Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New to City Bicycling? Take the Intro to Smart Cycling Class!

Do you like to ride your bike at Minto, but wonder about taking it to the grocery store and navigating among cars?

This Saturday, July 3rd, League Cycling Instructor Gary Obery is starting a new class, "Introduction to Smart Cycling." Using the League of American Bicyclists curriculum, the ride will feature a 20 minute pre-ride presentation focusing on tips for riding safely on neighborhood and busy streets. You'll practice a few bicycle handling drills in the square before the ride.

Then out on the road! The ride course will take you through a variety of types of city streets and intersections. We'll stop periodically to talk about strategies to share the road, especially techniques to address auto drivers core concerns about bicyclists' predictability and visibility. You'll also learn techniques that address bicyclists concerns about auto drivers.

Together we can share the road!

So come learn the tips and skills that can sometimes take time to acquire. Minimum age 12. Minors must be accompanied by a parent. Helmets required. Bright clothing or safety vests encouraged.

The first session will be on Saturday, July 3rd from 10 am to 12 pm at the Wall of Water fountain on the south end of the Capitol Mall. Additional sessions are tentatively scheduled for the first Saturdays through October.

League Certified Instructor Gary Obery is the coordinator of this new ride. Please contact Gary at oberyfamily [at] comcast.net or 503-798-6534 if you have further questions.

Monday, June 28, 2010

City Council, June 28th

On the City Council agenda tonight is a proposed application and plan for the upcoming cycle of the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Grant program. There are also a couple of other items of interest for bicycling.

The Proposed Bike and Ped Grant App is Good, but could be Great

The City's Plan is to work on southeast Mill Street. One part is to put a pedestrian median on Mill and 17th, much like the one on Chemeketa and 17th. The larger part is a project at 12th and Mill. (Here's a picture looking north, showing Mill St, the RR crossing, the private skybridge, and the south end of the promenade.)

The Mill St Bicycle and Pedestrian Grant Application draws together the Railroad quiet zone safety improvements, completing the 12th Street Promenade, and making the difficult crossing of 12th street easier.

The project's emphasis on pedestrian medians really doesn't help bicycle traffic that much. Especially on 12th street, the medians will not create pauses or pulses in traffic that will help people on bikes move out into or across traffic. If they want to assert the right of way, people will need to dismount and "act like pedestrians." The medians, and especially things that suggest people on bikes dismount to walk, are not very robust solutions for people on bikes. Moreover, the location of the pedestrian median on 12th Street ignores the established crossing pattern on the north side of the intersection. Because the roadway is wider on the south side, it is easier to place the median there, but just because a solution is easier doesn't make it the best.

In the cover letter with the grant announcement, ODOT representatives and the state Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee said, "Think Big."

From this standpoint, the project is somewhat disappointing, an expression of modest expectations rather than grand vision.

In any event, the proposed improvements will make walking easier, and it is perhaps best to call this mainly a walking project rather than a walking and biking project.

Two other bits

Also disappointing is to see more money directed to the Rivercrossing EIS Intergovernmental Agreement. This is the wrong project at the wrong time, and it is disappointing to see the City and region continue to prioritize drive-alone trips and to waste scarce resources in this way.

Finally, there is a report from the Environmental Action Team. We'd like to see the city expand their fleet of battery assist bicycles so that people going short distances to meetings, especially in the fair weather, might be able to bike easily. Right now, the goal of "reducing fuel use" is met solely through different kinds of automobiles. It could more easily and dramatically be met through some portion of mode shifting from autos to bicycles.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sun! Progress, and new Bike Parking

Yesterday the Boys and Girls Club Cycle Challenge enjoyed a terrific day. Their course took them by the old Waconda station on the Oregon Electric.

The station is empty, ruins now, and sometimes vandalized. But it's a reminder of the robust interurban rail we used to enjoy, and to which we need soon to return.

Meanwhile, on Commercial Street in downtown, the pedestrian bulb-outs are well on their way to completion. Soon the road will be repaved, restriped to three lanes, and filled with sharrows! This photo is from May.

And here's one from earlier this week. Almost done! Hopefully they'll be reinstalling the bike racks soon.

Elsewhere, there's a couple of new parking installations to note.

Email and blogs were full of notes about the new bike parking at Word of Mouth. Santiam Bicycle donated a rack and it was just installed.

The rack is on the south side of the building in the grass, just below the bay window in the bar area.

Out at Pringle Creek Community they just installed three racks made out of old steam pipe. What a great example of creative reuse!

These are located in the lot at Painter's Hall. The Hall has a new cafe open until 2pm on weekdays. It's a gloriously pleasant space!

Friday, June 25, 2010

It's Fuel-Free Friday - And the Sun says Yes!

The sun's out and it's perfect for a Fuel-Free Friday!

Think about walking and biking today and this weekend as much as you can!

Tape a reminder next to your car ignition, and ask yourself whether you really need the car for each trip.

Think about the pelicans!

Remember there's valet bike parking at the Salem Saturday Market.

The Boys and Girls Club Family Fun Ride.

And Kidical Mass.

(Burn and Bird Images: Sean Gardner, Reuters & Getty Images)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Breakfast on Bikes - Friday, June 25th

Here's one way to make a Fuel-Free Friday Fun - how about Breakfast on Bikes!

Friday, June 25th, we'll be at the North Office Mall Building on Winter street NE from 7am to 9am with coffee, pastries, and fruit for you.

Mechanics from Santiam Bicycle will also be available for quick check derailleur adjustment, lube, and tire inflation!

See you then!

Thanks also to our sponsors - please support them with your business!
Cascade Baking Company
Coffee House Cafe
LifeSource Natural Foods
Salem Bicycle Club
Willamette University Sustainability Council

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Call for Volunteers: 2010 Summer Bike Count!

The Salem-Keizer summer bike count enters its third year! The data it generates helps inform decisions about bicycle infrastructure, funding, and future demand.

And it's time to do it again! Help document the way biking is growing in the Salem area. We need volunteers to count bicycles at key intersections. Counts are performed on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, and occur during rush hour - either between 7am and 9am, or between 4pm and 6pm.

If you'd like to participate, we have free pizza and soda for you! On Thursday, July 1st at 5pm, the City of Salem, Salem-Keizer Area Transportation Study, and Mid-Willamette Valley Bicycle Transportation Alliance will hold a training and orientation. It will last about an hour. Please RSVP to salembikes [at] gmail [dot] com.

If you can't attend, not to worry! The counts aren't rocket science and the count sheets have instructions. If you've done it before, and have a favorite place, you could probably even get started this week! Email salembikes [at] gmail [dot] com and we'll get you going!

Happy Biking!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Field Guide Filmmakers Stop in Salem

Thursday Nick Peterson and Mary DeFreese biked from Portland to show their film, Field Guide to November Days. It's part of a 5 week, 11 stop, bicycle tour of the west coast!

Thursday's showing was at the High Street Cinema, and Nick and Mary met fellow bicyclists at Clockworks Cafe before biking over to the Cinema. At Clockworks they freshened up and changed into street clothes for the showing. We talked about Portland Road, about bicycle infrastructure and advocacy in Salem, and about their wild segment on I-5 in Washington. After Salem they were biking to Eugene for a showing last night. It was great to meet them and inspiring see the DIY spirit in action!

Next up is a longer segment down to Eureka and a trip down the California coast. They're blogging about the tour, so check here to follow their progress!

Thanks for stopping by and best wishes on the Epic Bicycle Tour!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

President Obama Comments on the Gulf Oil Disaster

President Obama spoke on the Gulf oil disaster this evening in his first Oval Office Address.
This oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced. And unlike an earthquake or a hurricane, it's not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days. The millions of gallons of oil that have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico are more like an epidemic, one that we will be fighting for months and even years.

We now have nearly 30,000 personnel who are working across four states to contain and clean up the oil. Thousands of ships and other vessels are responding in the Gulf. And I've authorized the deployment of over 17,000 National Guard members along the coast.
For decades, we have known the days of cheap and easily accessible oil were numbered. For decades, we've talked and talked about the need to end America's century-long addiction to fossil fuels. And for decades, we have failed to act with the sense of urgency that this challenge requires. Time and again, the path forward has been blocked -- not only by oil industry lobbyists, but also by a lack of political courage and candor.

The consequences of our inaction are now in plain sight.
And today, as we look to the Gulf, we see an entire way of life being threatened by a menacing cloud of black crude.
We cannot consign our children to this future. The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now. Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash America's innovation and seize control of our own destiny.
Now, there are costs associated with this transition. And there are some who believe that we can't afford those costs right now. I say we can't afford not to change how we produce and use energy -– because the long-term costs to our economy, our national security, and our environment are far greater.
Just one day a week. Reduce your gas consumption by one day a week.

Monday, June 14, 2010

City Council, June 14th

Council this evening contains lots of bits and pieces. No direct decision on bicycling matters, but many with implications for the way the City will continue to approach transportation.

The finalized City Budget comes before Council, and it's sad to read the $136, 500 whacked for sidewalks and employee transit.

"Free" Parking
The Downtown Parking District is up for renewal. The total budget is $2,617,710 for 2314 parking spots. That's an annual cost per spot of $1,131.25. Over a thousand dollars per year per spot is the cost of "free" parking.

Transportation Enhancement Grant Proposal
This year the City appears poised to use both the Oregon Transportation Enhancement Grant and the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Grant to complete the railroad "quiet zone" on the Union Pacific line.

In particular, Public Works is bringing the Transportation Enhancement proposal to Council tonight. Because of the location of the Union Pacific switching yard, just south of the railroad station and adjacent to the historic cannery sites, the quiet zone project and railroad safety improvements for the Hines Street crossing is especially complicated. The bond measure allocated $1.2M for the crossings, and this crossing alone is currently estimated at $1.5M. Public Works proposes to apply for a TE grant to complete this crossing work.

We expect Public Works to propose a similar project for Mill street at the RR crossing (and perhaps with other pieces on 12th, 17th, and other cross streets - which would be a significant bikeway upgrade) for the Bicycle and Pedestrian Grant.

It is disappointing that a signature bicycle or pedestrian project must compete with the railroad quiet zone for these same dollars. We wish a better funding source could have been identified, and regret the missed opportunity to pursue a high visibility connection for people who walk and bicycle. At the same time, creating the quiet zone and improving the rail crossings for people who walk and bike is an important step in improving our city's relationship with rail. This is an example of where our auto-centrism forces other transportation activity to the margins to compete over scarce dollars.

2011 Legislative Agenda
Finally, the City is starting work on identifying their legislative priorities for the 2011 Oregon State Legislative session. Since Salem does not employ its own lobbyist, it works with the League of Oregon Cities. The legislative committee is sending to Council their preliminary list of priorities for the League to weigh as it forms its League-wide legislative agenda. Three of the seven priorities for the City involve transportation directly or indirectly:
E. Reauthorize the Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) to leverage local investments in energy conservation, fuel conservation, renewable energy projects, as well as recruitment and expansion of renewable energy resource equipment manufacturing facilities.

A. Support an urban growth boundary agenda that would provide for a more efficient urban growth management.

T. Ensure that transportation land use planning requirements, especially those established to address greenhouse gas emissions and other air quality issues are developed with certain caveats:
1. Cities are stakeholders in the policy-making process and are to be included in all discussions.
2. A sense of proportionality should be maintained, taking into account the transportation sector's contribution to the problem.
3. There must be a committment to identifying and collecting new revenue to assist cities with compliance.
4. There is clarity with regard to governance authority and accountability.
5. Recognition that "one size does not fit all," meaning that rules must be flexible enough to allow cities the right to determine and respond to local and regional needs.
6. Requirements are based on outcomes rather than formulas and honors regional transportation planning efforts.
7. Rules factor the effect of market forces (cost of fuel, availability of alternative technology, etc.) in achieving goals.
8. Attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality while stil supporting economic development.
The land use planning preferences here tend towards weakening current land use planning and greenhouse gas goals. In a "city's rights" sort of argument, the City asks for greater autonomy to set urban growth management and greenhouse gas goals, regulations, and compliance. But in an environment that generally resists these goals and values, the request for greater autonomy is a request for things to stay the same, rather than a desire to undertake the harder work of change. Things are more complicated than this, of course, but the trend is to ask for weaker rather than stronger action on climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, and changing energy costs and sourcing.

MWVBTA Meeting Tuesday, June 15th

The June meeting of the Mid-Willamette Valley chapter of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance will be Tuesday, the 15th, from noon to 2:00 p.m. at the Sassy Onion.

Agenda topics will include:

For Discussion:
Salem Greenway Trail project
State @ Front, Carousel - RR crossing
bike route mapping project
2010 summer bike counts

Reports and Updates:
SBC bike education ride project
Breakfast on Bikes
Boys & Girls Club Cycle Challenge
Kidical Mass
The all-by-bike film at the (old) Salem Cinema
Brief reports on the Alice Awards and the Bike Summit
Bike Safety Ed debriefing

Other stuff as time permits.

If you are a member of the BTA, are interested in the BTA, or would just like to make Salem a better place to bike, please join us!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bike Awesome Posters and World War II Propaganda

As many know, Pedalpalooza started in Portland yesterday. The Mercury, a Portland weekly, devoted their entire issue yesterday to bicycling. These are some posters* of the artwork they commissioned for the issue.

And the posters have a cool WPA thing going! They also recall a related moment, just a few years later.

In her series of Salem historical snapshots, Virginia Green mentioned Scrappo. Here are the two photos in the Salem Historical Photo collection.
Pictured is "Scrappo" ten tons of scrap iron and steel that were welded together almost overnight to make up the 30-foot high robot, who made his appearance in the Marion County court house square on August 1, 1942. The Marion county-Salem city scrap program started officially at 12:15 p.m. with Gene Vandenynde, city salvage committee chairman, acting as master of ceremonies, aided by welders from the plants of Lee Eyerly, A. C. Haag company, and Salem Iron Works, all of whom donated their time. The great big talkative robot was built and welded together in the night hours. With Lee Eyerly, Al Gerlinger, and A. C. Haag supervising the job, it required three hours from 7 a.m. to 10 o'clock to erect "Mr. Scrap Iron Scrappo."
What's keeping us from mobilizing like we did during the Depression and WWII? Wouldn't it be great to see City Hall or the County Courthouse embrace bicycle transportation?

Climate change and peak oil are different kinds of crises, but if we start having big resource wars, especially over water, the analogies will be all too close.

*Posters, designed by Script & Seal, are available for purchase here (there are several more!). Sarah Mirk of the Merc writes about the design work here.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Make it a Fuel-Free Friday

You've probably seen this photo already. Not sure there's more to be said.

Make tomorrow a fuel-free day. Recruit your friends. It's serious.

If you can't do it Friday, think about making Saturday a fuel-free day.

(Bird in surf: AP Photo/Charlie Riedel. More photos here.)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Bike by and Say "Hi" - Congressman Schrader at the Market!

On Saturday when you're out for your morning bike ride, stop by the Salem Saturday Market and tell Congressman Schrader you support bicycle transportation! Ask for his support of the Complete Streets Act of 2009 and of increased funding for active transportation!

From the email:
Saturday June 12, 2010
Salem Congress on Your Corner
8:30am to 9:30am
Salem Farmer’s Market
Corner of Summer and Marion Streets NE
Salem, OR 97301

Wouldn't it be great for him to see an entire peloton!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Meet Filmmakers behind Field Guide to November Days

Join the Epic Bicycle Tour!

Thursday, June 17th meet filmmakers Nick Peterson & Mary DeFreese and bike to the High Street Cinema for a showing of the bikey-est film to hit Salem since Breaking Away! - Field Guide to November Days.

They filmed by bike, featured bikes in the film, and are touring by bike - can you get any bikier?!*

The press summary says:
Matt and Natalie, recently separated from each other, resume their relationship after a chance meeting. Passion clouds their perception and they soon fall back into destructive patterns. Further complicating the situation, they are each exploring ideas about their own mortality. After time, jealousy and problems with communication resurface and they separate, once again. To cope with the loss, Natalie isolates herself and experiments with a radically different place in society. Matt finds solace in his friendship with Christian, who is gay, but is confused by their companionship and begins to question his own sexual identity.

Field Guide was made entirely by bicycle (except for a single drive to the coast) and premieres May, 2010.

Starting June 10th, 2010 Mary and Nick will be biking over 1500 miles from Vancouver, B.C. to San Diego, CA and screening Field Guide along the way. Details for the 10 city tour are here.

The all-ages Salem fun starts 5:30pm on the 17th at Clockworks Cafe. Get a cup of Stumptown coffee, meet the filmmakers, and then get ready for a short ride at 6:30pm through downtown to the old Salem Cinema screen, now called the High Street Cinema.

Last month the film premiered in Portland, and here's the Merc, Willamette Week, and the Oregonian.

(For an added bonus, lead actor Joe Haege of 31 Knots recently announced that he'd joined an enlarged version of Menomena for touring. Here's a musical treat, Wet and Rusting (mp3) from Friend and Foe.)

*Well, we can think of the maximum bicyculum: 100% fixies! That would push it over the top.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Time to Revisit RR Crossing on Front and State?

The Statesman today has an article about the Boise Cascade site. While there are many intersecting issues with the idea, and the online comments get at many of them, something not mentioned is whether the difficulties developing the site provide an opportunity to revisit the decision to close State Street at the Carousel and further cut off Riverfront Park from downtown.

According to the article,
Salem Mayor Janet Taylor said the city is interested in buying portions of the 13-acre riverfront site in downtown for a park. The city's urban renewal agency is currently gathering information about the property and doing other due diligence, Taylor said.
In 2007, Salem developers Dan Berrey and Larry Tokarski teamed up to buy the Boise Cascade property at Commercial and Trade streets for $7.25 million. Mixed-use development has been proposed for the site.

Developers say they are making progress, but it's been slow going because of the troubled economy.

Taylor said "more than one parcel" has been offered for sale by the site's private developers. She declined to say how many acres were being considered for purchase

The decision to close State Street was based on a particular configuration with the development. As this configuration looks increasingly less likely, it would seem wiser to plan traffic circulation - including transit, foot-traffic, bicycle-traffic, and other active transportation - around the new development and not seek to impose an awkward street and circulation plan on a new development footprint. Moreover, once the bridge to Minto gains traction, its sight-lines and natural traffic flow would be along State Street.

(Background and more here, here, here, and here.)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

You Can do More: Make it a Fuel Free Friday!

In her Sunday Statesman column, K. Williams Brown wrote about Deepwater Horizon and her home state of Louisiana.

Her cri de coeur is as impassioned as it is distressed.
my stomach is full of burning rage, and it's beginning to scald my tongue. It has a little something to do with BP and a lot to do with wrecking my home state.

One of the most distressing parts is her sense of powerlessness.
As the daughter and granddaughter of oil men, I am well aware that we need oil. I like to get in my car and go places. I like when I want, say, a Diet Coke and I get to the store and can have one because someone else has driven and delivered it to the store, no doubt using gas. Offshore drilling is the price of admission to the way we live right now.
She resolves to make BP an outcast:
But, but, but. BP, you will never, ever again get a single penny out of me. On the hottest of days in the driest of deserts, I would not purchase a cold drink at your convenience marts. If I ran out of oil in the middle of the swamp and you were the only nearby station, I would walk miles in high heels, my blisters testament to this towering and consuming anger....

BP, you are dead to me, and I think you know exactly why.
And there's great value in this - vote with your dollars. Align your values with your economic decisions.

But maybe there's more she, you, anyone can do. Change doesn't happen overnight. Oil is an amazing substance, and it's not like the the market for it will - or even should - evaporate overnight. As she points out, the movement of freight is pretty important. And, I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure that bicycling emergency vehicles do not need to be part of the solution. Gas-guzzling ambulances and firetrucks are not the problem!

Life. It's about life and appropriately spending scarce resources for life and living.

What we must do is make better choices about how and when we use oil. Is soda always more important than shrimp?

Right now we use oil in the most profligate of ways. We need to treat it, its extraction, its uses, and its consumption much more thoughtfully and carefully. We need to value it correctly, especially as it becomes rarer and harder to extract. (Here's a local economist's take on pricing carbon better.)

A carbon tax, which will help with that pricing, is likely at some point down the road (though later than we'd like). In the meantime think about making every Friday a Fuel-Free Day!

(Detail of Oil-soaked crab: John David Mercer, Mobile Press-Register/AP)

Ride your Bike to the Market

And although shrimp isn't as big an industry on the Oregon coast as it is in the gulf, the idea of supporting home industry remains a good one. This Saturday the bike valet service opens at the Salem Saturday Market. You don't have to worry about locking up! Attendants will keep it secure.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Comment on Draft Salem-Keizer Metro Area Transportation Funding List

On Wednesday there will be an open house to learn about regional transportation funding and projects.
An Open House is scheduled for 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 2, 2010, in the MWVCOG conference room at 109 High St. SE, Salem, OR. The public is invited to attend the Open House to ask questions and provide comments to SKATS staff.

Now what does this acronymic pile-up mean, you ask!

What is a TIP?

The Salem-Keizer Area Transportation Study (SKATS) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) designated by the Governor to develop and implement a coordinated, comprehensive, and continuing planning process that addresses issues related to the transportation systems of regional significance in the urban area...

The SKATS Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) identifies the transportation projects within the SKATS MPO area expected to utilize federal and state funds during the six-year period (FY 10 through FY 15).
So the TIP is the regional list of projects to get funded with state and federal dollars.

STP-U funds are the federal dollars over which MPOs have full discretion to allocate as they please. Other funding streams have one or more strings attached and cannot be allocated freely.

(The regulations, funding streams, and governmental layers are not always easy to understand. This represents my best attempt. If you find errors, please drop a comment, and I'll correct it promptly. If you disagree with an interpretation, please also comment; lively debate would be great!)

Some Context: Salem-area Decisions Compared to Eugene's

Let's take a moment to look at how our neighbors to the south, the Lane COG, allocate these same dollars. An analysis of their STP-U allocations for 2004-2009 indicates that about 18% of the amount for capital projects (12% of the total) went directly to bike/ped infrastructure. This does not include transit, planning, transportation options, or other things that also benefit bicycling. This is direct investment in things like bicycle paths. (This excludes sidewalks and bike lanes built incidentally as parts of "urban upgrades" to collector and arterial roads.)

By comparison, in the draft 2010-15 TIP, less than 1% of the total STP-U funds will go to direct bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

At the MPO level, the Eugene area spends over 10 times as much on bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. It would seem they find bicycle and pedestrian facilities important and effective. It is also why Eugene is a gold-rated bicycle friendly community.

(The "Keep Salem Moving" road bond is consistent, designating only 2% to direct bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. Again this excludes bike lanes and sidewalks as part of "urban upgrades.")

The Draft TIP Deserves Comment in at least Three Ways

Here are some projects that we think deserve public comment. As it stands, the TIP represents a huge and unhealthy commitment to cars and drive-alone trips. Essentially, the document funds and ratifies the assumption that expanding road capacity is the only serious solution to congestion.

First, we'd like to see SKATS give greater attention to reducing drive-alone trips (single occupant vehicle or SOV trips).

Though the selection criteria include provisions to ask about drive-alone trips, we think SKATS could do more in the way of actually showing that one approach or another is certain to be "ineffective."

One way that SKATS indirectly hampers other approaches is through the paltry funding for Cherriots Rideshare. Rideshare is budgeted to receive $131,000 in 2010 moving to $168,000 in 2015. Relative to the millions of dollars each road project receives, that Rideshare gets less than 10% of a single project's funding is risible and signficantly reduces its effectiveness.

Two of the projects really need to be considered together. They form a pair that gives with one hand and takes away with the other.

As hopefully nearly everyone now knows, the Union Street Railroad Bridge opened again this last month. This bicycle and pedestrian bridge makes crossing the Willamette River much easier and more pleasant. As part of completing the connections near the bridgeheads, SKATS is helping to fund a paved path on the west side of the bridge to Glen Creek Road.

Glen Creek Road is obviously an important way to reach the bridge from surrounding neighborhoods. Crossing Wallace Road and Glen Creek, however, is extraordinarily difficult. In the TIP are plans to widen the intersection, add dual-turn lanes, and lengthen the crossing for both bicycles and pedestrians. We believe this will complicate the crossing and make it even less likely bicyclists and pedestrians will want to hazard the crossing and use the Union Street Railroad Bridge.

Some Next Steps or What You Can Do

(Here is the pdf of the full draft TIP. It is 58pp and 17MB. Here is a shorter brochure on it.)

In addition to the open house there will be a public hearing later this month:
A Public Hearing is scheduled at noon June 22, 2010, in the Senator Hearing Room in Courthouse Square at 555 Court St. NE, Salem, OR. The SKATS Policy Committee will accept public testimony and comments during the Public Hearing.

We ask SKATS to:
1) Give more attention to showing that approaches other than road widening are sure to be ineffective before committing to road widening.
2) Give a larger share of money to Cherriots Rideshare to support its ongoing effort to reduce drive-alone trips.
3) Better coordinate work at the Union St RR Bridge and Glen Creek Road to ensure that bicyclists and pedestrians can easily cross Wallace Road.

Comments can be emailed to:
Mike Jaffe (and copy Lori Moore and Councilor & Chair Dan Clem)
or faxed to:
503-588-6094 (attention Mike Jaffe)