The intersection of Mission and Commercial is another dead-end for bikes. On the bike map, you can see the green elbow of Mission west of Commercial and turning south onto Saginaw.
The elbow looks promising. The bike lane on Commercial goes south and after it passes the library, at Mission it disappears for several blocks. The city has identified Saginaw as the preferred bike route until Saginaw dead-ends at the Cemetery. It is a low-traffic street and makes a detour where the bike lane is missing. At Hoyt the bike lane starts again on Commercial. This work-around functions for south-bound travel and supplies an important connection between segments of bike lane on Commercial.
But what about going north? What if you are coming into town and want to plot a route that uses Saginaw heading towards downtown?
Here's the intersection you confront at Mission and Commercial. Commercial is one-way going south. You can't turn left to go north on Commercial.
But you can't go straight, either, to reach north-bound Liberty. The east-bound lane on Mission forces you to turn right, south-bound on Commercial.
In order to cross Commercial to get going on Mission to reach Liberty, you have to cross three cross-walks. There is no cross-walk on the right/south side of the street. Awkward.
The new route for the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway handles the problem better. It directs you off Saginaw and onto Owens, and then to Liberty. In some ways, however, this defeats the purpose of a low-traffic alternative route, as it uses the bike lane on busy Liberty. Still, at least this is functional.*
But the problem points again, as we saw with Bush Park, to the need for a connected set of low-traffic alternatives to the Liberty/Commercial and 12th/13th couplets in inner south Salem.
Not all bicyclists are comfortable biking on busy streets. In fact, most bicyclists prefer low-traffic alternatives. Saginaw appears to be such an alternative, but it is missing essential northbound connections to downtown.
(* And it points out two completely different approaches to mapping: The Salem bike map shows facilities, what is there; the Scenic Bikeway map gives directions, how to get there. Only one of them is really functional.)