Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Salem Teen Killed in Hit and Run While Walking near Liberty and Lincoln SE

Liberty at Lincoln SE - three rather zoomy auto lanes,
one bike lane, an unmarked crosswalk only
This morning there are reports a person on foot 18-year old Alex C Armes was struck and killed in the 1600 block of Liberty St. SE.

This would be the third Salemite killed on foot this year.

Update 1, late afternoon

From the Salem Police:
Salem Police are currently investigating a fatal hit and run incident involving a pedestrian.

Officers were called to the 1600 block of Liberty St SE near the intersection of Lincoln St SE at approximately 3:15 this morning on a report of a subject laying in the street. Officers arrived to find a deceased subject who had been struck by an unknown vehicle. The Traffic Control Unit was dispatched to investigate the scene and process for evidence and the roadway was closed until approximately 8:30 am.

The name of the victim is being withheld at this time pending notification of next of kin.
Update 2, Thursday midday

From the PD:
The victim in this case has been identified as 18-year old Alex C Armes of Salem. His next of kin has been notified.
This post will be updated.

Winter, Chemeketa Street Bikeways Blocked by Olympic Trials Wednesday, Thursday

Race walking is no different really than any other kind of racing. If you think too hard about it, just about any race is kindof silly. But we do love to race and it seems to answer some deep human drive.

If you watch the races, stop in at Hallie Ford
Royal Nebeker, "Blue Bike," 2013 (detail)
Hallie Ford Museum of Art
Even so, walking is fundamentally a slow, often leisurely, activity, and making it into a form of racing seems especially silly, a contradiction. (There's even a "silly walk," for it, after all!)

So it's still a little odd to see that we are hosting the deeply serious Olympic Trials for Race Walking.

And that means some street closures on Wednesday and Thursday.

From the City release:

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

At the MPO: A Public Hearing on I-5 Widening, Light on Deliberation

Today, Tuesday the 28th, the Policy Committee for our local Metropolitan Planning Organization will hold a Public Hearing on the proposed amendments for I-5 widening to be added to the 2015-2020 funding cycle and the 20 year Regional Transportation System Plan. (Meeting packet here, see previous discussion here.)

Location for proposed I-5 widening
A Digression on Public Process

The Hearing itself doesn't seem all that important.

On the matter of the Police Station as well as on Rob Handy v. Lane County (RG article here, Court calendar entry here) at the Oregon Supreme Court, there has been some local discussion of Process.

Maybe we'll circle back to those matters as they relate to the City of Salem, but they seem at least peripherally relevant to SKATS.

The formal Public Comment period for the amendments closed on June 14th - but here we are a couple of weeks later for a Public Hearing. The Staff Report agenda item recommends that the Committee
I. Conduct a public hearing for the amendments to the SKATS 2015-2035 RTSP, FY 2015-2020 TIP, and associated AQCDs.
2. Adopt Resolution 16-6 to amend AQCD for the SKATS 2015-2035 RTSP, Resolution 16-7 to amend SKATS 2015-2035 RTSP, Resolution 16-8 to amend AQCD for the SKATS FY 2015-2020 TIP, and Resolution 16-9 to amend SKATS FY 2015-2020 TIP. A unanimous vote is required.
Especially with the requirement for a unanimous vote, it looks like Committee members are on notice that this is a done deal. There is no actual deliberation and consideration that will be going on in the Public Hearing. The decision is already made, and the Hearing a pro-forma gesture to satisfy the need to "deliberate" in public.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

City Council, June 27th - First Phase of Portland Road Funding

Council meets on Monday, and they will lead with the Police Station and formal adoption of the annual Budget. There's nothing more to say on the Police Station here, though, and the real budget action happened at the last meeting.

So as the Urban Renewal Agency, City action on funding projects on Portland Road is probably the most interesting thing.

Portland Road

The Urban Renewal Agency has several items related to the Portland Road Study. After formally adopting the amendments to the North Gateway Urban Renewal Plan (see previous discussion here), they will allocate an initial tranche of $1,730,000 for four projects:
  • $700,000 for grant programs (additional amendments on these here)
  • $80,000 for a feasibility study of the Public Market, Food Hub and Incubator (the Mercado concept)
  • $500,000 to support development of Industrial Flex Space, Housing and Mixed Use
  • $450,000 to design Portland Road Streetscape Improvements north of Bill Frey Drive (phase 1)
The Bucket List

There is an update on the approach and priorities for the "code clean-up" project. Unsurprisingly housing will lead, and it is also interesting to see how the State Street Corridor project will be used as a template for simplifying the overlay zones. Hopefully the general needs for a template will not dilute any useful specificity for State Street.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Downtown Advisory Board to get Update on Opportunity Sites

Greenbaum's (right) in the intact Eldridge Block, 1954
University of Oregon
The Downtown Advisory Board is meeting today, Thursday the 23rd, and they are getting an update on the potential "opportunity sites" downtown that might be purchased with Urban Renewal Funding in an effort to kickstart redevelopment on vacant or underutilized lots.

Project concept for State and Commercial
via Nathan Good Architects
In that update is a review of property owners who would and would not be interested in selling or otherwise participating in the "opportunity site" deal.

Contribute a Route to v2.0 of Wander Walks Map!

And here's yet more pleasant map news this week. This time it's for travel on foot.

Wander Walks Salem Map 1.0
Cherriots and the WVP Health Authority are collaborating on Wander Walks 2.0, a new edition of the walking map for the Salem area.

The first version, 1.0 we'll call it, at least from here seemed to have too many routes that used busy streets and thus it did not seem optimized for the experience of walking itself. It was also centered on downtown and not necessarily on interesting routes that might be near residential neighborhoods, nearer where you live and might want to walk. There was an implied autoism, then, with these as destination walks to which you drive. One reason for the focus might have been that it was authored by a group of international MBA students. While they brought fresh eyes to Salem and to the project, they also may not have had enough local knowledge about walking here. There's always trade-offs. Crucially, their participation and the institutional support behind it meant the project did actually get completed.

So with the most difficult work of a first edition completed, projects like this are easy to iterate with follow-on editions. Now that the print run is gone, it's time for a revision.

From Just Walk:
In partnership with WVP Health Authority and Cherriots - Salem Keizer Transit, we’re recruiting volunteers to design unique walking routes through several parts of the city. These “Wander Walks” will be printed on colorful new neighborhood maps later this year and distributed throughout the region.

This is your chance to be creative while helping people get to know their local area better and connect to resources like playgrounds, parks, community gardens, and Little Free Libraries.

There’s no long-term commitment, and you can choose the length of your walk—all abilities are welcome. You can map your route alone or with a friend. There are no high-tech skills required: we’ll show you everything you need to do. All you bring is a willingness to head out and scout the neighborhood!

To sign up to volunteer, please email Jeanine Stice with WVP Health Authority at
This will be a great way to tap into that local knowledge base.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Revised Salem-Keizer Bike Map Just Released

Here's some welcome summer news!

Our local Council of Governments has released the May 2016 update of the Salem Keizer Bike Map. In addition to paper maps that will be available at Cherriots, local bike shops, and Travel Salem, there's a new online/mobile version.

Check it out!

The paper copies will be delivered gradually, so you might wait a few days before starting on that quest. But online it's available right now.