationale.

  7. Hah — Jerry has a point. I do think the green looks appropriate on Jefferson Parkway, which is largely residential. I don’t think it would look as good right downtown (or in the median of Highway 3 between Woodley and 110th, where it also makes an appearance).

  8. One benefit of having the green strips, be they “natural” grasses or whatever, is that you have some exposed soil to absorb precipitation. One of the causes of flooding in some areas is the paving over of soil. I think there is something like 500,000 sq. miles of new hard surfaces that have been installed since WW II. This definitely makes a difference in stream and river volumes. The issue with doing this down town is the added maintainence it causes. Pavers are relatively low maintainence compared to green areas. I think Sean’s comments on esthetics relative to the areas used have merit, also.

  9. Scott – Whom at the city would you suggest we contact, since the pavers in question were done several years ago and before most of the current city staffers were here?

  10. Tracy wrote:

    Scott – Whom at the city would you suggest we contact, …

    the pavers in question were done several years ago …

    before most of the current city staff [were here] …

    In light of the global picture … I don’t understand this community’s overwhelming preoccupation with trivia of this nature, and … not one to jump to the defense of a seated city councilor’s remarks … Tracy, I think you’re wrong.

    The “pavers in question” are not the pavers in or around Bridge Square making up crosswalks, they are the recently stamped and colored concrete, poured by the Street Department to replace a bit of failing grassed area on the Water Street sidewalk next Jerry’s Barber Shop.

    Scott, while I did defend your remark … I think the essence of Tracy’s”pickup” directed to you as a question has as its central point, your suggesting citizens should make the call to City Hall before they voice their concern … is on your part, particulary parental … an attitude (IMHO) far to prevelant on the Council.

    Actually, a mere citizen, you were elected to serve as a citizen ombudsman. In that regard, I’d hope you’d explain the staff’s position on a subject … and you should also be able to explain your vote … with no baggage.

    you wrote in part:

    Boy, that’s a great question to ask the city. Why don’t you first, then report on what you found. Seems like a much more direct and helpful way to get your answers.

    Smacks of snidness, (IMHO).

    You then went on to say:

    Saves a lot of the guessing and many times needless bashing.

    Bashing? Bashing is what you call what citizens do, that staff, in
    part, is paid to deal with … which goes directly to discussions of severance packages … and heat in kitchens.

    Had you said, I wish the citizen;’s concerns had been brought directly to me … then, as your Councilor, I would have sought answers.

    Now, that would have worked for me. But, asking a seated staff person to voice his/her defacto justifacation of their “preferred” action .. with no verbal exchange opportunity for the citizen … as you’ve done twice recently in response to Public Hearings on the 880,000 dollar makeover plans for City Hall … Too parental!

    Sort of like “Go to your room!”

    victor

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