Imagine Salem’s historic City Center enhanced - into a revitalized, welcoming, and vibrant community gathering place, a magnet for visitors, where unique, distinctive establishments are waiting to be discovered.But will the bridges that are on the table contribute to this vision?
Imagine a City Center that bustles from morning to night, with a diverse array of special places to shop, live, work, and enjoy entertainment.
Now, that vision is ready to come to life!
On the contrary, the bridge will by-pass downtown Salem and make Keizer Station the preferred shopping destination for many.
Is this really the policy goal we want to enact for Downtown Vision 2020?
Apart from the incoherence here in the Vision 2020 goals, the project has backed into the wrong solution. The bridge solution is to remove regional traffic from downtown by a by-pass.
But we want more people coming downtown, not fewer! So the goal should be not to get traffic out of downtown, but to make it easy for people to reach downtown, to make more people want to reach downtown, and to make it easy for people to avoid short-hop trips by drive-alone trip. The solution is better circulation and access for downtown, not a by-pass: For addition, not subtraction.
The bridge that's on the table is a giant curette for downtown.
While may seem convenient to remove a certain amount of traffic from the downtown bridges, as new habits are formed, Keizer Station will gain pre-eminence over downtown. Just look at the history of Lancaster Drive and its shopping malls. How is that the vision for downtown?
For more on the River Crossing see a summary critique and all breakfast blog notes tagged River Crossing.