Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Talks on Sweden and Commercial Vista Corridor Refinement Plan Show Contrast

Two transportation presentations on Thursday the 23rd will show a great contrast between innovation and catch-up.

Daniel Firth talk on Thursday morning
(Look at that protected bike lane!)
In the morning, Daniel Frith with talk about Swedish innovations.
Join Daniel Firth and Paul Casey for a presentation and professional exchange with Oregon planners on transportation innovations in Sweden and Oregon.

• Congestion pricing
• Parking management
• Stockholm Urban Mobility Plan
• Mileage fees

Daniel Firth is Chief Strategy Officer at the City of Stockholm Department of Transportation. He is responsible for the development and implementation of the Stockholm Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan, including implementation of a new Bus Rapid Transit network, major expansion of the metro and light rail networks, measures for walking, and a USD200 million investment in the cycle network. Daniel is also project manager for the implementation of new congestion pricing and parking measures.
$200 million for bicycling!!!! Stockholm's a good bit larger than Salem, of course, but even proportionately that would be $34 million in Salem, or fully one-third of our $100 million 2008 Keep Salem Moving road bond. Projects like the super-sized urban highway interchange at Wallace and Glen Creek would look very different.

Would you send your child to the park on this by bike?
Note two people on bike in the crosswalk!
(Looking down Glen Creek towards Wallace Park)
The talk is Thursday April 23, 2015 10:00 am - 11:30 am in the ODOT T-Building, 355 Capitol Street NE, Room 340.

(Please RSVP by email to Laura Buhl)

Commercial Vista Corridor Study

By comparison here we are still playing catch-up, and the Commercial-Vista Corridor Refinement Plan will have an Open House later in the day.

Problems with the project are systemic and structural, not merely a product of inadequate analysis on this particular set of problems.

It's our inability to think past hydraulic autoism and its requirement that we meet "City mobility standards" for 2035 - for drive-alone car trips only

"Mobility standards" should be for the mobility of people, some of whom walk, bike, or bus, not just those making drive-alone trips in a car.

As long as our primary unit of analysis is the automobile volume/capacity ratio we will consign all other users of the road to second-class and substandard facilities. More importantly, we won't be able to implement improvements for non-auto travel when they inconvenience drive-alone trips.

Drive-alone trips trump everything.

More than this, there's not a whole lot new to say. (See previous discussion here and here.)

But the project team has published the presentation to the Stakeholder Committee, so here's a few more minor thoughts.

It's good to see more thought given to the distance between the sidewalks and storefronts. But team could be stronger on how detrimental really are the large parking lots fronting storefronts.

Unfortunately, it also looks like the buffered bike lane on Commercial may get ditched. So if we're just going to maintain the current bike lanes, this does nothing to create more inviting and comfortable facilities for people who aren't already biking. It doesn't add mobility or travel options. It's a net zero.

I want to know how they defined "sustainability"
The commitment to "City mobility standards" for 2035 also flies in the face of necessary greenhouse gas reduction targets. Recent planning pilots in Portland, Eugene, and Corvallis suggest 20% reductions are very possible for 2035. (Of course, we should be aiming higher!)

Among the measures:
Substantial efforts and new funding to expand transportation options will be needed to:
  • Expand public transit
  • Provide incentives and price signals to promote options
  • Make walking and cycling more convenient
  • Promote compact, mixed use development
  • Better manage parking
There's no good reason we shouldn't be planning for this now. And that means supplying mobility for bike/walk/bus trips and not incenting additional drive-alone trips by addressing volume/capacity "problems."

It is almost certainly true that we are going to have to start giving drivers of cars less service in roadway design and giving others a whole lot more service.

The Open House runs from 4:30pm to 6:30 at South Salem High School on Thursday the 23rd, with a presentation at 5:15.

The school is at 1910 Church Street SE, and the boards and talk will be in the library.

Update:  There's a survey too now!

For all notes on the Commercial Vista Corridor Study see here.


Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

updated with survey link

Susann Kaltwasser said...

Thank you for showing a photo of the Wallace Road and Glen Creek debocle so that people can see how the City wasted $10 million that could have gone to a better project.... a big chunk of the dollars needed for better bike projects!

Note that there are very few cars in your picture. This area has benefitted little from all this money spent on adding a turn lane and upgrading the sidewalks.

Your analysis of the project BEFORE it was built was right on. Pedestrians can't cross the street any easier or safer than before. In fact it takes so long to cross that many just ignore the signals and go when the traffic allows. It is a subjective observation, but I think that I see fewer pedestrians now than before.

No one that I have ever seen uses that green bike zone! They are not crazy. They just use the sidewalk and then when they get to the inersection, if they wish to go across the traffic lane they just go when there is an opening.

The one change, however, is that now there is more stacking on Wallace Road north of the intersection, because the cars have to wait longer at the light. Benefit to Glen Creek is that as you merge the two turn lanes on the hill, you get to play russian roulette with who gets to go first as there are no markings on the street to give signal as to whether there is a preference. AND if you happen to want to turn right at the first residential street which is right at that merge point, you get the extra thrill of hopings you do not get rear ended by not just one, but two merging cars! Yeah! Progress....?