Now that Foster has its movie theater (wink, wink), next up on our wish list is something a little less exciting but much more transformative: trees, lights, and public art.
I know the easy choice would be a healthy grocer, but there’s a reason we don’t have one yet. Some of it may have to do with Freddy’s being so close, but there’s another issue that often impedes investment in the neighborhood: perceived blight.
As much as I appreciate Foster’s grimy landscape and the gritty character it exudes, it’s not the most livable, sustainable, or visually appealing….yet. New Seasons knows that. So does Trader Joe’s. Micah Camden and Duane Sorenson, too. Oh, and all the speeding cars that forget Foster is not a freeway.
But maybe they can be tricked.
Perception is reality, right? So let’s change the way Foster is perceived.
– Trees will help fill in some of Foster’s more barren blocks, add shade, and bring some much needed visual appeal. They’ll add life to our wide swaths of concrete.
– The lights? They’ll keep people out at night. And they’ll feel safe. Oh, and drivers will be able to see them when they cross the road.
– Public art will fill in the holes that lights and trees won’t. It’ll bring an energy and aesthetic that reminds everyone that people live here. It’ll make people turn their heads and look—or stop and enjoy their surroundings. It’ll mark Foster as a place, a destination; not something you drive through. That doesn’t happen now. But maybe it will.
We’re aware that all of these things are included in the updated draft Foster Streetscape Plan. But we’re also aware that the city isn’t always good with its money. And on a limited budget, there’s no guarantee PBOT’s improvements to Foster won’t stop at re-striping lanes and adding new crosswalks. So to cover our bases, we’ll hope Santa acts as “Plan B.”
And when we do get these things, Foster will become a sexy beast. I say a wild mustang. And then you can all get your grocery store. Or just walk to Freddy’s. At least it’ll look nice.