On paper the project looks promising, offering the prospect of distinct improvements.
- What should the balance be between: Vehicular capacity, parking (on-street), bicycle, and pedestrian travel?
- How can downtown become a more appealing place to live, work, shop, and play while continuing to move people and goods?
- What would enhance circulation, mobility, and safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users to and through downtown?
People travel in multiple ways, and want to feel they have a menu of choices for "how to get there." Hopefully the study will look at the whole system and honor the fact that people and their mobility choices are not monolithic, and that for downtown, it matters less how they get there and more that lots of people get there and find it easy to get there.
The existing system instead tends to enforce travel by drive-alone car trip - most people don't feel they really have a choice. If the Eugene downtown pedestrian mall was one kind of failed monoculture, the ways Salem's downtown is too much like an auto mall is another kind of failed monoculture.
The mobility study needs to be people-focused, not engine-focused, with a recognition that robust mobility choice is central for a lively, diverse downtown.