Tuesday, December 29, 2009

MWVBTA Recommends Projects for $1.6M in Bond Funds

December 31st is the deadline for submitting ideas for the $1.6M from the Keep Salem Moving Bond for bicycle and pedestrian improvements.

The Mid-Willamette Valley Chapter of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance has submitted its list of recommended projects for the Bike and Pedestrian Safety Funds. (Once you click through, select "full screen" for all 6pp of the recommendations.)

There are fewer bike lanes to propose than we might have expected. The most pressing problems, the group decided, are crossing highways and other busy streets. Getting across the barriers, and not getting to the barriers, is the big deal. Moreover, lots of people don't feel comfortable in a 5-foot bike lane, and we believe low-traffic bicycle boulevards remain a superior choice for infrastructure.

The top projects are these:
Fix crossing at Commercial & Union St
Fix crossing at Liberty St & Union St.
Improve sections of Union St, Chemeketa St, and Winter St.
Fix crossing at Winter & Mission
Fix crossing and weave at Liberty & Commercial
Fix crossing at Fairgrounds & Winter
Fix River Road South Bike path and entry at Miller
Restore crossing of Front St. at State Street

These are mostly related to the Union Street Railroad Bridge connections, Bicycle Boulevards in central downtown, and two especially substandard connections south. We believe these will impact the largest numbers of commuters and help to create strategic transportation choices for the largest employment centers and their employees. Unfortunately $1.6M doesn't go very far.

There are lots of other worthy projects out there, spot improvements to parks and schools and other important neighborhood places. Fortunately, the new Safe Routes to Schools project and the Bicycle and Pedestrian updates to the Transportation System Plan will be able to drill into these in more detail.

No comments: