Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Minto Park Master Plan Open House, MWACT on Bikes and Quakes, NGRAB on Ethics

This winter the City's been working on a new Master Plan for  Minto Brown Island Park. One of the public meetings is tonight.

Detail from new map
Please come to a public meeting and give us your thoughts! There are four meetings scheduled, and each will be located at Pringle Community Hall, 606 Church Street SE. There is parking available. Dates and times are listed below.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 6:30 p.m.
You might recall the third survey, which is still open. The other questions in it are important of course, but this one is especially important for people who would like to continue to be able to bike occasionally in the park. And if, as seems like a mighty good idea, the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway is rerouted through downtown and through the park, and routed to get off of a section of River Road, the questions may become even more acute.

A key question in Minto Park survey
Here's the full Master Plan process site.


(Every time this gets me! ODOT calls it "MWVACT" but the agenda and most speakers I have heard call it "em-whacked"* or "MWACT" - on an analogue system like a card catalogue this would be easy to manage, but via the google one search doesn't yield up references to the other! They're in different countries, it seems.)

The Mid-Willamette Valley Area Commission on Transportation meets on Thursday the 5th (full agenda and packet here).

There will be bikes!

That's Alex, not Sheila!
Adventure Cycling Dec/Jan story
 on Oregon Bike Tourism and State Agencies
and a wayward caption
Alexandra Phillips, Bicycle Recreation Specialist for Oregon Parks and Recreation, will talk about the economic benefits of bike tourism, bike recreation, and bike manufacturing and retail.

Also, more on seismic retrofits for bridges. You may recall they visited this topic first back in August.

We're nowhere close to being ready in any real way
Hopefully the committee will have more searching questions about why ODOT considers it acceptable to leave the Marion and Center Street bridges, rated near certainties to "collapse" in the big one, last on the list for reinforcement and retrofits.

None of Salem's bridges are expected to stand
Finally, one of the ConnectOregon projects that was approved, the bike path between Albany and Corvallis, has run into even more rough waters, and it may be dropped from the list.

Cherriots application for the South Salem Transit Center was just below the cut-off, and if the Albany-Corvallis path is cut, it seems like there would be a very real chance the Transit Center application could move up into the funding winner's circle. It's very close.

The agenda item, for a general ConnectOregon V update and discussion, doesn't explicitly address this possibility, but it wouldn't be surprising for it to arise.

So that's something to watch.

MWACT meets at 3:30pm on Thursday the 5th at 100 High St. SE, Suite 200 above Bar Andaluz and the former La Capitale.

Northgate Urban Renewal

The Portland Road project continues to percolate, but maybe the most interesting thing in the North Gateway Redevelopment Advisory Board meeting packet is a City presentation on ethics for public officials.

From the City Attorney's Presentation on Ethics
In the long shadow of the Hayes-Kitzhaber affair, and with several contested City decisions of late, involving among other things questions about safeguarding the independence of City Council and commissions, as well as questions about implementing policy and ordinance, it is good to see what the City is actually saying about "conflicts of interest."

It appears that the City's legal definition of a "conflict" is considerably narrower than the colloquial usage that advocates employ in protest and critique. It only involves personal gain, not cronyism. I don't know if this is correct or not, but it's good to know about. Arguing, for example, that the City's participation in the Hospital Facilities Authority and its lack of independent oversight of the Hospital's plans at the Blind School together constitute some kind of "conflict" makes intuitive sense, but likely has no legal traction.

The North Gateway Redevelopment Advisory Board meets Thursday the 5th at 8:00 AM in the Center 50+, Classroom A, 2615 Portland Road NE.

* A typographic meltdown of dashed chaos!


Susann Kaltwasser said...

I am not so sure that a case can't be made on the Hospital issue. I know people are working on that angle. Also, some other possible areas with open meetings rules. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

You were right about the South Salem Transit Center:

"The Oregon Transportation Commission has again rejected spending $2 million in taxpayer dollars on a proposed coal export facility in St. Helens.

That's freed up funding for the next project on the ranked list – $1 million toward a bus transit center in South Salem.

"I frankly was very surprised," said Stephen Dickey, director of transportation development for the Salem Area Mass Transit District."