I picked up my Street Ranger kit tonight for the National Street Service. It was re-assuring to be in a group of fellow strangers who both a) knew relatively nothing about what we had signed up for and b) didn’t care. We were there to start a revolution, to be a part of making things better.
I introduced myself as someone who hopes to bring quick fixes and small wins to the suburban environment. The suburbs should not just be a place you drive into and out of on your way elsewhere. They should be walkable and safe just like central neighborhoods. I know they say, safe for “8 to 80” but my kids are 3 and 6, so I’m shooting for an even higher goal!
National Street Service “Beta”
Boise and Philly are the two “beta” testers of the Street Ranger program through the National Street Service. It’s exciting to be a part of something that’s on the cusp of a greater movement. I have no doubt that this program will grow and pickup like wildfire as moods shift about our public spaces. Kudos to Boise for being on the cutting edge!
I learned that this will be a project built on the ideas of tactical urbanism, with an aim at informing through “experiential learning”. To quote our team lead, “It’s all about humanizing the street.” Whether through a chair and umbrella placed at a neighborhood bus stop, public art, or just standing on the street corner and waving at people. It’s all about humanizing the street.
There are elements of what the National Street Service did in San Francisco that remind of Candy Chang’s project of “I wish this was“. My mind instantly started wandering to projects in my neighborhood. And so it begins…
Phase 1: Soul Searching
Phase 1 of the kits is a soul searching manual. During this phase, I will venture into my neighborhood to observe and ask questions. I will catalog my journey as I go. Hopefully to create a great picture of what we citizens can do to impact change at a micro level.