Saturday, November 10, 2018

City Council, November 13th - Public Bike System and the Airport

Council meets on Tuesday following the observance of Veterans Day on Monday. They've got transportation projects great and small to consider.

Most interesting here is the small one, "bike share," a public bike rental system. (As with "ride share," there's not really much sharing going on, and it's a ride rental. It is interesting that ride-hailing and ride-booking have become standard for the TNCs, but "bike share" is hanging around. The term also seems inaccurate.)

After word came out in the Bicycling Magazine rating from 2016, and then the SJ wrote a feature later in the year, it's been a winding road. But here we are finally.

Three park sites, one at the transit center
They've been talking about six or seven total stations for launch, but right now at Council there are four only, all in public areas.

Two would be in Riverfront Park, near the playground and Carousel as well as at the Union Street Bridge. A third would be in Bush Park near the Winter Street parking lot, and a fourth at the downtown Transit Center.

Exclusive franchise for Riverfront Park
Most interesting is that the proposed contract includes an exclusive franchise for operating in Riverfront Park.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Hardball at the MPO? SKATS to Request new Hearings on SRC

Revanchist forces at the MPO are poised to raise the pressure on the City of Salem about the SRC.

Is this a "request" or a demand?
They've called a "special meeting" for the Policy Committee on the 13th - two weeks early, and piggy-backing a little on the Technical Advisory Committee meeting later that day - to call for finishing the SRC final Environmental Impact Statement. It's unclear what the timing element is that requires the special meeting and why this cannot wait until the next regular meeting on the 27th, but that apparent urgency is worth noting.
At the October 23, 2018 SKATS Policy Committee meeting, the Policy Committee directed staff to draft a letter from SKATS to the Salem City Council related to Salem River Crossing. The purpose of the letter is to request that the council respond to the LUBA remand and support completion of the Salem River Crossing Final EIS.
Of course the current Council has responded. By action or inaction they have said they don't believe the UGB expansion is warranted. And there is increasing sentiment that the FEIS can be completed for a "no build" alternative and satisfy all the Federal requirements.

But this letter would be written clearly to talk past all that.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Kludgy Details on 12th Street at Fairview

With changes to the Oregon Legislature, the path to a Clean Energy Jobs/Carbon Cap and Trade bill sure looks smoother. Nationally, Congressman DeFazio will likely have more say on any transportation legislation. But there's still a lot of uncertainty, and it's not like there was one single, unambiguous gesture made by the Electorate.

There are surely other things to note, but others will note them better.

So let's focus on local detail instead.

On the 12th Street project between Hoyt and Fairview, more of the striping has been done, and yet more of the design is coming into focus. But some details sure seem kludgy. (Some previous notes here.)

Looking south - two driveways (near, and at blue sign)
make dashed bike lane transition tricky and stressful
I don't like the way the bike lane transitions from the right hand margin to the left of the turn lane. There are two driveways right in the mixing zone of the dashed bike lane, so that makes three right-hook opportunities from drivers turning into the driveways or preparing to turn on Fairview.

There was talk about adding green paint to the bike lane here with ARTS funding, and that may help. But it might have been better not to make the transition in front of two driveways.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Cranking Marine Drive Back Up at WSRAB, 260 State at DAB

Two Urban Renewal Advisory Boards meet this week, and they'll be talking about a couple of important projects.

Tomorrow the 7th in West Salem, WSRAB will discuss renewing the push for Marine Drive, which the Congestion Relief Task Force lists among their recommendations.

Congestion Relief Task Force on Marine Drive

The agenda with Marine Drive
What that means exactly is not clear. There is still some $3.5M allotted to a project between Glen Creek and Cameo Streets, which is inside the Urban Growth Boundary, but the West Salem Neighborhood Association wanted a more northerly section, which is outside of the UGB.

The scope and sequencing here is still a little murky, but perhaps more will be clear after the meeting.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Drivers Strike and Kill Alexandria Tereshka on OR-22 in West Salem

Two people driving on Highway 22 in West Salem struck and killed Alexandria Tereshka on the roadway on Saturday evening. (Updated with names and drivers in the plural.)

As too often happens, the news erases the driver and makes the the dead person into an abstraction: "A female pedestrian died Saturday after being struck by a vehicle..."

via Twitter

Columbia Journalism Review
The crash may be similar to ones on Highway 22 in 2013 and in 2016. Little follow-up was published on these deaths, and it seemed likely the dead had been camping along the river. Even I-5 in East Salem has more crossings than OR-22 here, and the highway in West Salem is a huge barrier to the river. Lacking a house or apartment, the dead also lacked story, presence, and importance in our world, and they were made nameless in accounts of their demise.

So there may be two erasures here: The erasure of drivers, responsible for the safe operation of a vehicle, even on a highway; and the erasure of an unhoused person with their own history and story.

Friday, November 2, 2018

NW Hub Recognized, Trick or Treat at a Crossroad, Pilgrimage to Mt Angel - Newsbits

This year at the City's Volunteer Recognition, Northwest Hub won a Mayor's Merit Award.

It's nice to see a bike-related enterprise recognized again. Congratulations to the Hub!

(Not so nice is the lack of captions and a press release with each citation in the City's own posting, which is all too meagre for something ostensibly oriented for "recognition.")

With Michael Wolfe retiring and closing South Salem Cycleworks, and with the untimely passing of Joe Dobson at Bike Peddler, 2018 is shaping up to be a real transitional year in our bike shop ecosystem. Scott Cycle also is in the middle of a generational transition, and our bike shops will all be led by an entirely new cohort in very short order.

I don't know if there is any meaning to extract from this. We all age, we all must pass away, and when businesses endure from generation to generation they have successions. It's no great insight to observe the bare fact of change. But it's still something to register.

The bike shop owners who gained maturity in the 1970s bike boom are now yielding to those whose main experiences are from no earlier than the 90s, and often from the early 21st century.

Changing Halloween Practices

There was a funny piece in the USA TODAY section about tailgating in a parking lot for Halloween.

Apparently this is a thing now.

Strong Towns posted a lengthy critique of it recently.
While activities like Trunk-or-Treat, or even other alternatives such as the increasingly popular “mall trick-or-treat,” offer children the opportunity to have guaranteed fun in a safeguarded environment, the holistic benefits of trick-or-treating which result from neighborhood communities rallying together to create a fun, safe, and memorable experience are being lost. The sad part is that these holistic benefits would continue long beyond the Halloween holiday.
via Twitter
BikePortland today went the opposite direction, arguing that we should extend the "Block Party" or "Open Streets" concept to a new event on Halloween, the "Trick or Treat Street." Going car-free shouldn't require the autoist move with pedestrian displacement systems that shunt activity to the parking lot or retirement home or high school!