Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What Do You Want in Congress Square?

Hello fellow enthusiast(s) of the car-free lifestyle in Portland, Maine. Today's brief posting is about the plaza at the heart of Portland's Arts District known as Congress Square.

Congress Square Plaza during a summertime First Friday
If you've been following the local news, you might know that there is some ongoing discussion about what to do with the plaza directly in front of the Eastland (eventually to be reopened as a Westin hotel) and with the square as a whole. Public opinion seems split between allowing the hotel operators to build on most of the plaza to extend the hotel's ballrooms, while others are determined to see the space live on as a (hopefully more successful) public plaza. Despite living a few hundred feet from the plaza, I don't have a super strong opinion either way. I think either outcome is a good opportunity to improve on what is there now.

If you have a vision for the square, the city wants your feedback! Head over here to share your ideas and show support for other people's submissions.
Click the image to share your vision for Congress Square
Some of the suggestions so far seem a bit vague, mentioning the generic "green space" and "open space." So far my favorite suggestions include safer pedestrian crossings, regular programing in the plaza, and movable chairs/tables.

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