Monday, February 1, 2016

Urban Renewal Boards to Discuss Second St NW and Portland Road NE

The West Salem and Northgate Urban Renewal Advisory Boards meet this week. WSRAB continues conversation about the proposed Second Street extension and undercrossing, and NGRAB will receive and discuss a substantial report on the Portland Road study and proposed street improvements.


The latest plan map (Dec 2015 in February packet)
The West Salem Redevelopment Advisory Board meets on Wednesday the 3rd, and there will be more talk about the proposed Second Street undercrossing. In the meeting packet are some notes about possible funding:
Budget items to consider (continuing January 6, 2016 WSRAB discussion)
  • Estimated $2 million available to fund projects in FY 2016-17
  • Consultant estimates to construct the under-crossing and extension of 2nd Street NW from Patterson Street NW to the Union Street Railroad Bridge is approximately $8.7 million; extension of 2nd Street NW/Marine Drive NW to Glen Creek Road NW is expected to cost around $5 million to $7 million; Agency Board/WSRAB direction to construct full improvement; detailed cost estimate to be completed in the summer 2016
  • Anticipate around 10% of the project cost, or $1.5 million, for engineering design and construction plans; Public Works Department is not recommending design next fiscal year until additional funding is available
  • Retain URA funds and 2018 bonding capacity could result in around $6 million to $8 million to finance construction
  • January 6, 2016 WSRAB discussion leaned toward focusing funds and efforts on the aforementioned larger projects, but there is the option to utilize around $100,000 in unspecified funds to complete design standards and changes to the zoning code; would reduce available funds for the larger projects.
  • January 6, 2016 WSRAB action to maintain the grant program, without increasing the funds in FY 2016-17
Mostly these are possibilities, options, hypotheticals, so it's not probably worth comment in detail. But do register, I think, the increasing talk of a transportation bond for 2018.

There's also information on the "outreach strategy" for the next formal phase, the "West Salem Business District Transportation Feasibility Study." You may recall from the last meeting ago that some immediately adjacent businesses had commented that they were unaware of the project. So even with open houses and mailings, things weren't getting through the filters of principals at businesses right on top of the proposed project's footprint. The outreach and communication components look to get more attention in this round.

WSRAB meets Wednesday the 3rd from 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM in the West Salem Public Library, 395 Glen Creek Road NW.


The North Gateway Redevelopment Advisory Board meets on Thursday and - Holy Smokes! - there's a ton of interesting details in the meeting packet. Chief among them is a draft list of projects. On the transportation side, they look a little underwhelming, incremental rather than transformative.

The North section and first priority (see map detail below)
It appears that only the north-most third will move forward for serious planning at this time. Other segments are "on hold."

The South section "on hold"

The railroad crossing - "on hold"
This detail from the north section (below) shows a traditional six-foot bike lane without separation, and this looks like a missed opportunity for a protected bike lane. With five auto lanes and higher speeds, Portland Road here will remain zoomy and a standard 1980s style bike lane will not attract new trips and new riders on bike. Instead would be an incremental improvement for those already biking the corridor.

Detail of the north section shows traditional six-foot bike lane
At the same time, the key gap here is at the railroad crossing, and until we fix that, other improvements will remain somewhat academic.

Zooming in on intersection with Bill Frey Drive:
Mostly about sidewalks
The work on the intersection at Bill Frey Drive shows the focus on sidewalks. Clearly the walking environment is primary as this plan moves forward.

Interesting to see is a table of "retail leakage." The yellow is in the original and shows sectors underserved, where people are leaving the area to shop or spend: Grocery, restaurant, general merchandise. Probably no surprises.
Retail leakage: Food, Restaurant, General Merchandise
There are several other parts of the total plan, and it may not be fair to focus on the streetscape without reference to the others. At the head of the list is a "public market" and "food hub" concept.

The Big Idea: A Food Hub and Public Market
Relative to the streets concepts, this is far more transformative and visionary! You might have an opinion about how viable it may or may not be, but in comparison with the street and transportation vision it is much more bold. Moves with higher risk and higher reward are more common in this part of the puzzle, it seems.

Other things are worth checking out as well.

The North Gateway Redevelopment Advisory Board meets Thursday the 4th at 8:00 AM in the Center 50+, Classroom A, 2615 Portland Road NE.  

1 comment:

Jim Scheppke said...

A real Mexican mercado in North Salem would be so cool! I have been to the Mercado in Portland and was kind of underwhelmed. It is more of a food cart pod than anything else. The indoor part is kind of lame. Maybe it will get better. There are probably better examples of a read mercado in the LA area, and of course in Mexico where most larger towns have one. They provide fresh produce and meats and fish and also the kind of stuff you already find at the M & S flea market on Fairgrounds (a little of everything). They also provide prepared foods of all kinds from stalls (not carts). There are plenty of recent immigrants to Salem who know what a real mercado is like and could be part of the planning team. If Salem had a real Mexican mercado it could be a regional draw. To invest URA money in this strikes me as a very good idea.