Everyone has that one intersection in their neighborhood that could just be so much better. For whatever reason, the cars seem to drive through too fast, the crosswalks are non-existent, or there is no place to comfortably sit and wait for the bus. We found a neighborhood-based event profiled on the most excellent Streetfilms.org called Intersection Repair.
The event takes place in neighborhoods across the City of Portland. The neighborhoods, working with the City of Portland Department of Transportation, identify an intersection in their nabe that needs 'repair'. In essence reclaiming it by making it more pedestrian friendly, calming traffic, all while building community. The projects are at the core of the Village Building Convergence (scroll down to the vids), "where hundreds of people come together to build diverse projects for the benefit of their communities and to take back their streets."
It's not an entirely foreign concept here in Spokane. In fact, when we saw this, we thought of the now faded and dirt-covered murals along the northern exit of the Maple Street Bridge. At some point, children and adults were provided the opportunity to reclaim this part of their neighborhood in a way similar to the Intersection Repair project seen above. To us this is an event that could easily take hold here in Spokane on an annual basis. With summer winding down, it might be a bit late for this year, but with some planning this fall/winter something like this could be pulled together...If you have a few minutes, check out the vid above and below. Be prepared to kill some time.