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Designing downtown's next stage: Locals can earn $100 through input on North Bend's future roundabout, plaza

An artist’s impression of the future roundabout at Main Avenue and North Bend Way. Residents are asked to give their ideas on how to fill the dotted area.  - Courtesy photo
An artist’s impression of the future roundabout at Main Avenue and North Bend Way. Residents are asked to give their ideas on how to fill the dotted area.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

A project to make North Bend Way more attractive and pedestrian friendly will be shaped by the people who will use it most.

North Bend residents, along with anyone in the Valley with a connection to the city, are invited to create their own visions of a 20-foot-diameter roundabout planned for the intersection of North Bend way and Main Avenue, part of a community design competition launched today by the city’s economic development commission. The winning design will inspire the final architecture of the intersection, which is part of a major renovation of the downtown area, and the winning designer will receive $100 for his or her idea.

The competition reflects North Bend’s approach to many new projects.

“When we have a project, we kind of go out to our citizens to see where they have the skills to get involved and assist,” explained Community and Economic Development Director Gina Estep. “That’s where Trevor comes in.”

Trevor Kostanich is a member of the Economic Development Commission and the designer of several plaza areas at Snoqualmie Pass. He was recruited to the commission to help shape the city’s downtown plaza project, changing the face of North Bend Way from Bendigo to Ballarat.

Estep said it was his idea to ask the community for design ideas, and the commission fully agreed.

“We started thinking about ‘what would be good for North Bend?’” explained Mike McCarty, senior planner with the city. “Then we thought, why are we thinking about it, we should be asking the people!”

Anyone with a North Bend connection can submit a design, no matter their age or ability. Submissions don’t have to be elaborate; all that is required is a sketch of the intersection, a written statement describing the proposal and listing the elements, and the name and contact information of the designer.

A panel of city staff and EDC members will judge the entries and select the winning idea, which will guide the final design.

“The architect will take an overall theme that they’ve proposed and put it into a concrete plan,” McCarty said.

Criteria for the design competition are simple:

The roundabout must include a centerpiece feature at least five feet in height, to ensure its visibility to approaching cars;

Included elements should be durable, and require minimal maintenance;

The design should accommodate multiple functions, such as aesthetic value and a space for public use during events;  and

At least one aspect of North Bend’s history, culture and identity, outdoor recreation environment, or natural surroundings must be highlighted in the design.

The city has received a $350,000 federal matching grant for the project, which could start by  August 2013.

The design competition begins today (Aug. 29) and runs through Friday, Sept. 21.

Submit entries to the North Bend Community and Economic Development Department at 126 E. 4th Street, or send submissions by e-mail to gestep@northbendwa.gov.

For more information about the project, contact Estep at (425) 888-7640.

 

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