February 2016: Residents Share Views on Strategic Vision
Tigard Residents Share Views on the City’s Strategic Vision
“Thank you seeking our input. I'm excited to live in a place striving to be the most walkable city in the Northwest,” commented a Tigard resident on the city’s citizen survey.
That comment was among hundreds shared by the more than 900 Tigard residents who completed the recent citizen survey either online or on the telephone. This community input is critical for the city in understanding the concerns and issues of citizens.
The community’s wealth of ideas are being put to good use.
The City Council and city staff were briefed on the survey results in December. The survey is one way the city continues to reach out to the community.
The city will be using feedback from the survey as it develops plans in 2016 to fill in sidewalk gaps and pay for those improvements in the following years. Residents can continue to stay informed about the Strategic Plan on the city’s website at www.tigard-or.gov/strategicplan.
The city also encourages all residents to propose projects the city can address through its Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper program, which improve walkability, connections and health. Visit www.tigard-or.gov/lqc_projects.php and send us your idea by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What residents say about the city’s new vision
Among the citizen comments, 50 of them focused on the city’s Strategic Plan.
Adopted in 2014, the plan is focused on Tigard becoming the most walkable community in the Pacific Northwest where people of all ages and abilities enjoy health and interconnected lives.
The citizen survey found that more than four in 10 Tigard residents are familiar with what the city is trying to do. To improve walkability, residents stressed the need for more walkable routes to city schools, a focus on pedestrian safety and safer crosswalks.
The city’s Strategic Plan is focused on the needs of all residents. For a city to become connected and walkable, it first must become accessible. Said one resident: “The city is headed in the right direction as far as making the city accessible to all forms of transportation. They should keep in mind that we have to accommodate all people and we shouldn't allow one specific type to have priority over the rest of us.”
Questions from residents
As with any new vision, some citizens questioned the city’s ability to achieve its objectives. Here’s a sampling of those comments:
- “I think the goal to make Tigard the most walkable city in the Pacific Northwest is lofty, if not grandiose.”
- “If we want to make Tigard the most walkable city in the state, we need to address and enforce the speed limits on the streets.”
- “Don’t just talk about becoming the best walking city in the region, start working on the gaps in your network like 121st and Walnut. It's one thing to talk about things and another thing to make progress, and currently, there's too much talk and not enough progress.”
Please keep your ideas coming in 2016.
APRIL 2016: Breathe Easy… the Smoking Ban Memes Are Here
The city recently adopted an ordinance banning smoking and vaping in parks and on trails. On July 1, the ban will include all city facilities.
To inform the community, we wanted a creative approach that residents would remember. So we turned to the Tigard Youth Advisory Council (TYAC). Ten highly motivated Tigard High School students comprise the TYAC, and each member brings a unique lens to city outreach.The TYAC decided to sponsor a smoking/vaping ban meme contest for the month of March to communicate the ban.
If you have been on Facebook or Twitter, you have seen a meme. It is is an activity, concept, catchphrase or piece of media that spreads from person to person via the Internet.
TYAC issued a challenge to their classmates and the community to create memes that:
- alluded to the smoking/vaping ban
- were appropriate (no offensive language)
- were creative (no copy cats)
TYAC members spread the word about the contest via word-of-mouth, social media and the city’s website. The contest attracted media attention from KGW and interest from other local governments including the City of Dallas, Texas.
But would anyone participate?
Tigard High School students, community members and staff from other jurisdictions submitted creative and educational memes the first week of the contest. Others rolled in throughout the month.
Now, TYAC members need to judge the entries. The council will consider creativity, message and appropriateness. Extra points will be awarded for the memes with the most “likes” on Instagram and “likes” and “retweets” on Twitter. You can judge the memes by visiting the Meme Contest photo album on Facebook.
The city will showcase the winning memes on social media and our website. Also, look for some of the memes in other city communication throughout the year.
In the “meme-time,” please remember smoking and vaping is banned in parks, on trails and at city facilities beginning July 1. The ban supports the city’s strategic plan to become the most walkable community in the Pacific Northwest where people of all ages and abilities enjoy healthy and interconnected lives.
May 2016: A Trail Comes to Commercial Park
A Trail Comes to Commercial Park
In April, Tigard’s Community Development staff and Public Works crew addressed a long-standing need to make it easier and safer for pedestrians and bikers to access and use Commercial Park, immediately north of Highway 99W, between Center and Commercial Streets.
Tigard Public Works crew rolled out nearly 250 feet of asphalt on what before was a well-used, though unevenly paved and unpaved foot and bike path. That path was particularly hard for people to commute by bicycle. The final 6-foot-wide asphalt trail makes it safer for residents to pass through the park and underneath Highway 99W—a preferred route to and from downtown Tigard for many who want to avoid crossing the busy state highway.
The project was one of nine such undertakings funded through Tigard’s Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper (LQC) program. For the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the city dedicated $200,000 for projects that have an immediate impact on walkability in Tigard. Long-term, these efforts support Tigard’s vision to become the most walkable community in the Pacific Northwest where people of all ages and abilities enjoy healthy and interconnected lives.
Improving Walkability Citywide
As the city charts this 20-year course, city crews continue making LQC improvements citywide. Overall, they tend to be less expensive than larger Public Works improvements identified in the city’s five-year planning process and have an immediate impact that improves walkability, connectivity and health in Tigard.
Other completed LQC projects include the Dartmouth Overlook, a destination that provides a sweeping view to the west from the Tigard Triangle, and the Oak Way path offering an off-street alternative between SW 87th and SW 90th Avenues, adjacent to Metzger Elementary School.
In addition to the new asphalt trail, the many visitors to Commercial Park will see new traffic barriers called bollards, signs and a pathway cleared of obstructing vegetation. All make it friendlier for pedestrians and cyclists of all abilities.
The city of Tigard encourages all residents to submit their ideas. Learn more about our completed LQC projects. Residents and businesses who want to submit an LQC project idea can contact Kent Wyatt at 503-718-2809.
June 2016: Tigard's Walkability Efforts Gain National Notice
Tigard’s Walkability Efforts Gain National Notice
The Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based Walk Friendly Communities (WFC) has recognized Tigard’s efforts to promote safer walking environments and walking, giving the city “Honorable Mention” for its progress in 2015. Tigard’s vision is to become the most walkable community in the Pacific Northwest where people of all ages and abilities enjoy healthy and interconnected lives.
“Residents and the city should take pride in this achievement, starting where we are as suburb designed primarily for auto travel,” said Kenny Asher, Community Development director. “We know that achieving our vision will take years, but we also understand that it won’t happen without on-the-ground change, momentum and support from others. We’re getting that support now from residents, citizen volunteers and particularly from our partners at Tigard-Tualatin schools.” Tigard’s Successes Highlighted
Tigard’s commitment to Safe Routes to School, the program that promotes active transportation choices for school children and their families, earned high marks from the reviewers. The organization called Tigard’s strategic vision an “ambitious goal.” It praised Mayor John Cook’s participation in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Mayors' Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets. WFC also acknowledged the city’s improved connections in the downtown like the Tigard Street Trail and efforts to create connections among its 17.5 miles of greenways.
Tigard’s application was its second to the WFC. Nationally cities compete for the center’s recognition in bronze, silver or gold rankings for local efforts to boost conditions for walking, including safety, mobility, access and comfort. Tigard is the sixth Oregon city to receive recognition from the WFC organization, second in the metro region.
“The assessment is not only a round of applause for our efforts, it also shows us exactly where we are falling short. We will need support from Tigard voters in future elections to improve walkability together,” said Asher. “I’m hopeful that this will fire people up to go for the gold.” A copy of the report by WFC can be found here
July 2016: New Walking Map Highlights Tigard's Many Walking Routes
New Walking Map Highlights Tigard’s Many Walking Routes
Walking is one of the healthiest activities for people of all ages. It supports the city’s vision to be the most walkable community in the Pacific Northwest where people of all ages and abilities enjoy healthy and interconnected lives.
Walking reduces risks of long-term disease and increases fitness. Walking improves memory and one’s mood. Walking connects people with family, friends and neighbors.
Residents have 18 miles of trails and 189 miles of sidewalks to choose from, along with more than 25 parks that serve as walking destinations.
To help Tigard residents choose their walking routes, the city has published a walking map covering every city neighborhood. Starting in July, copies will be available at city offices, the Tigard Public Library and at city events throughout the summer.
The map is similar to the city’s popular biking map. Users will find a color-coded route-finding system that highlights a range of walking choices.
The two-sided map shows the most walkable “connecting routes” from neighborhood to neighborhood. The map shows the primary routes citywide including:
- Shared pedestrian and bike paths
- Routes by sidewalks
- Routes on roads with no sidewalks
- Difficult or hilly routes
- Connections that link paths and trails
Also, residents will find three of our most popular walking destinations: Summerlake Park, Cook Park and the Fanno Creek Trail system. As a bonus, we have included a description and routes for three fun walks.
Pick up your copy of the walking map to see if your favorite route made the list. Then, take off and explore Tigard. Can you find the 13 staircases? Did you know the city has almost 200 cut-through trails for bikes and walkers, some as short as 40 feet?
For those who prefer the internet, a copy of the map is published here. Later this summer a mobile friendly app will be made available.
September 2016: Grants Build Community Connections
Tigard Social Service and Community Events Grants Build Community Connections
Each year, the City of Tigard awards dozens of grants for community events and social services by the city’s many committed leaders. These activities and organizations use that support to help make Tigard a better place for residents of all ages and abilities.
This year, that percentage is providing more than $297,000 in direct assistance to 40 organizations and events in amounts ranging from $1,000 to nearly $30,000. The city is also providing another $169,000 in in-kind assistance. No counting in-kind donations, the grants awarded annually are equal to 0.5 percent of the operating budget.
Through its grant process, the city has helped fund the City of Tigard Dog Park, the Downtown Tigard Farmer’s Market, the Balloon Festival, the Good Neighbor Center and the Tigard-Tualatin Family Resource Center, to name a few of many examples.
One of the new grants this year will support local children with basic school needs—a collaborative also involving local schools and businesses.
"Each year Calvin Presbyterian Church collects school supplies and works with the Tigard-Tualatin School District to distribute the supplies to high school and middle school children in need,” said Rev. Jim Wallace, senior pastor of Calvin Presbyterian Church. “We are grateful to the city of Tigard for awarding this grant, as this year even more children will be ready for school and prepared to study, with 150 backpacks."
The funding of awards occurs during the annual budget process. A subcommittee of the Budget Committee reviews all social service requests and proposes funding in the approved city budget. Community event requests are reviewed by the City Council. Each grant is viewed on its own merits.
Another recipient for 2016 and 2017 was the Tigard-Tualatin School District Family Resource Center.
“The generous grant from the City of Tigard will be used to help Tigard families in need,” said Catherine West, the center’s director. “Tigard-Tualatin School District Scholarships will be provided so that children may participate in extracurricular activities such as swimming, soccer, gymnastics and camp. Homeless families will receive food and gas vouchers, hygiene items and other supports.”
The latest grant awards were recently announced when the City Council adopted the 2016 and 2017 fiscal year budget.
For a full list of each community event and social service awards, view the 2016-2017 budget.
November 2016: Plugging into Tigard and Making a Difference
Two years ago, the City of Tigard adopted a strategic plan with a vision of becoming the most walkable community in the Pacific Northwest where people of all ages and abilities enjoy health and interconnected lives.
We need your help achieving this vision. Engaging residents means offering ways for everyone to make a difference. From helping the environment to joining a city committee to promoting walking and biking for kids to school, we can build a more vibrant community together.
Here are opportunities to get involved and make connections:
- Tigard Parks and Recreation is looking for qualified contract instructors who would like to teach a class for the city. What incredible skills can you share with Tigard? Contact Anthony Markey at 503-718-2584.
- The Safe Routes to Schools program seeks parents and grandparents to start weekly or monthly “walking school buses” to and from Tigard-area schools. Contact Anna Dragovich at 503-718-2708.
- The City of Tigard relies on dozens of citizens to fill our 12 boards and committees, who offer expertise on planning issues, the city budget, parks and more. Six bodies are seeking residents who want take an active role in improving their community, working directly with city staff. Visit the city’s volunteer page.
- Are you more of a hands-on, get-dirty kind of person? How about participating in the Summerlake Park tree planting on Nov. 12. To learn more, contact Marissa Grass at 503-718-2428.
- The Tigard Public Library is looking for passionate volunteers 12 and older to serve the needs of all of our residents and build well-informed citizens. Contact Katie Nelson at 503-718-2516.
- If you feel more like walking and talking, connect with residents every month through our Tigard Walks program hosted by Joanne Bengtson. Reach her at 503-718-2476 or email@example.com.
- Feeling too busy for long-term commitments? Consider donating two non-perishable food items in November or December while dropping off your leaves at Cook Park. Donations will be shared with area residents through Tigard’s St. Vincent de Paul. Contact Theresa Reynolds 503-718-2704.
- Our City Council provides many ways for residents to share their ideas about issues they care about. Consider attending a monthly Fireside Chat with the mayor or attend a City Council meeting. Most meetings provide time for citizen input. Make your voice heard.
- Lastly, we always love talking with residents through our many social media, hosted by the city, Library, and Police Department. Stay in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter. Find out how you can follow all of our accounts online. Share your events and stay connected 24/7.
January 2017: Staying Connected During Storm and Severe Weather Events
When foul weather strikes, the City of Tigard wants to help you find the latest city information. Here is how the city connected with residents throughout our December snowfall that snarled roads region-wide.
We published a webpage to inform the community about city facilities and operations during storm events. During the snowstorm, we posted the city’s operating hours, event cancellations, street sanding priorities and winter weather driving tips.
Facebook: During the December snow event, the city managed three Facebook pages: general city page, library, and police. Our main Facebook page reached more than 24,000 people from Dec. 12 to 19. Residents submitted questions, posted pictures and commented on road conditions.
Twitter: @TigardOR (general city information), @TigardPolice and @TigardLibrary encouraged residents to share what they were seeing. Users shared more than 100 photos from around town.
The city encourages residents to ask questions on the city’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, and we strive to reply quickly. Please do not use the city’s social media channels to share information about emergency situations needing a response by first responders.
- Mayor John Cook maintains an active Twitter presence that provides insight into the daily life of a mayor. If you had been following the mayor during the snowfall, you would have learned his secret to keeping warm.
- A picture can say a thousand words. Instagram is our fastest growing social media channel and is perfect for showcasing the latest pictures of Tigard.
Share Your Thoughts
The city’s website remains the official source of city-related information during weather events and emergencies. Let us know how we are doing and what information you expect from the city during these events. Email your thoughts to Kent Wyatt at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet them to @TigardOR.
MARCH 2017: Building Community Around the Table
As part of the Tigard’s vision to become a walkable, connected community, the city has been building relations with community leaders who are making a difference every day in Tigard.
In 2015, the city launched the Community Roundtable. The goal was simple—bring together and connect people who serve in churches, places of worship, schools, and non-profits for a community conversation.
All service groups and faiths are welcome. The response from participants has been overwhelmingly positive. The quarterly roundtable also provided an opportunity for some of these leaders to meet in person for the first time. Almost immediately collaborations were launched by roundtable participants.
“The Community Roundtable meetings have been crucial in linking not-for-profit groups, agencies and Tigard city staff,” said Rev. Jim Wallace of Calvin Presbyterian Church. “As we discuss issues that range from economic development to affordable housing, ways to reduce homelessness and programs to improve the lives of all citizens, I have found it heartening to connect with other local leaders who are seeking to build a community where everyone can succeed.”
Through information shared at the roundtable, Calvin Presbyterian successfully applied for one of the city’s annual social services grants, which helped to provide backpacks to deserving students.
Sharing and Listening
The quarterly conversations have grown, attended now by 20 to 30 leaders each meeting. The city uses the opportunity to showcase city services and initiatives that are most relevant to the group
At the most recent roundtable in February, the Tigard Public Library outlined its many community offerings, from a tax-education program to an upcoming event focused on immigrant and refugee families. The Community Development department highlighted the two May 16 local ballot measures, which would expand the urban renewal area in downtown Tigard and create an urban renewal area in the Tigard Triangle.
City staff also come to listen and learn.
For their part, community leaders share news of community initiatives, such as the free health clinic being offered at Tigard High School on April 22, organized by Compassion Tigard. Housing issues have been among the roundtable members’ top concerns.
The roundtable also moves locations, opening doors for all. The group has met at Tigard Foursquare Church, seeing in person the recently opened Just Compassion Day Center serving area homeless. The roundtable also has been hosted at the Muslim Educational Trust and at numerous churches: Calvin Presbyterian, Colossae, Tigard United Methodist, Christ the King Lutheran.
Nonprofit groups and faith leaders who would like to join are welcome. Contact Rudy Owens, communications strategist, email@example.com, 503-718-2758.
April 2017: Tigard's Youngest Leaders Gain Insights During D.C. Trip
In March, Tigard Youth Advisory Council members Hannah Alzgal, Landon Carlson and Barbara-Ann Schlabach visited Washington, D.C., to learn first-hand how American democracy works. The three Tigard High School students attended the National League of Cities conference, visited the capitol’s landmarks and even met with a key aide to President Donald Trump. Hannah Alzgal
Attending the 2017 conference in Washington, D.C. as a Tigard Youth Advisory Council (TYAC) delegate was an experience that cannot be replicated in textbooks. Prior to the trip, I thought that D.C. offered opportunities at every corner and was a place to make your voice heard. Those expectations were met and more.
We heard a memorable speech from political commentator Nicolle Wallace, who served as the communications chief during the presidency of George H.W. Bush. She showed me that we all want the same outcome—to better our country and our lives. Wallace spoke about the importance of unity in a time of division within our nation.
The Youth Delegate portion of the conference allowed the TYAC delegates to network with other delegates and observe how other councils benefit their cities. This gave me ideas for what we could bring to our youth council in Tigard. Interacting with other peers cannot be replicated by the Internet or in a book.
My experience in D.C provided excellent insight into how we can make changes here in Tigard. Even though I am only a teen, my voice is as important as anyone else’s in my community. Landon Carlson
When I arrived at the conference I was nervous for the days ahead. I quickly learned I could meet and share ideas with other students from across the country.
At the opening Youth Delegate session, each youth council made a presentation on the most important issue facing their community and efforts to combat the issue. It was incredible to see how impactful and creative a group of teens could be in their community. I look forward to bringing some of the approaches to our council.
The next day at the general session we heard from Nicolle Wallace, now an analyst for MSNBC. I learned about national politics from a conservative perspective and how the media covers it.
We also met with Democratic Party leaders. Michael Blake, vice chair of the Democratic National Party, gave a powerful speech urging us to incite change in our communities and to stand up to injustice. His speech was one of the top three I’ve heard and was possibly the highlight of my trip.
I am grateful to the City of Tigard, Mayor Cook and the City Council for providing me an opportunity to attend this conference. Barbara-Ann Schlabach
Washington D.C. was full of memorable sights. The most interesting places we visited were the Lincoln Memorial and the National Air and Space Museum. We also met with Press Secretary Sean Spicer outside of the White House.
Walking up the immense staircase to the Lincoln Memorial, I could see the enormous Abraham Lincoln statue perched behind the giant, white columns. It is overwhelming to see up close. The Emancipation Proclamation is engraved in large letters on both of the side walls. The memorial provides a valuable piece of history.
We also met with Sean Spicer, President Trump’s spokesman and communications director. It was an unexpected chance of a lifetime. It is rare to meet anybody famous, especially current political figures. Spicer was outside of the White House talking with people when we happened to notice him. I asked him for a picture and he was delighted to pose with us! It doesn’t get much better than that.
I am grateful to the City of Tigard for providing the opportunity. The trip was a great opportunity to expand my knowledge about government and visit some of the most impactful memorials and monuments in the country.