Auburn making way for pedestrian kiosks
By ROBERT WHALE
Auburn Reporter News reporter
September 20, 2012 · Updated 2:07 PM
The goal of having kiosks in the downtown is, in bureaucratic speak, to "enhance the pedestrian experience" in downtown Auburn.
Translation: When you're hoofing it about the city and want to know what's shaking, the kiosks will tell you what's happening, where to see it, when to see it.
City planners on Aug. 27 presented final designs to the Planning and Community Development Committee for "as many pedestrian kiosks as the City's budget would allow," as many as nine, but definitely fewer at this time.
"We anticipate that the current funding available will be sufficient to build three, maybe four kiosks," Senior Planner Elizabeth Chamberlain told committee members.
The priority is to build the first three at the following sites:
• West Main Street at the entrance to the Interurban Trail.
• A Street Southwest near the entrance to the Transit Station parking lot.
• South Division Street and First Street Southwest at the Promenade.
Two of the kiosks are funded by grant monies that have to be spent in the downtown, said Committee Chairwoman Nancy Backus, and the foundation of the third was already built as part of the Promenade.
If money is available, a fourth kiosk would be built at the mural parking lot off of East Main.
The current sites owes much to a scouting tour that former committee chair Lynn Norman, councilman Rich Wagner and Backus took of the downtown a year ago.
City staff have since presented draft conceptual designs to the PCD committee at previous meetings, most recently Jan. 9, but the last August meeting was the first look members got at the final version of the design.
"The idea for these kiosks is for things to be easily changed and moved in and out, whether we're talking about a poster advertising some event at Auburn Avenue Theater, ArtRageous or some other city event going on," said Planning and Community Development Director Kevin Snyder.
At this time, Backus noted, the kiosks could only be used for City events.
"It's something that helps our branding of what Auburn is and ... and expresses the desire to make downtown more walker-friendly," said Councilman John Holman.Contact Auburn Reporter News reporter Robert Whale at email@example.com or 253-833-0218, ext. 5052.