Just spent 4 action-packed days (have you ever tried to keep up with Dan Burden?) touring the Pacific Northwest with Dan, Paul Zykofsky, a very patient charter bus driver, and 40 +/- townmaking fanatics. Our assemblage came from as far away as New Zealand and Taiwan, from small towns and large cities, and from disciplines including planning, engineering, transportation, software design, elected officials, public health, bike advocates, and lots more. We toured communities in Washington state and in British Columbia, meeting local luminaries along the way.
What was most inspiring was the shared vision, passion, and commitment for creating better places that was evident everywhere we went. Even when the product was less than inspiring, the creativity and gumption were unflagging. We were all exhausted by the end, yet recharged, full of renewed hope and determination to make better places.
Even the bus driver became engaged, giving us his professional judgement about lane-widths and impressing us with his ability to maneuver the motor coach through roundabouts and around traffic circles.
A few especially inspiring take-aways:
-The greengrocer that is the central focal point in Newport, BC
-The wedding party riding along False Creek on bicycles to celebrate the just-completed nuptuals
-The planners and engineers of University Place, WA, who risked their professional futures to dream the future in.