Two things struck me when I read the article regarding “beatifying” two downtown blocks (“SLO City Council spends big on two blocks of downtown,” Nov. 17).
One, most beautiful cities around the world remove traffic from their central streets—not mature trees—and make them pedestrian walkways with a wonderful open café environment. We all enjoy the freedom of walking Higuera Street Thursday evenings, and people come from far and wide to spend money in SLO and enjoy. So why not 24/7?
The second point is “bids exceeding the city engineer’s budget.” Get into the 21st century, SLO, and use design build strategies or even better integrated project delivery where architects, engineers, contractors, and clients collaboratively produce a scheme that is affordable and to budget. Cal Poly College of Architecture and Engineering Design have been teaching their students for years that, for clients to get best value, you need architects, engineers, and builders working together from the first design stages of a project.
Cal Poly Construction Management champions many courses on Integrated Project Delivery. Many of the Californian and International construction companies who recruit at Cal Poly CM work very successfully in a collaborative way so budgets are not exceeded and there are no surprises when final costs hit the client—or, in this case, the property tax payers of SLO.