Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Salem Rivercrossing Task Force Meets to Recommend Alternative

Remember the open houses and public comment period on the bridge?

Tonight the Rivercrossing Task Force meets from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at Keizer City Hall, Iris B Room (930 Chemawa Road NE, Keizer).

From the agenda:
The purpose of this meeting is to review the alternatives in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), as well as the public and agency comments collected during the 60 day comment period. The meeting will discuss the key findings of the alternatives (No Build, 2A, 2B, 3, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, and 4E). The group will go through a “pair-wise comparison” using previously developed evaluation criteria to help narrow down alternatives, in their discussion for making a recommendation for a single locally preferred alternative to recommend to the Oversight Team.
The raw formal public comments are in a 51pp document with dinky type here. Just scanning them, you'll see lots of scepticism about the "purpose and need," about the analysis, and about the alternatives and financing, as well as a good deal of sentiment in favor of the "no build" option.

Easier to digest are the informal survey results, not part of the formal record.

Here too the "no build" option leads with a plurality. In the formal comments I suspect the "no build" has a larger plurality, but not probably a majority.

It will be interesting to see what the Task Force recommends - and whether members have been given enough time actually to read and consider in an informed way the comments. In late June, members hadn't seen the comments, and it was unclear whether they would be given enough lead time.

Other things that you might notice? There doesn't seem to be comment from the Salem Chamber of Commerce or much in the way from other business leaders or large employers. You'd think there'd be more cheerleading if it were so critical. It's possible the silences are more interesting than the comments.


Jim Scheppke said...

Thanks for this post. How come we weren't notified about this meeting, particularly by our local newspaper? And how come the S-J did not report on the results of the meeting today. The Fourth Estate is not doing its job.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

You are right the 4th Estate is not doing it job here!

In cost, a bridge would be at least an order of magnitude larger than the cost of the Courthouse Square fiasco, and still more than the financial mess at WESD. So by that metric alone you'd think it would merit 10x more in ink.

Not! Holy smokes.

I think there may be another Task Force meeting on the 24th. I also hope to get some feedback from Task Force members. I'm curious about the pair-wise matching, and I can think of brackets designed with bias for one or another alternate. How, for example, will the No Build be seeded?

Much more to come...

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Ah, but it's front page news today! (And certainly to my eye, the photo's caption, "traffic backs up on the marion street bridge" is a mismatch with the wide gaps between cars - no bumper-to-bumper back-up here!)