There's some house-keeping matters, but probably the big public item on the Council agenda is the continuation of the rights-of-way vacation. The City Attorney thinks it's not important to wait for the LUBA appeals to be resolved. (See end of packet. For previous discussion of ROW see here and here.)
|SINALACS transportation map|
In 15 years only one piece is done
SINALACS, as it is known, doesn't seem to have yielded very much, however!
Those with local knowledge may be able to say with more certainty, but it looks to me like only one of the "major transportation improvement recommendations" has been completed! The road bond funded work on Hawthorne Street. Everything else is still waiting. (If you know otherwise, drop a comment, and I'll post a corrected map and amended text.)
So at the moment this is looking like a teen-age, couch-potato shelf study.
Following on SINALACS, in 2000 the City completed the Portland Road Improvement Project Master Plan. Among other things, it called for a "full boulevard" treatment on Portland Road.
|Intro to draft scope for new study - to reallocate funds?|
Presumably this new "strategic plan" is what Council and the Urban Renewal Agency will be talking about.
There is reason to be skeptical of the way funds might be redirected. Consider the Kroc Center.
From the paper today:
The Kroc Foundation awarded Salem a $71.1 million grant to build the facility and create an endowment to help run it, and the community raised $10 million toward the project.From the North Gateway URA project summary page:
Northgate Extension (Bill Frey Drive): A $12.39M public investment, completed August 2005, provides a second means of ingress/egress for the Industrial Park. This project and area attracted the Kroc Center...So let's add this up:
$71.1 million from the Kroc
$10 million from the community
$12.39 from the City
That's $93.4 million!
And we're still talking about a few million more for building new paths or bridges to make easier for kids from Keizer to cross the Parkway. (See all notes here.)
So let's call it $100 million.
|A year ago things were faltering|
While the whole thing isn't a boondoggle, there are definitely some boondoggular elements here! The ROI on $100 million is paltry here.
There are good reasons, then, to cast a very critical eye on how Council decides to allocate the Urban Renewal funds.
And in fact in June the North Gateway Redevelopment Advisory Board resisted reallocation, affirming a resolution to
Reject scope of action plan as written because it fails to recognize the importance of the Portland Road Phase II corridor geographic area, specifically the railroad underpass, the Rose Garden (Epping property site), access to the Kroc Center, and Claggett Creek pedestrian access....[and]Rumblings on the Third Bridge?
reiterated NGRAB's interest in focusing any analysis and future NGURA investments on the Portland Road corridor, north of Pine Street.
No, not an earthquake, but the rumblings of public doubt.
N3B has got three Councilors now to express doubts publicly about the way in the Oversight Team process the Salem Alternative has morphed into something other than what last year Council endorsed.
Some are optimistic that folks can round up another two votes on Council for a reconsideration. Others think it might just be rhetoric and posturing. We're in the realm of politics, not policy, and so it's hard to say what is true and meaningful.
In any case, it's something to watch.