Blog
September 2017
   September 27, 2017

On September 23, Otak’s Portland office held their company picnic at Willamette Park. Both the weather and the location were perfect, complete with food carts from Bunk and Koi Fusion, a covered picnic area, a playground, and space for the Otak Olympics. The Willamette River was smooth as glass, perfect for kayaking or canoeing. Many laughs were shared, and the Vantucky T-Wolves took home the gold.

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   September 22, 2017

On Friday, September 15, cities across the world participated in PARK(ing) Day, an event in which parking spaces are temporarily converted to public parks. Teams from Otak offices in Portland and Denver contributed to parks in their respective cities, taking the opportunity to temporarily transform an ordinary parking space into a beautiful piece of urban landscape.

In Portland, designers from Otak’s PAD group collaborated with Friends of Trees to create a Micro Forest. The Micro Forest was a big hit—several Otak departments held meetings in the space, and diners from the adjacent Chipotle restaurant enjoyed having a cozy, shaded space to devour their burritos.

The landscape architecture team from Otak’s Denver office partnered with students and local designers to create the biggest PARK(ing) Day installation in the city, consisting of five parking spaces in front of Union Station. Otak oversaw the event and designed two of the spaces. The installation was designed to address adaptive reuse.

According to PARK(ing) Day’s website, “The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space and sustainable design, to generate debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat...at least until the meter runs out!”

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   September 21, 2017

Otak's Portland stormwater engineers attended the 2017 Sustainable Stormwater Symposium on September 13th and 14th at OMSI. Otak was a platinum sponsor for the event, which was co-hosted by the Environmental Water Resources Group and the American Public Works Association. Symposium presentations included keynotes by the U.S. Geological Survey, Denver's Urban Drainage and Flood Control District, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Otak's Melanie Klym presented on a project which used channel restoration to address flow-duration design standards. A presentation by the City of Gresham highlighted Teresa Huntsinger’s work with the City to develop a stormwater retrofit assessment tool.

The Symposium included a half-day bike tour around Southeast and Southwest Portland to visit stormwater facilities and hear from those involved in their design, construction, and maintenance. Several Otakians served as bike tour leaders. Matt Klym, an engineer on Otak's Transportation and Infrastructure Systems team, presented at the fourth bike tour stop, giving an overview of the OHSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building (LEED Platinum) site design and stormwater management. We are already looking forward to the next Symposium in 2019!

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   September 19, 2017

On September 16th, Vancouver Otakians held their first annual summer BBQ at Allen Hendy’s house. Allen’s garden provided a beautiful backdrop for the festivities, which included games of horseshoes, corn hole, and ladder ball. The group enjoyed dinner, provided by Hula Boys, a local restaurant, and provided some potluck items as well. Honorary four-legged Otakians, River (pictured) and Nala (not-pictured), joined in the fun. River even scored some points at corn hole, ironically for her owner’s opponent.


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   September 14, 2017

The Portland Westside Economic Alliance (WEA) and the Westside Transportation Alliance (WTA) held a joint meeting September 13, 2017 to discuss multi-modal transportation challenges, progress to-date, and future vision. 

A panel made up of TriMet's Tom Mills, Jeannine Rustad of the Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation Department (THPRD), David Evans & Associates' Andrew Mortenson, Intel's Nathan Derstine, and Washington County's Dyami Valentine discussed studies and plans their organizations are making to help connect people to jobs.

Adam Argo of David Evans and Associates moderated the panel.

Jeannine Rustad spoke about trails and the partnerships built to complete different trail segments. Tom Mills shared information about transit funding through the upcoming employee paid payroll tax and how the agency is looking to enhance service. Dyami Valentine presented takeaways from the recent Washington County Transportation Futures Study.

In addition to sponsoring the WEA-WTA meeting, Otak will be sponsoring WEA’s "Transportation Month” involving numerous meetings and conferences in the month of September to further transportation system excellence development over time in Portland and the northwest. 

Pictured, from left to right: Brian Burby (Otak), Tom Mills (TriMet), Jeannine Rustad (THPRD), Nathan Derstine (Intel), Andrew Mortensen and Adam Argo (David Evans & Associates), Dyami Valentine (Washington County)

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   September 8, 2017

As part of our Dogs in the Workplace pilot program, we’d like to introduce our four legged friends.

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