Making a Change in the Lloyd District

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Food carts in Downtown Portland (Photo: Stu Spivack)
Food carts in Downtown Portland (Photo: Stu Spivack)

As senior projects slowly materialize for seniors, one student has long known what he planned to do. Senior Trevor Tompkins has been visiting the Lloyd Center for the past twelve years. Tompkins recalled one of his earlier memories at the mall: “I remember the first piece of pizza I ate there, it was amazing and I knew I would be coming [there] for years to come.” Regardless of his first mouth-watering experience, Tompkins always noticed the only available sustenance was fast food in the food court.

Walking out of the mall one day, Tompkins noted all of the free space in parking lots, which got him thinking. What if there were food carts in the mundane lots? (The only current food cart in the Lloyd district is Fuego Food Carts, a burrito setup a block from Holladay Park.) The dynamic nature of the carts would surely bring life to Lloyd Center.

Instead of looking at his upcoming senior project as a time to try out a hobby, gain experience in a preferred field, or find something easy to do, Tompkins decided he wanted to make a change in his community.

“I had previously worked at the Lloyd Center Transportation Management Association (TMA) my sophomore year, and used those contacts to make my senior project,” he explained.

Tompkins says that the Lloyd TMA pedestrian committee is very interested in bringing more food carts to the Lloyd district as a way to make the locale more sociable. The project will start with a review of the work that the committee has done to date.

“In the summer before my junior year, I compiled the results from an extensive survey that essentially asked 1,500 Lloyd Center employees whether or not they would want food carts,” Trevor reflected. “The results were an overwhelming yes.”

Trevor begins his work on May 5, and, while senior projects end May 30, he plans on continuing into the summer. His goal for his time at Lloyd is to, “Help establish a food park full of independent food vendors that will diversify the lunch options in the Lloyd district.”