Transportation open house + Boyce Thompson Arboretum

1/29/22

My time in the Tempe/Phoenix area continues to unfold richly.

Today I met up with a local Tempe Servas host named Jeanne. I ended up not staying at her house since my awesome friend is hosting me instead, but I wanted to meet up with her because she seemed like a nonstop activist on many important issues, even at 80 years old. (So many amazing 80something women I have met and stayed with on this trip! To those of you who are reading: you are so inspiring to me!)

So Jeanne and I met up for a joint excursion today: a transportation open house at the Tempe Public Library, followed by an outing to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, 50 miles east of town.

The open house was informative, and reminded me of similar events I’ve attended in Portland over the years, which helped me to realize that similar cool work is being undertaken at the local level all over the country, to make transportation networks safer and more environmentally sustainable.

I saw a prototype of a new bus shelter; met ASU students who have a “heat robot” named MaRTy that helps design public spaces in this desert climate to be more comfortable for people using outdoor amenities; reconnected with the Culdesac Tempe folks; and saw a number of interactive planning boards for how streets can be maximized for community benefit to all users.

After we browsed all the booths, we hopped in her car for the trip out to the arboretum. This was a very large place, filled with many impressive desert-landscape views as well as individual trees and cacti that were really cool. Once again, I’ll let the pictures tell most of the story.

After our scenic and educational trek, we dined al fresco on almond-butter-and-marmalade sandwiches, then headed back to Tempe.

Tomorrow, I’m looking forward to visiting a cool local architectural site.

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