|Methodist vigil for Orlando Victims|
(via Statesman Journal)
|Refugee Resettlement Welcome (via Statesman Journal)|
A couple of days later, there was a celebration and welcome for those participating in the Refugee Resettlement program here. This took place in Peace Plaza, as you would expect for something planned locally.
Neither event could really be structured to attract passers-by. On the corner of Trade and Commercial, one of them a State Highway, part of OR-22, the other part of the Liberty/Commercial couplet with more lanes through downtown than I-5, the Sculpture Garden is hemmed in by car traffic and doesn't attract much foot traffic. Peace Plaza is mostly invisible from Commercial Street and totally invisible from Liberty Street. Even though it is technically an outdoor space, it is nearly enclosed like a room. Public events there feel private, almost by invitation only. Presumably, most if not all of the participants arrived by car to the Conference Center or to the Civic Center.
|Nursing home kitty-corner to Sculpture Garden|
with some ground floor retail/cafe space with a plaza (CB|Two)
At any rate, under present conditions, both events underscored Salem's lack of any place that really functions as a Town Square, places where people naturally congregate, and places that have vital edges with a variety of scheduled and unscheduled activity.
The downtown neighborhood association meets tonight, Tuesday the 21st, and they have several transportation items on the agenda:
- Bike Boulevards Update/Angela Obery and Michael Livingston
- Construction plans for Mission Street SE, Union Street bikeway and Church & High Street bike lanes/Julie Titchbourne, Public Works Department
- A proposal to authorize Land Use Committee Chair Woody Dukes to speak with Ward 1 Councilor Chuck Bennett on behalf of the Board in opposition to the proposed drive-through at 205 Church Street SE (the Starbucks coffee shack).
The Englewood neighborhood association doesn't anything on the agenda, but the minutes from the last meeting had one interesting tidbit.
Salem Area Trails Alliance had more detail on funding sources for the proposed Bike Park for Geer Park: $13,000 in own fund-raising, a whopping $51,000 from the Withnell Family, and the $30,000 from Rotary. Withnell had earlier announced a match for $5,000 - so it would be very significant if the $51,000 is not a typo in the minutes but is an increase by an order of magnitude.
NEN meets Tuesday the 21st, at 6:30pm in the Salem First Church of the Nazarene, 1550 Market Street NE.