But most important is the report on Marine Drive.
|Marine Drive and proposed bike park|
Because of the similar alignments of the proposed Marine Drive NW and the SRX [Salem River Crossing OR-22 connector], the Marine Drive project is largely on hold until the SRX public process is completed and the Record of Decision is issued. This is because any work done on Marine Drive NW that could be construed as part of the SRX project, which is done prior to the Record of Decision, could open the SRX project to a federal lawsuit for violation of the National Environmental Policy Act process.So, that's good to know.
Interestingly - but carefully kept separate - there is also a report on a grant application for the Wallace bike park. Council will also "apply for...the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Local Government Grant for the purpose of constructing a bike park facility at Wallace Marine Park." The urban highway would skirt the park and affect access, and park advocates do themselves a disservice by omitting this fact from discussion.
There's also an intergovernmental agreement with Oregon Parks and Rec for maintenance on the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway signs.
the brief report on bike boulevards. Staff intend to apply for a TGM grant to plan in detail a pilot bike boulevard along the Winter/Maple alignment, and the fact that the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway uses this alignment is adduced as a reason to start with this route. (But isn't the route going to get realigned after the Minto Bridge opens?) I wish the project were more comprehensive and entailed a city-wide commitment to bike boulevards rather than merely a pilot project. There's something bloodless and tentative about the report and TGM grant proposal. At this point, what is experimental about bike boulevards? Many communities have already piloted and implemented them. We should be going full speed ahead not just dipping our tippy-toes into the pool!
There's another intergovernmental agreement for the bike counters on the Union Street RR Bridge and Courtney Minto Bridge. They're packaged in a larger IT project with traffic signal controllers and ethernet switches. (See here and here for history on this.)
And a no-bid agreement with Union Pacific for two more crossings on Woodrow Street and Silverton Road for an extension of the "Quiet Zone." The crossing at Chemeketa has been less problematic than I thought it would be - but I detest the crossing at Mill Street (thoughts here and here). At many of the crossings, the addition of sharrows is helpful if you are confident in taking the lane, but if you are not a confident rider the lane narrowing seems perilous and probably pushes you onto the sidewalk. Overall, I think I am neutral on the crossings as they affect people on foot and on bike (apart from the auditory issue for neighbors). They are not as harmful as I feared, but they aren't actually all that helpful: They "help" the railroad with liability, not other road users with connectivity. More importantly, they might also represent a missed opportunity to rethink and radically reconfigure the crossings better to serve all users. In any case, they don't seem worth drilling into or dwelling on.
Looking to the future, on Tuesday, May 26th, the Goodwill project will appear in a month for a Public Hearing: Petition to Vacate A Portion of First Street NW and Lincoln Avenue NW. (Details here and here.) On the same date before Council formally meets there will be a work session on the West Salem Business District Plan, and that will surely touch on the undercrossing proposed for Second Street at Wallace Road. (See here and here.) Together these projects could transform an area and create connections where things are currently a huge barrier for people on bike and on foot.
(How great is it to have a large section here devoted just to bikey things!)
|This is how we do "Historic Preservation"|
WHEREAS, historic preservation is an effective tool for managing growth, revitalizing neighborhoods, fostering local pride and maintaining community character while enhancing livability; andYeah. So this is a reminder that the bike stuff above is nice and all, but the commitment to nice things only goes so far. Be wary of sweet rhetoric and insist on real action!
WHEREAS, the City of Salem is one of only four cities in Oregon designated by the Oregon Heritage Commission as a Heritage All-Star Community for its wealth of heritage resources and effective programs; and [etc., etc.]
Finally, just to note in in passing, one of the land use decisions is a replat in West Salem to reconfigure 13 proposed lots to 7 proposed lots. This looks like it's on the ridge just above Walker Middle School, and seems like a place where we should want moderate increases in density, not decreases.
In the additions packet for Monday, there was a great letter from Salem Alliance Church!
One of the overlooked opportunities in mode shifting is at worship. Retooling one's commute for many might be more complicated than trying out biking to a place of worship on the weekend. Schedules are likely to be somewhat less packed, and the meditative or mindful possibilities in bicycling seem consonant with values in worship, as the Upright Cyclist points out.