In advance of the Downtown Circulation Study, which will assess converting a substantial part of the one-way grid to two-way traffic, City Council will consider converting one block of State Street, between Liberty and Commercial.
The former Bicycle Manager for the Oregon Department of Transportation used to say that the single best thing Salem could do for bicycling was to ditch the one-way grid and return to two-way traffic. This is a step!
Oh, it's not perfect. More could be done for mobility choice. I hope more consideration will be given to the lane widths and making sure people who bike are not crowded against the rear of angle parking and in the door zones. Maybe more sharrows are in order here, too. I also wish the parking were reconfigured. But this is a step, and after the downtown circulation study there should be more steps. I'm excited about this.
In a set of comments on specific bills, the Council Legislative Priorities also includes support for a fee on studded tires. It's not a ban, but a fee would help offset the damage studded tires create and in an incremental way improve the increasingly wretched and problematic ways we fund roads. This is also good news.
Capital Improvement Plan
Council will hold a public hearing and consider the final Capital Improvement Plan (for more discussion see here.)
In an information report Council will hear that the bank drive-through at State and Commercial has been approved. (It seems likely that making State two-way is also linked somewhat to the drive-through, as this will make access from the south of town easier for both the bank and the Pringle Square/Boise project.)
Council will adopt revised Council Goals.
Goal: Pursue opportunities to improve overall bike, pedestrian and vehicular connectivity.
TRANSPORTATION CONNECTIVITYIt's hard to see how improving bike, pedestrian, and vehicular mobility doesn't also reduce congestion and enhance mobility, and I worry an ostensibly innocuous tweak indicates a retreat, since "congestion" effectively always implies cars.
Goal: Pursue opportunities to improve overall bike, pedestrian, and vehicular connectivity;reduce congestion; and enhance mobility.
System Development Charges
Council will consider a change to the Transportation System Development Charges to add a new "eligible project," Linwood St NW. I don't understand this, and it seems like this is an area where greater consideration should be given to transportation solutions with better mobility choice, but there also seems to be great inertia for maintaining traditional and car-centric funding patterns. There's more here to understand - if you know, please pitch in with comments!
Minto Bridge and Path
Finally, on the Minto Bridge and Path, there's some $60K in a change order on the design of the Minto Bridge and Path and a separate resolution to allocate an additional $60K in Urban Renewal funds. I can't tell if these are linked, however.
Perhaps more interesting is the "preferred route" on the path system:
* There will be bad news in a separate post tomorrow.