Linn Gear, Home Town hero

Linn Gear, desk icon, based on the Linn Gear logo

Linn Gear, desk icon, based on the Linn Gear logo

I am reposting this blog from 2014.  It features some pieces of art I made using real gears.  Gears are iconic.  The gear icon appears everywhere representing settings, inner workings, or anything mechanical or functional.  These are real gears made by a company in my home town that has been making gears for more than sixty years. 

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Linn Gear was founded in Lebanon Oregon in 1954.  Located in east Linn county, Linn Gear has been a strength of the community. Even as the timber industry faded and other economic woes brought hard times to the area, Linn Gear remained an employer and a strength for the community. 

This week, I learned of the passing of Mr. Gene Hartl, who ran the company for many years.  As today is thanksgiving day, it seemed appropriate to express gratitude for Gene Hartl and people like him.   People who take the risks of entrepreneurship and who never forget about their community.  We need more of you.  I salute you Gene Hartl. 

Original post from 2014 at http://belveal.net/2013/07/14/linn-gear/

These are some special pieces I made for my friends at Linn Gear. I truly mean it when I say friends.  This business is in my home town of Lebanon, Oregon.  It is where many of my friends’ fathers went to work back in the day when we were growing up.  And now, many of my high school friends have made their careers with Linn Gear, raising their families and making quality custom gears year after year decade after decade.  For quality American manufacturing, Linn Gear is the real deal.

PS – Don’t expect the rough and artsy distressed look on anything coming directly from Linn Gear. That’s all me. They make only crystal clean precision machined parts.

– roger

http://www.linngear.com/

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Wide Sidewalks Part II for Historic DOWNTOWN Frisco

Solve traffic for a better Main street EXPERIENCE

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A walkable arts district in historic downtown

It is imperative to:

  • Make a safer, more pedestrian-friendly walking experience. 
  • Increase traffic throughput capacity and flow for a more pleasant and efficient driving experience.
  • Declutter the street for a calmer aesthetic experience spending time in the Historic Frisco Arts District.
  • Make a commercially successful place for businesses to thrive, by having the right traffic, patrons who enjoy being downtown.
  • Create a core place of community that draws positive attention, fulfilling its important role in the overall Frisco experience.

One-Way, A key factor   

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This space should belong to the sidewalks

One Way to fix it - One way traffic flow helps enable all of these in several ways, among these notably is to remove the need for a center left turn divider, freeing up several feet of space to then be given the widen the sidewalks on either side of the street. 

Where does the traffic go?

Main Street is overburdened.  A companion street is needed to take half the traffic.  So, here briefly are some simple diagrams for your consideration. I have my opinions and I'm happy to share them on each one of these options.  I'd like to hear your thoughts as well. Feel free to post you views on the Frisco Intersections Facebook page.  https://www.facebook.com/FriscoIntersections/

Some Alternatives

In my first post, I suggested Oak street one block to the north. When you drive toward downtown from the DNT, just as you are crossing the tracks, you look up and see Oak street is straight ahead perfectly in line with Main; it seems like an obvious option.  However, as some point out, there might be other options that could be less disruptive to the residential neighborhoods.

Option 1 makes a nice straight line, just seems logical.

Frisco-belveal-Option-1-West-on-Oak-East-on-Main-First-to-Dogwood.png

Option-1
West-on-Oak
East-on-Main
First-to-Dogwood

Elm Options

One block south of Main is Elm Street. Elm which as some point out is already very commercialized, yet could use some improvements.  Sending eastbound traffic onto Elm would produce virtually the same benefits of unburdening Main as the Oak alternative, but with different challenges connecting it all together.  There are at least two variations I can imagine. 

Option 2a - Keeps the traffic in the area already commercialized. 

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Option-2a
West-on-Main
East-on-Elm
First-to-Dogwood

Option 2b - Same as 2A, but cuts over at the water tower.  Less elegant.

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Option-2b
West-on-Main
East-on-Elm
First-to-7th

Option 3 - Both? 

And lastly, some have suggested employing both of these streets, moving vehicle traffic altogether from this little section of Main Street.  This goes further than i think necessary.  i think it takes too much visibility away from Main street.. And it would the most costly and disruptive.   What do you think?

Option 3 - Moves both directions of traffic off of Main. 

Frisco-belveal-Option-3-West-on-Elm-East-on-Oak-First-to-Dogwood.png

Option-3
West-on-Elm
East-on-Oak
First-to-Dogwood

Let's talk about it

All things are up for discussion. in my view,.  All have pros and cons.  The only option I consider not reasonable is to leave everything as it is. The status quo configuration is simply not robust enough for Frisco's future.   

Thanks for listening!   I'm content to have helped this discussion to happen. Now, I'd like to listen to others and see where it goes.

Leave your comments at Frisco Intersections Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FriscoIntersections/

- belveal

Wide Sidewalks plan for Historic Downtown Frisco

Imagine Spacious sidewalks

You're walking in Historic Downtown Frisco.  The sidewalks are wide.  There's a table front of your favorite coffee shop with plenty of room to spare.  it's a pedestrian-friendly scene.  Traffic flows smoothly and efficiently,  Everyone has enough room.  All is in harmony.  Crossing the street is easy and safe.  People want to be here.  They come this way to enjoy the view, making plans to come back again in their leisure.  It's a lovely classic Main Street USA experience. But this is no Disneyland mirage.  This is the real thing.  it's Downtown Frisco, with the wide sidewalk plan.

It's our Town with an upgraded experience

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the Friso Arts District

Galleries, shops, bistros in a beautiful, pedestrian-friendly street.  Trees and planters adorn both sides of the street with generous sense of space in between.  There's always something fresh and new together with the historic.  A first time visitor here for a soccer championship will enjoy it right along side the regulars who call it home.  It's Mayberry with a twist of Santa Fe.  It's Our Town. It's Frisco with an enhanced experience. It's Our Town. It's Frisco with an enhanced experience. 

Where has all the traffic gone?

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Best of all, turn lanes are no longer needed. Their SPACE can all be given to widening the sidewalks on either side of the street.

turn lanes are no longer needed.
Their SPACE is given to the sidewalks!

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Traffic is flowing efficiently through the downtown area evenly distributed onto two one ways streets. Westbound traffic flows smoothly on Oak Street one block to the north. leaving just Eastbound on Main.  Both lanes flowing in unison one way simplifies traffic, taking the stress from the equation. Pedestrians have only one traffic direction to wait for.  Left turns are as easy. as right turns.  No more waiting for oncoming traffic. 

Best of all, turn lanes are no longer needed. Their SPACE can all be given to widening the sidewalks on either side of the street.

The benefits to the traffic revision:

  • Widened sidewalks and a pedestrian-friendly space
  • No more traffic bottleneck.  
  • Twice the capacity;  Two lanes each direction on separate dedicated streets.
  • Twice the store front opportunities. Effectively, two main streets
  • Twice as easy, twice as safe for pedestrians crossing the street
  • Traffic signal synchronization is optimized for each direction.   
  • Crossing has only to deal with traffic form one direction
  • Getting between Preston and the Toll way is easy.

driving through no longer feels like approaching the scene of an accident

  • Downtown is no longer a place to be avoided. 
  • Driving through town no longer feels like approaching the scene of an accident.
  • No longer are cars funneled into a single line.
  • No longer are the unwary forced to make the infamous right turn onto County Road.  
  • People like driving through town.
  • People like spending time down town
  • People are free from the distraction of bad traffic to be able to enjoy themelves
  • It is an inviting people-friendly environment.  
  • t is a place where an arts community can thrive
  • The old historic charm is preserved with has a serious upgrade to the experience. 
  • Historic Downtown is a North Texas favorite and the pride of Frisco.  
     

Historic Frisco has become a destination
 

As a process engineer, I look for those key factors that change the equation. Turn that key and see a cascading effect of improvements.  Frisco downtown has a traffic problem that must be solved in order to create the kind of place we want it to be.  As an experience designer, i know that ultimately it must about the kind of experience we create for our citizens, entrepreneurs, and visitors.  Making a place that accommodates the full breadth of needs, offers comforts, and is the kind to place people just want to be, that's what will make Historic Downtown Frisco a destination.

Imagine it with me. Will you?

The views and opinions expressed here are all my own and not necessarily reflective of my employer, the city of Frisco, or any other person or organization. But I would be delighted if these and others adopted my views as their own on this and other subjects. :-)

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Roger Belveal  -   Experience Designer and Business Process engineer for more than two decades.   TechXpressionist sculptor, design blogger, public speaker on technology, design, and culture. 

Frisco resident since 2008; Active member of the Frisco arts community; Advocate for the Performing Arts center.  Two term Frisco City Public Art Board member.  Author of  "Frisco Intersections", emphasizing the multiplicity of intersecting elements in Frisco - sports, technology, arts, business, history, and family

LinkedIn Profile: linkedin.com/in/rogerbelveal

 

 

Big Design 2017

It's Big Design Conference time. And once again, I've created something special for the occasion. This year, I have pushed the direction a little further toward what I describe as Tech deco.  The look is very macho, of thick metal, roughed up, with a look of heavy industry. 

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Artist Statement for Gallery 8680

This is the artist statement published in the Art en blanc show which opened September 7, 2017. 

http://www.thegallery8680.com/art-en-blanc-2017.html

Roger Belveal, sculptor

"It’s all about creating experiences."

I coined the term, TechXpressionism, to refer to art that speaks of technology and its impact on contemporary culture. 

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My Favorite Machine is a series of works that celebrate our love for technology and great design while simultaneously rebelling against the slick virtual aesthetic. 

Digital themes in earthy industrial mediums is more than a refreshing break from the virtual. It also merges our experiences virtual and physical into one. Imagery from digital worlds come out from behind the glass and into our space in rugged earthly form.

We are physical creatures, alive in three dimensional space. We crave real objects that have substance and volume. We are like Alice stepping in and out of the looking glass. Our dreaming self and our waking self enjoy a casual meeting in the midst.  

Art historically speaks of the culture and times in which it is created. We are in the midst of a digital culture. Our lives have become augmented reality as surely as PokemonGo. Ubiquitous digital experiences are the new normal. 

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My art speaks to this. It has been a hit among among geeky types and millennials.  I have been called the resident artist to the tech startup and design community with my art appearing in design conferences and startup offices as a tangible symbol of innovation. And I am proud to say all the really cool kids own pieces of my art.

All the really cool kids own my art!

My style of sculpture began a three dimensional interpretation of a sketch. I was studying gesture figure drawings and wanted to explore doing 3D sketches in steel. I had studied metal casting and other mediums, but had a love for sparks and flames of working directly in metal from hanging around my father’s welding shop as a child.

I have a degree in Industrial Design which is itself a hybrid of art and engineering with a focus on human factors.

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My career in software design has taken me into studies of the human engagement with technology, cognitively, emotionally, and socially.  This haas been an interesting journey as I watched the digital technology escape the confines of geekdom to engulf the whole world.

I love Frisco. There is a wonderful arts community and so much opportunity to have an impact. I currently serve on the Frisco City Public Art Board. 

Gallery 8680

I was invited to display my art at Gallery 8680.  It is a lovely gallery with wonderful owners Robyn and Glenn Freehan who are part of the core arts community here in Frisco,

TX. http://www.thegallery8680.com/ 

The show presently underway is called Art en blanc 2017. 
http://www.thegallery8680.com/art-en-blanc-2017.html

The opening reception included a special visit from Frisco Mayor, Jeff Cheney who announced a special award to the gallery as the first of its kind in Frisco.  This was a monumental event and I am happy I could be a part of it. See photos from the event on the Gallery 8680 Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/gallery8680/posts/1614393608631254

Of course, other galleries are opening in Frisco, particularly the old downtown area which is destined to become the Frisco Arts District.  Gallery 8680 remains a special monument to the spirit that is the Frisco arts community.

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