Saturday, May 31, 2014

Losers, their Circular Arguments, and Prior Assumptions on the Third Bridge

"It is disappointing that some opponents [of the bridge] have never talked with city staff or other officials involved to get accurate information..." - yesterday's editorial.

Count 'em! A bridge will cost at least ten Courthouse Squares

Marion St. Bridge = 29.7 rating, "structurally deficient"
 collapsed Skagit Bridge was 57.4
The Center St. Bridge (61.8) is only marginally better than the Skagit!

Traffic and congestion is not growing right now
 (etc., etc.)

Who again is peddling inaccurate or inadequate information? Who hasn't sat down for a formal meeting with critics of the bridge? Who argues circularly from prior commitments that "we need a bridge because we need a bridge?"

Seriously, where's the fiction and fallacy?

Pretty rich.

(For more on this see Hinessight and the collated comments.)

So, now that we've exhausted (at least temporarily) the well of irony, outrage, and snark, a more interesting question is: What will it take to be persuasive?

Friday, May 30, 2014

Joe Dobson, Capitol Relocation, Boise North Block Plan Review - Bits

Nice to see the piece on Joe Dobson, owner of Bike Peddler, in the new Salem Weekly!

Capitol Relocation

You might recall some preliminary talk about relocating the Capitol and Legislature for the duration of a seismic retrofit.

Recommendation 4: Vacate the Capitol temporarily!
At that time there was serious speculation the Legislature would choose to build a new administrative building on the Yellow Lot, which would be the temporary home for the Legislature during the renovations, and then revert to a State agency afterwards.

Yellow Lot is vacant real estate for expansion
(Department of Revenue, like a fortress, in background!)
But now it looks like the Public Utility Commission building is the leading candidate. While the old building in the triangle* between 12th, Marion, and the curve of Union Street, is being renovated, the PUC moved out to the Fairview Industrial Park, and it seems that move could be prolonged.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Yesterday's Crash on Highway 22 Reminder of Inefficient Capacity Allocation; Other Bits

Yesterday's morning crash on Highway 22 should remind us of the terribly inefficient way we've allocated road capacity.  While eastbound traffic into town was backed up, the westbound lanes were empty.

Aerial from yesterday's crash-induced traffic backup
The Union Street Railroad bridge was also free-flowing for people on foot or on bike.

We have tons of slack in off-peak excess capacity!

Much less expensive than building a giant bridge and highway in order to accommodate catastrophe or crash, we should reinforce the bridges against the "big one" Cascadian Subduction Zone earthquake, and rejigger the ramps and lanes so that one bridge can handle two-way auto traffic when the other is blocked. Let's use that excess capacity. Flex lanes! (Here's an example in Utah.)

We have plenty of capacity.  We just use it in one of the most inefficient ways possible!

(This is at least a little similar, I think, to the "brown alternative" that was ruled out early in the evaluation process, circa 2007. Unfortunately, traces of it have pretty much been scrubbed from the SRC website, and I have not been able to find pictures of it. It would be very interesting to revisit that alternative in a serious way now.

(As for the crash, from the paper:
A five-vehicle traffic crash caused by a wrong-way driver threw a wrench into the Wednesday morning commutes of Polk County residents....The wrong-way driver... was cited for driving while suspended and reckless driving...)
Other Bits

At the Capitol there are new(ish) bike racks.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Local MPO Meets also on Tuesday; Lottery and TGM Grant on Agenda

Tuesday the 27th is full of meetings.  In addition to City Council, the Policy Committee for our local Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Salem Keizer Area Transportation Study, meets at noon.

On the agenda (agenda and full meeting packet here) are ConnectOregon V rankings for all of ODOT region 2 as well as a request for a letter of support for Third Bridge TGM grant.

But first a very brief Memorial Day excursus. The World War II Memorial is nearing completion and will be dedicated on June 6th, the anniversary of D-Day. There have been several stories in the paper about it, and there will be more.
The informal grid of small flags suggested a cemetery plot
It will be a significant public space and plaza on the northwest corner of Willson Park, and it is much larger and more visible than the cluster of other war memorials near the Department of Veterans Affairs on Summer Street.

Bikes were used at the Normandy landings, in fact. Unfortunately for the Canadian soldiers who were using them, they were not very effective and may have caused more casualties.

via The Atlantic
In an earlier time, the US Army 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps is also very interesting. And of course our Interstate system owes much to President Eisenhower.


There's nothing really new on the ConnectOregon rankings.  The region has 31 projects total. At the top, the Eugene bike/ped bridges project slides down to #2 behind an Astoria airport project. The Dallas rail hub goes to #3. Locally, the South Salem Transit Center funding is at #6, the Kroc Center path at #17, and the Bike Pods of Oregon at #23. Statewide in the final list, I suspect the line between funding and not funding will be drawn to include the Transit Center, but not the Kroc path. We'll see.

About the TGM grant, probably the less said the better.  For a detailed critique, see here.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Freight and Candidate "Intransigence": A Myth about the Third Bridge

In today's paper, Editorial Editor and Columnist Dick Hughes laments local "intransigence" on the proposed Third Bridge:
All five candidates for the Polk County Board of Commissioners understood why an additional Salem bridge across the Willamette River is critical to the region’s economy. Several Salem City Council candidates did not; they were NIMBY-ists.

Sheesh. What other major U.S. city forces logging trucks and other big rigs to trundle through downtown? What other major riverfront city developed with only one set of traffic bridges? From Portland to Pittsburgh, other cities would be embarrassed by Salem’s intransigence.
Laments about NIMBYism
But as it happens, facts prove a little elusive. Sheesh.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

City Council, May 27th - part 2, State Street Study

At Council on Tuesday is also a solid TGM grant application (see here for part 1, the terrible one).

It's not perfect of course. The good news on studies is that they generate groovy visions for the future. The bad news is that initial enthusiasm often then struggles to translate to meaningful funding on meaningful timelines.

Study churn is a way of life here in Salem.

Nevertheless, every study starts with a blank slate, with every opportunity for the future and for action.

Overview of proposed zoning changes for NEN
This one is an opportunity to continue with a different vision for State Street.

Friday, May 23, 2014

City Council, May 27th - Part 1, Third Bridge TGM Grant

In a way the City has maneuvered brilliantly.  By applying for a Transportation and Growth Management grant to mitigate effects at the bridgeheads of the proposed giant bridge and highway, they've crafted a delicious double-bind:
TGM concept
  • If the grant is denied, then they have cover for the despoliation of the adjacent districts.
  • If the grant is approved, it provides cover and implied consent for moving forward with the bridge.
Either way, the Bridge wins and nearby residents and citizens generally are screwed.

On Tuesday (not Monday because of Memorial Day), Council will consider a TGM grant application for the Third Bridge.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mount Crest Abbey Mausoleum turns 100 this Weekend

Unremarked upon, as far as I know, the Mount Crest Abbey Mausoleum will observe a century this weekend.

It was dedicated on Memorial Day in 1914, and so you have your choice of recognizing its 100th anniversary on this Memorial Day or on the 30th.

Optimism:  Plans for a Thousand Years
While it was built with great optimism, like all structures of concrete from this era, it is deteriorating, and without maintenance, the structure is certainly not going to last another 900 years.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bicycle Safety Education Training Opportunities this Summer

Want to work on "kid power"? Need help on developing a program at your child's school?

The BTA and Safe Routes to School are offering some training this summer!

1) Youth Bicycle Safety Curriculum Training (RSVP here)
June 25, 9am-5pm: $100 stipends available on a first come first serve basis. College credit available for $65 to all.
By the end of this hands-on, on-bike training, participants will be prepared to teach a 10-lesson bike education program including on-street riding to 4th-7th graders. Participants will be introduced to the 10-Lesson “Safe Routes for Kids Curriculum”, practice setting up student drills, practice planning student bike rides, learn and demonstrate bike safety expertise, learn and practice navigating legally and safely with traffic, and be introduced to basic bike maintenance skills. Beginner through experienced riders are welcome. $100 stipends available for the first 10 registrants.

2) Neighborhood Navigator Curriculum Training (RSVP here)
June 25, time TBD
Neighborhood Navigators is a k-8 curriculum package which focuses on safe, efficient and healthy transportation choices, the effects of those choices, and community and neighborhood design. This training will prepare educators to implement Neighborhood Navigators curriculum effectively and be able to apply curriculum components to other course requirements with creativity.
This training is for educators who are interested in teaching how transportation choices and the design of the community affect our health and ultimately our community’s health.

Want to do more to create a Safe Routes to School program in your community? Come to the training and stay for the Oregon Safe Routes to School Conference!

Cherriots Board: Advisory Committee Appointments and Rideshare Update Thursday

Thursday the 22nd, Cherriots' Board meets and there's a couple of minor, but interesting items.

Bike Commuters turn up in the most peculiar places...
(Chamber of Commerce Showbiz)
The Rideshare report has nothing of great moment, but it's interesting to continue to follow the user metrics.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Police Station and Civic Center at Wednesday Council Work Session

Tomorrow, Wednesday the 21st, City Council will hold a work session on the Police Station and Civic Center.

Critics of the City's proposal have identified important flaws in the public process and also raised questions about the total cost. Remarkably, even in a highly contested set of Council elections, together the candidates have landed on a consensus position that there are problems with the City proposal.  So far, so good.

But the critics' own proposal has important flaws of its own.

Two pictures, two perspectives, really sum up the disagreement on the $20 Million proposal for a police station:

Do you see an isolated, car-dependent building next to a golf course and Interstate?

Or do you see a building renovated with great thrift?

Between an interstate and a highway access road (a stroad)
the Eugene station is totally car-dependent. Moreover,
it's next to a golf course and country club.

A repurposed building, acquired and renovated thriftily
One view, a close-up view, is all about budget and thrift, and a focus on the form and cost of the building alone.

Zooming out a bit, another view is about access in general, environmental and economic justice, and neighborhood livability. On this view, the way a building fits into the neighborhood fabric and wider city transportation networks is an important factor.

The position here has been that starting with a budget and looking at the project principally from thrift is going to get us a cheap, car-dependent, Walmart-style police station that doesn't much help city vitality.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

West Salem Neighborhood Association to talk Third Bridge; NEN, CAN-DO also Meet - updated

Tucked away and possibly under-publicized in the agenda for Monday's West Salem Neighborhood Association is an item of interest and request for support on the Third Bridge:

"Salem River Crossing Integrated Land Use Plan for the Bridge District - Request for Letter of Support– Julie Warncke, Transportation Planning Manager"

Third Bridge outside UGB
It's hard to say exactly what this is, but it looks like it could be related to the Urban Growth Boundary and need to "justify" execptions to the Statewide Planning Goals.

A new bridge would require four exceptions to the Statewide Planning Goals, and this is one of the projects pieces for the current year. (You can read more here.)

So that's my guess.

In any case, if you live or work in West Salem, it's another opportunity to say "no" to this costly, risky, and unneeded giant bridge and highway.

The West Salem Neighborhood Association meeting is at Roth’s West, Mezzanine level, at 1130 Wallace Rd NW on Monday, May 19th at 7pm.

Update, May 20th

N3B posted this from the WSNA meeting:

TGM concept
The City is considering applying for a TGM Grant (see note on the proposed State Street app below).

There will be a more extensive discussion of the TGM concepts later, probably keyed to the Council meeting at which they are approved. But for the moment, consider what the State has to say about the TGM program:
A partnership between the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), the Oregon Transportation and Growth Management Program (TGM) supports community efforts to expand transportation choices for people. By linking land use and transportation planning, TGM works in partnership with local governments to create vibrant, livable places in which people can walk, bike, take transit or drive where they want to go.
Two thoughts: 1) The TGM program is designed to create solutions in earlier stages of growth that eliminate the need for giant bridges and highways in later stages, and 2) A back-filled "mitigation" for a giant bridge and highway is antithetical to the stated aims of the TGM program.

CAN-DO - Downtown on Tuesday

The downtown Neighborhood Association, CAN-DO, meets on Tuesday.  They look to talk about the proposed update to food cart ordinances and possibly about tree ordinances (SRC chapter 86).

Friday, May 16, 2014

University of Oregon Sustainable Cities Publishes Rethinking Streets Online

A few months ago the University of Oregon Sustainable Cities Initiative published Rethinking Streets: An Evidence-Based Guide to 25 Complete Street Transformations.

They'd printed a limited run of 1000 bound copies and distributed them, but I'd been waiting for an online version.

Maybe it's been out now for a while, but I just learned about the pdf today. You can download the whole book or just individual chapters here.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Howard Hall Plan to Cost 9 Big Trees, 87 Parking Stalls over Code

Well, how peculiar!

Yesterday on the eve of the hearing at the Historic Landmarks Commission about the fate of Howard Hall, a reader sends word that the Hospital proposes to cut 9 "significant" trees and pave 87 parking stalls over and above the maximum of 177 City Code allows.

If there was any doubt this was more about parking than about a therapeutic garden and playground, this should put them to rest.

All the neatly ruled lines for parking stalls!
(Interestingly, there's no garden on the corner, just Howard Hall)
It's all about parking.

"Nine Significant Trees" would be removed and 87 stalls "more than permitted by code" on the Blind School property would be paved and striped.

Jane Goodall Environmental School gets Covered Bike Parking

(Photo courtesy of JGEMS Parents Club)
The spring, over at the Oregon School for the Deaf, the Jane Goodall Environmental Middle School Parent Club put in what might be Salem's first covered bike parking at a school!

The Club described it as part of a  "Bike-to-School: Healthy Planet & Students" project, which "aimed to encourage students to live healthy lives, while also significantly contributing to the health of our planet."

Members say that
Project components included
  • The installation of a new, attractive, and effective site for bike parking on the shared Oregon School for the Deaf/JGEMS campus.
  • A ‘helmet safety’ presentation for all JGEMS students.
  • A two-session bike education course (taught by a League of American Bicyclists certified instructor) for interested JGEMS parents, faculty, and students.
A variety of local business generously contributed to make this program possible.
  • Oregon School for the Deaf
  • Gelco Construction: Installation and finishing of a new concrete pad.
  • Salem Tent and Awning: Awning supplies and installation.
  • The Salem Bicycle Club: Additional donation for awning supplies.
  • Saffron Supply: Bike rack construction materials.
  • Evolution Auto: Bike rack construction and installation.
  • Mid-Valley Metal Works: Powder coating of bike rack.
  • LAB certified instructor Gary Obery: Student bike-education classes.
  • Salem Hospital RN Kelly Owen: Injury prevention presentation.
  • The Little Cannoli Bakery, The Broadway Coffeehouse, Capitol City Theater, Northern Lights Theater & Pub, Frozation Nation, Exit Real World, Cherriots, Big 5 Sports and CashNCarry: Student participant prizes and giveaways.
Nicely done!

Thanks too to all the businesses that supported the JGEMS Parents Club and students.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Minto Bridge Permitting Complicated; Construction Delayed

Though the Historic Landmarks Commission is the big deal on Thursday, the Downtown Advisory Board also meets, and there's a few interesting bits on their agenda.

In the minutes from the April 24th meeting is a note about delay on the Minto Bridge. I don't recall seeing this out there yet.
The final piece is permitting which is very complicated. It’s taking longer than anticipated to receive the remaining permits; so probably no construction activity will be seen this summer, but perhaps later this year
There's also an interesting discussion of the parking district budget - but unfortunately the minutes by themselves are not sufficiently detailed to convey to outsiders what is the deal:
Renee Frazier reviewed the differences between the Riverfront and Parking recommended budgets from the DAB and the City Manager. Key changes are:
  • City Manager proposed Parking Fund budget increased the contingency to 250K, thereby eliminating DAB recommendation of a capital reserve of 100K
  • City Manager proposed Parking Fund budget reduced Downtown Services to 25K, rather than the DAB recommendation for 75K.
  • City Manager proposed Parking budget includes funds for roof top gates in an effort to reduce illegal activity in parking garages after hours.
  • City Manager proposed Riverfront budget shows the funding of capital improvements with 710K of URA funds; DAB recommended 250K for Park Improvements and 1.2M of unallocated funds. Staff’s recommendation would support the Council Goal to maintain City assets.
The Budget Committee wanted to know why URA funds were being recommended for capital improvements? They requested DAB review options for other uses of those funds and return to the Agency with their recommendation.
The parking district is not self-sustaining, and one of the problems with "free parking for everyone" is that the district has been propped up by infusions of urban renewal funds. It's hard not to read these bullet points as part of that conversation.

On the agenda for this meeting is a follow-up to the fourth bullet:
Does the DAB recommend to the Agency Board that the projects in lieu of FY 14-15 capital projects be set aside for 1) $250,000/Park Improvements already in DAB recommended budget; 2) $460,000 to Other (to be determined); or 3) Committed to Future Projects?
Unfortunately there's no additional materials on the proposed budget or changes to it.

(The roof top gates for parking garages is a bummer, since the top level of the garages are some of the best public places to watch the sunset downtown on summer evenings.)

The DAB meets Thursday, May 15th, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm in the Public Works Conference Room at the Civic Center, 555 Liberty St SE, Ste 325.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Howard Hall's Impending Doom Prompts Meetings

Howard Hall might soon be demolished,

Howard Hall at the Blind School
facing the same fate as the medical clinic designed by Pietro Belluschi on Center Street.

Last Year's Demolition of Clinic designed by Pietro Belluschi
On Thursday the 15th, the Historic Landmarks Commission will assess the Hospital's request to demolish Howard Hall. There's a truckload of documents here. (This is formally "a Major historic discretionary review of a proposal to demolish Howard Hall"; there would be a separate and distinct process for the demolition permit itself, but if the historic review approves the demolition, the permit itself would be a formality.)
The garden and playground doesn't have to be on the corner!
See all that surface parking lot???
The Hospital is trying to sweeten the deal with a playground and garden - but it looks like a bit of an unseemly quid pro quo: Let us demolish Howard Hall, and we'll reward you with a splendid garden and playground...

Sunday, May 11, 2014

City Council, May 12th

It's a struggle this week to have anything very interesting to say about Council! Mostly from our perspective it's housekeeping-level matters.  (Maybe you will see something more substantive on land-use and transportation?)

The Urban Renewal Agency proposes a new program to replace the existing downtown "toolbox" program:
Since the Toolbox was approved by the Agency Board, 129 funding commitments have been issued on 65 different buildings...[and] helped property owners improve their buildings with eligible projects that include windows, HVAC, ADA/seismic upgrades, elevators, sprinklers, electrical/plumbing upgrades, and facade improvements. Under the existing Toolbox, a project that costs $300 has the same grant funding considerations as a project that costs $4M. Maximum funding for both interior and exterior grants is $50,000 each. The average size of projects being completed is $60,000 to $120,000. It is apparent that the existing Toolbox supports small projects, but may not be working to incent private investment for larger projects....

the proposal creates "small project" and "large project" grant categories. Small Projects are those that cost between $10,000 and $100,000, with the Agency grant providing up to 50% of the eligible project costs. Large Project grants are those that cost over $100,000, with the Agency grant providing between 15% to 25% of eligible project costs, depending upon the cost of the project, and the degree to which the project furthers the Program objectives and guidelines. The maximum potential grant under the Program is $300,000, without specific Agency Board approval. [italics added]

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Train Day and the draft Oregon Rail Plan Chance to Learn More this Afternoon

It's National Train Day.

From ODOT Rail:
SALEM — “Trains Matter” is the theme for the 7th Annual National Train Day celebration this Saturday, May 10, at railroad stations around the country, including Portland, Salem, Albany, Eugene and Klamath Falls. The Oregon Department of Transportation is joining Amtrak and other organizations to present information, host activities, and celebrate why trains matter.

Portland’s event, which runs from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Union Station (800 NW Sixth Avenue Portland, OR 97209), features over thirty rail-related booths including Talgo, Operation Lifesaver, Association of Oregon Rail and Transit Advocates and others. Attendees will enjoy live music, food vendors and displays. Tour an Amtrak Cascades’ trainset, as well as train equipment from the 1930’s and 1940’s, including a Union Pacific caboose. Little train fans can enjoy Chuggington Kids Depot, face-painting and entertainment from the Rose Festival Character Clown Corps, plus more for the entire family.

In Salem, train fans will gather from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. at the Salem Amtrak Depot (500 13th St SE, Salem, OR 97301), where there will be a vintage Speeder and a Grand Island Railroad mini-locomotive on display, along with informational booths featuring Operation Lifesaver and Leisure Hobbies, model train displays, Twisty the Clown, refreshments and other fun family activities.

Other passenger train stops in Oregon celebrating “Trains Matter” with free entertainment, educational displays and giveaways include Eugene (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.), Albany (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.), and Klamath Falls (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.). Other areas hosting events include Coos Bay (the Oregon Coast Historical Society) and Toledo (the Yaquina Pacific Historical Railroad Society). See for more information.
ODOT also sent out a note about the State Rail Plan:

Friday, May 9, 2014

One Census Tract has a 9% Bike Commute Rate! Another Look to the Strava Data

Yesterday BikePortland had a story on a neat new mapping feature from the Census' American Community Survey. One of the layers is a bike commuting layer.

Bike Commute Rates from the 2012 ACS (Census)
Two tracts in orange are between 5 and 10%
Others in beige are between 1% and 5%
Salem's map is less dramatic than Portland's. There are two tracts mostly south of Mission that are at 5.4% and 8.7% bike commutes. Several around Lancaster as well as downtown are around 4%. Even out south there's some 2% and 3% tracts. The West Salem hills and Fairmount hill are both at zero!

With small samples, the error bars will be real, but this is some good data. And the central city is probably closer to 4% overall than the 1.5% or so for the whole area enclosed by the city limits. Investments on the flats close-in could bring us to the 10, 15, even 20% that we see in close-in Portland neighborhoods.

(Can anyone do a mash-up of this and the Strava data??? That would go a ways towards rectifying bias in the Strava routes!)

Also! The walk, bus, drive-alone data is interesting.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Entangled in the Use of Force Question: Execrable Conditions for People who Skate and Bike

Basically it's reasonable on crowded sidewalks to ask people on bike and on skateboard to dismount and walk.

But you know a big reason why compliance is so problematic?

Because the streets are so crappy for people on bike and on skateboard!  (If you're reading here, of course you know - even the police don't bike in the streets and, ironically, they model all the wrong practices.)

Kids on Center Street at Cottage violating the law
But where should they be instead?
If people, including police on bike, felt safe and comfortable in the street, where they belong, there would be a lot less biking and skating in inappropriate places.

But instead we create an exquisitely calibrated double-bind:  Since biking on the sidewalk is prohibited, we force you to contend with two-ton armored personnel carriers. Don't feel like contending with machines that will kill you? Violate the law on the sidewalk - and maybe get tased.

Either way you're punished.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Economic Opportunities and Housing Needs Analysis - More 20th than 21st Century?

The City's kicked off an interesting study hampered by a bad acronymic name!

Who would blame you for tuning out the "Goal 9 Economic Opportunities Analysis (EOA) and Goal 10 Housing Needs Analysis (HNA)"?

The EOA-HNA (how do you say this, the "EE-OH-AH, HUH-NUH?) nevertheless is interesting and possibly important because it is working the whole jobs/transportation/land-use/housing nexus. It remains, of course, to be seen whether it is a "shelf study" only or will result in funded policy actions.

But at maybe the largest city scale possible, it's looking at the shape of the city in space and also in time. And it's worth your attention and thought.

The official description:
The purpose of the EOA-HNA project is to analyze population, employment and market trends, and develop strategies to provide a sufficient land supply for housing, commercial and employment purposes to meet that need over a 20 year period. It is our intent to produce a work product that goes beyond the statutory requirements for an EOA and HNA and provide recommendations to enhance the relationship between the City's land use and economic development programs, address demonstrated housing needs, identify market trends and target industries, incent job growth, and inform policy decisions regarding residential, industrial and employment lands.
One of the first memos is out, and the summary of the February 27th meeting has several interesting bits.

The "opportunities" in Salem are the usual suspects, but the "barriers" are worth a mention - both for moments of agreement, and for issues to contest:

Cherriots and the Deviator, NEN, Highland, Hoover, Holman - Updated

Cherriots' Ride on the Wild Side?

Cherriots is having an open house today, Tuesday the 6th.

They sound a little dirty, you might have heard, the Hopper and the Deviator, but they're just different approaches to loosening up a fixed route and fixed schedule in an effort to serve people more flexibly.

The official blurb reads:
Come to our Open House at the recently reopened Courthouse Square in downtown Salem to see what we heard from the communities in West Salem, South Salem, and Keizer. We will be proposing potential alternative to regular bus service in these areas. We believe that innovative flexible bus alternatives can help improve the bus service in these areas. We hope to hear from residents who live, work, and travel to each area about which flexible option would work best for them!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Why Can't we get Sidewalks?! Trouble on the Edges at Planning Commission

When Kuebler Road went in, Boone Road was orphaned: Interrupted and cut off, the old country road was no longer very important and it was neglected.

At the Planning Commission on Tuesday, an appeal of a proposed development out south has to grapple with our history of disinvestment and the way we fail to apportion the costs of development properly.

Bike and Walk Salem at a doubtful Planning Commission, 2011
The Commission will also look at a proposed annexation and upzoning out east near Cordon Road.

Both cases show ways that we have systemic trouble with the edges of the city and the edges of our roads.

Woodscape development at center. Battle Creek Road
on diagonal, to be improved; Reed/Boone at upper left elbow,
just south of Kuebler, left unimproved
Back in January at Council you may recall an off-hand note about dedicating two right-of-ways for park/path connections off of Battle Creek Road.

Sidewalks here
Battle Creek Road at Eastlake Drive, looking north
Goat trail on west side; no bike lanes.
Linear "park" and path going west at gate.
On Monday the Planning Commission will look at an appeal brought by the Neighborhood Association of the same development, whose terms include sidewalks on Battle Creek Road, but not on Boone Road/Reed Lane:

Friday, May 2, 2014

Bike Month is Here

Historically May's Bike Month has been quiet here, with most activity keyed to the Portland Bicycle Transportation Alliance's Bike Commute Challenge in September, when the weather is usually better - though our remnant Typhoon last year made a mockery of this!

The League has a few dates to consider:
  • May 7: Bike to School Day
  • May 11: Cyclofemme
  • May 12-16: Bike to Work Week
  • May 16: Bike to Work Day
  • May 21: Ride of Silence
The Bike Club's organized the Ride of Silence annually.

I don't know of other firm plans.  Do you?

Feel inspired? Create a plan and organize a ride or your workplace or bike train to school!