Tuesday, November 24, 2009
SKATS adds Projects to Funding List; Includes Study of Kroc Center Access
Today the Salem-Keizer Area Transportation Study Policy Committee voted to add seven projects (and perhaps an 8th) to the Regional Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) as well as the Regional Transportation System Plan (RTSP).
Two of the projects were necessary to add because HB 2001 has specified funding for them, and any Federal funding requires that they be included in the regional TSP and TIP.
Widen Aumsville Highway at the Mill Creek Corporate Center from a two-lane street with roadside ditches to a three-lane section (minor arterial standards) with center turn lane, sidewalks, and bicycle lanes. The intersection at Kuebler Boulevard will be widened, including modifications to the traffic signal. ($4M from ODOT via HB 2001)
Enlarge I-5 at Kuebler Interchange by adding a westbound-to-southbound loop ramp, modifying the existing southbound off-ramp, and modifying eastbound-to-southbound on-ramp. ($15M from ODOT via HB 2001)
The other additions included:
Conducting a Salem-Parkway / Kroc Center Access Study. Fund a study of alternative projects and alignments, including potential overpasses and/or underpasses of Salem Parkway and the Portland and Western rail line, to improve access and safety to the new Salvation Army Kroc Center. (SKATS-STP-U funds)
Complete 12th Street Promenade at Mill Street: Improve pedestrian crossing at the intersections of 12th Street SE and Mill Street and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks at Mill Street.
Widen Gaffin Road SE to minor arterial standards from Cordon Road east to western border of the Salem Renewable Energy and Technology Center, including a new signal at Cordon Road with a left turn pocket on Gaffin Road.
Construct a roundabout at the Chemawa Road and Verda Lane intersection. Add turn lanes on 14th at Lockhaven.
In Turner, from the Union Pacific RR tracks west to 7th Street, widen Delany Street from 24' to 36' to include sidewalks, bike lanes, and storm water culverts.
The Kroc Center piece is particularly interesting, and there will be a meeting in early December to start the discussion. Earlier this year, when the center opened, we observed that getting to the center is very difficult for bicyclists, especially kids. Hopefully the project will focus on getting kids to the center via active forms of transportation, not on adults driving to the center. We'll be sure to follow this!
The inclusion of the 12th & Mill project suggests the City does not plan to fund it with the "Keep Salem Moving" road bond bike/ped funds.
By placing these projects in the RTSP and TIP, the project become eligible for Federal funding. Their inclusion does not mean they are necessarily funded.
The comment period for the RTSP and TIP updates will close on January 23, 2010. I don't believe they have published formally the process for comment.