Thursday, July 2, 2015

Lord and Schryver Group Appeal Bike Parking at Gaiety Hollow

The Lord and Schryver Conservancy has appealed the recent terms of approval for Gaiety Hollow.

Lots of interesting things going on in the appeal set for a July 21st hearing before the Planning Commission.

Most of them, as I read them though, are matters in dispute with the neighborhood association, and I'm not sure they are very relevant here. There is a question whether the project is best identified in zoning and for permitted uses as a "museum and interpretive garden" or as a "cultural center." This impacts how often the site can be rented out and how meaningful is the corresponding revenue stream. There are also questions about how many people can attend events. The neighborhood association wants quiet, the Conservancy wants to ensure a sustainable revenue stream.

One of the matters, though, is totally relevant here: Where to put the bike parking?

The initial proposal - and the proposal renewed in the appeal - is for bike parking on the alley.

Proposal to put bike parking in back, off the alley
This clearly fails the requirement that the bike parking be 50 feet from the main entry.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Loss of Eugene's Civic Stadium Recalls Fire at Waters Field

Well, if you have ever wondered what the fire at Waters Field was like in 1966, last night you might have found much of an answer.

Register-Guard, today's front page

Fire at Waters Field, November 12th, 1966
(Salem Library Historic Photos)

Unknown rally at Waters Field, 1945
(Salem Library Historic Photos)
Waters Field was located at 25th and Mission, in almost the same footprint as the main post office. You can read more about Waters Field here, here, and here with a map.

The 1970s era, and non-ADA compliant, footbridge in the RG photo is interesting. Even though Eugene is much better in a lot of ways than Salem for bicycling and walking, the bulk of their infrastructure dates from the 1970s and 80s, in the first flush of the Bicycle Bill. It is ageing, needs repair in some cases, and has also been superseded by new design types. They were ahead of things a generation ago, but in the 90s, 00s, and now teens haven't necessarily kept up. So that's a challenge for Eugene that sometimes gets lost in the fact that they are a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community. But they've got at least one new footbridge and three more in the pipeline.

For more on Eugene's WPA-era Civic Stadium, see this photo essay, wikipedia, and the preservation effort at Friends of Civic Stadium and Eugene Civic Alliance, who had put together a project to renovate it.)

Monday, June 29, 2015

West Salem Business District Action Plan Draft set for July Meetings

In anticipation of several meetings in July, the West Salem Business District Action Plan study has released an executive summary of the proposed projects.

An extension of Second Street along the abandoned railroad with a crossing under Wallace Road leads the recommendations.

West Salem Business District Action Plan
Executive Summary, June 26th
From the summary, keyed to the map numbers...
    Phase I Improvements and Actions (near-term):

  1. 2nd Street extension and grade-separated undercrossing of Wallace Road. Allows vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians to cross Wallace Road without adding to or being stopped by the congestion on Wallace Road. Provides greater east-west connection throughout West Salem. Mitigates traffic impact for property as redevelopment occurs.
  2. Local street connections to Musgrave Avenue and Taggart Drive. Local street connections are needed on the east side of Wallace Road in conjunction with the 2nd Street undercrossing in order to provide better local connections to businesses and properties in the area.
  3. Extension of Murlark Avenue/Patterson Street to Glen Creek Road. Provides an alternate route into the West Salem Business District from the residential area west of Wallace Road, besides the intersection of Glen Creek Road. 
  4. Evaluate Supplemental Transportation SDC. This concept has been used in other communities. The financial feasibility has not been investigated and further evaluation is recommended. A supplemental transportation system development charge (SDC) would allow new development to pay a proportionate share of major infrastructure improvements based on their level of impact on the transportation system, allowing the City to collect funds while continuing to approve development and seek other funding sources. (not shown on map)

  5. Phase II Improvements (mid-term):

  6. Spot intersection improvements. In order to fully mitigate the traffic impacts of future development, the following spot intersection improvements will need to be addressed in the future, depending on the location of (re)development over time.
    - Edgewater/Wallace – Southbound Right-Turn Lane
    - Edgewater/Murlark – Traffic Signal (could be installed at Patterson Street if it is deemed the preferred location)
    - Edgewater/Rosemont – Westbound Right-Turn Lane (not shown on map)

  7. Phase II Improvements (long-term):

  8. Opportunistic local connections. Local street connections are needed to provide greater north-south access through the Employment District and the Town Center District. These could be initiated by the City to incentivize development or could be provided by developers when properties redevelop over the long-term.
The summary also discusses land use in three separate districts.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Three Reasons to Doubt the Costs of Congestion - updated

Here are three short reasons to doubt the autoist propaganda machine.

Number 1: There are bigger threats

with assist from CO2Now

Moreover, earthquakes will completely disrupt freight and the local economy, and that too is a much greater threat.

We're nowhere close to being ready in any real way
We should fix and maintain before we give any thought to auto capacity expansion.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Local Places show History's Arc

Two flags have dominated the news this week: The Confederate flag and the rainbow flag. Perhaps no landmark in Salem crystallizes their meanings better than the Buchner House on 14th and Court. In both direct and indirect ways history haunts us in several places around town, and as we pass by them especially on foot or on bike, we should be alert to their significance, however shadowy and lost, yet still relevant today.

Buchner House at 14th and Court, now lovingly restored
The Buchner house made the national news. From the New York Times back in 1992:
Although recent polls indicate that an anti-homosexual measure on the Oregon ballot is headed for defeat, the referendum has produced a sharp increase in recent weeks in harassment and violence, by both sides....

But the most highly publicized incident, a fire that led to the deaths last month of two people in the capital, Salem, may have had less to do with emotions generated by Ballot Measure 9 than with racial intolerance and a feud, say the police, prosecutors and others who have been investigating the crimes.

Four young people have been charged with aggravated murder, assault, arson and intimidation in the Sept. 26 firebombing of a basement apartment in Salem. The police say all are white supremacists with links to Oregon's highly visible "skinhead" community.

Hattie Mae Cohens, a 29-year-old black lesbian, and Brian H. Mock, 45, a white homosexual, were killed in the firebombing. Some witnesses have told the Salem police that the firebomb was thrown hours after a relative of one of the victims had a fight with skinheads.

Witnesses have also said that Ms. Cohens, along with several black youths who were staying with her, had been feuding with the skinheads for several weeks.

"This clearly was not a crime targeted at homosexuals," said Dale Penn, the District Attorney of Marion County, prosecutor of the case. "When all is said and done, the primary motive for the killings will likely not be race or sexual orientation, but both of them played a role."
Since then the house has been purchased, first by a group of neighbors, and then by a family, and over time lovingly restored. The Historic Landmarks Commission recognized the quality of the restoration with a citation a couple of years ago.

Salmon Brown's house in 1960
with columns from Capitol Fire
(Salem Library Historic Photos)
Another meaningful site is the ODOT Mill Creek building at 12th and Marion. It is built where Salmon Brown, John Brown's son, lived for a while in Salem. Brown later killed himself in Portland. While the ODOT building is itself not interesting, you can still see columns from the Capitol pushed into Mill Creek.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Transportation Package HB 2281 wasn't Very Good

I can think of all kinds of things for which it would be worth trading a repeal of the low-carbon "clean fuels" legislation.

House Bill 2281 with proposed amendments wasn't that at all. (See below for update; verb tenses have been edited throughout.)

The proposed "transportation package" in HB 2281 was mini-me to the DRIVE act at the Federal level, a mostly retrograde act focusing on highway expansion and hydraulic autoism rather than safety, mobility choice, and reduced carbon emissions.
Clean fuels grabs the headlines

The named projects to be funded with bonds in region 2 were all big highway expansion:

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cherriots Board meets Thursday

The Cherriots Board meets tomorrow, Thursday the 25th, and though there's no big decision on the agenda, minutes and reports have three items interesting to note: Funding weekend and evening service, the South Salem Transit Station, and Cherriots' own branding.

The momentum for putting a payroll tax on the ballot continues to build, and at the May board meeting of Cherriots
Director Krebs moved that the General Manager prepare a payroll tax ballot measure for the November 2015 election based on . 21% of payroll, for review by the Board and other public officials having jurisdiction over the ballot measure prior to the deadline for placing on the ballot.
This is not surprising as the general public shows more interest in a payroll tax - which lots of other cities and regions use and is regarded as an important business investment in employee mobility, employee recruitment, and employee retention, not as a jobs-killing, anti-business tax - than in yet another property tax.

But somewhat surprising are notes on the South Salem Transit Center and a potential rebranding effort.