|February letter on undercrossing|
As you know, the West Salem Business District Action Plan is proposing a below-grade undercrossing here. But since it is not yet official in any adopted plan, the approval conditions for the Goodwill have to proceed behind a veil of ignorance. So we are likely to find ourselves in the absurd position of having required Goodwill to build at significant cost an at-grade roadbed and access point on Wallace only to find the City tearing it out after a decade or less.
I don't know what the legal and administrative answer is here, but from an ordinary citizen's perspective, this is stupid.
If we think we're going to build an undercrossing here, any work that is required of the Goodwill development should be useful in the future and be oriented towards that project - not something to be wasted by built-in obsolescence and planned demolition.
Or, if the redevelopment project with the Goodwill promises to render the undercrossing impossible, then we should give up that project immediately.
| Driveway locations on Second Street NW|
(not part of letter or packet, but from 2015 Staff Report)
|Goodwill: Overpass = "unworkable"|
|The problem of the crossing was known|
(City of Salem approval, December 17th, 2015)
This was totally, 100%, something we should have anticipated.
It's something of a self-own, an own-goal.
The City unnecessarily complicated the project for a connection across Wallace along Second Street. The City should have insisted on better safeguards for the likelihood of a grade separated crossing, and Goodwill should have anticipated this outcome in their design. Even though there are words here, in action both parties proceeded as if the grade separated crossing was not going to happen. A better design could have accommodated both Goodwill's needs for freight access and a future crossing of Wallace Road.
Also in the meeting packet, the proposed urban renewal budget for next year now includes $1.5 million to "Initiate design of 2nd Street NW improvements and the crossing with Wallace Road NW following Agency direction regarding whether the concept is an over or under crossing." So it looks like they're moving forward with something, even though there's still a lot of uncertainty about what it will be exactly.
The uncertainty is compounded because although the City did not insist Goodwill account for the likelihood of the grade separated crossing, the City is trying to act as if the Salem River Crossing is going to happen. Uncertainty for one, but certainty for the other? The stances should have been reversed!
Plans for Second Street, Edgewater, and Wallace Road are all messed up because the City is trying to accommodate in overt ways, and sometimes in more silent or even secretive ways, the general plan for the SRC here.
If the City would just ditch the foolishness of the current SRC plan, better configurations for Second Street, Edgewater, and Wallace would likely snap into focus. The current mode of "trying to have it both ways," with and without the SRC, is leading to unfocused planning and messy outcomes like this with Goodwill. It probably also increases degree of difficulty for the Congestion Relief Task Force.
(See previous posts tagged "Edgewater District" for more on the history of the grade separated crossing concept and discussion of the Goodwill project.)
WSRAB meets Wednesday the 7th from 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM in the West Salem Public Library, 395 Glen Creek Road NW.
There's also a bit of a rhubarb at the Planning Commission tonight, Tuesday the 6th.
|You can see the gaps in the street connectivity,|
especially along the north-south streets.
The project is premised on a sale of the land, and that transaction has gone sideways. The seller has appealed the approval of the development.
Concurrently, a neighbor is also appealing it from straight-forward NIMBY perspectives.
The City's official position on the contested sale is a kind of agnosticism:
The City is not weighing in on that dispute. The Planning Commission does not have the authority to make decisions regarding the land sale contract....It had seemed obviously prudent to delay until the dispute was resolved, but this is not how things go, and apparently it is not at all obvious. So that was interesting to learn.
[I]f the tentative plan is approved and the result of the arbitration between the applicant and property is that the agreement had terminated and the applicant does not have the right to purchase the land for the approved subdivision, the tentative subdivision approval will expire and the development will not proceed, especially since in order to record the final plat of the subdivision in the County Deed records, the plat must bear the signature of the land owner.
Alternatively, if the tentative plan is approved and the result of the arbitration is that the agreement is still valid, completion of the sale could occur and the applicant, as the new land owner, could then proceed with completion of the project and the recording of the final subdivision plat.
The other appeal is not very interesting.
|Between Holiday and Nohlgren, a new Doughton would be useful|
|A Tier 1 priority bikeway here on Nohlgren/Bonham|
So any argument about the development degrading walking and biking is specious. And while the upper estimate of 300-some new trips generated by the development might sound like a lot, they will easily be absorbed by the street system. Neighborhood bikeways are recommended for low-traffic streets of no more than 1500 trips per day, and collectors accommodate considerably more. 300 or even 400 will be an increase, but not a dramatic one.
On balance a development here will be positive for walking and biking, and since it's all single-family development, it will not be much of a change from the surrounding neighborhood.
It's a routine kind of in-fill development, and there are no real reasons to delay or otherwise hinder it.
The Planning Commission meets at City Hall in Council chambers at 5:30pm on Tuesday the 6th.