Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pioneer Cemetery Should Consider Crystal Lake Cemetery in Corvallis - Updated

On Thursday Friends of Pioneer Cemetery will address the Salem Parks and Recreation Advisory Board on access. The question of access in Pioneer Cemetery has been contentious and debate continues.

One nearby example of an historic cemetery that has walking and biking in and nearby is the Crystal Lake Masonic Cemetery operated by Benton County.

Crystal Lake Cemetery in Corvallis (center) borders sports complex and housing
The Crystal Lake Sports Field is on one side and Lily City Park and a new 34 unit condo development, Coho Ecovillage, on the other.  I have not been able to make an on-site visit, and I have a query into Benton County, but folks in Corvallis report that the cemetery has multiple openings that permit travel through it, and that the increased activity adjacent to the cemetery has improved (not diminished!) cemetery security.

While the situation is not identical - the cemetery, for example, doesn't constitute a barrier between residential neighborhoods the way the block of City View and Pioneer Cemetery does - there are some intriguing similarities, and it seems like it would be useful for the City and Benton County to compare notes.

District Roadmaster John W. Irvine and County Judge Grover P. Terrell are buried in the Pioneer Cemetery. They worked on the area's first bicycle paths circa 1900.

Updated, Friday, August 10th

Click to Embiggen clips
As part of her testimony against the path in the Bike and Walk Salem Plan, Elisabeth Potter has included an article from the January 29th, 2005 paper! It contains Dave Moss's advocacy for the path connection, and remains interesting in light of his reversal. Needless to say, the reasons he said it was a good idea are still reasons it's a good idea. Potter seems to have hardened her stance, and here in 2005 suggests an openness to conversation, exploration, and negotiation that has dissipated.

Also interesting in her testimony are photos from February and April of this year, showing toppled monuments.

Her inference is that things will get worse with more access. But of course another interpretation is that the current system is not working quite right, and perhaps a way that increases eyes and ears on the cemetery will actually increase cemetery security.

As we look at neighboring regions, it is interesting to note that Portland Parks just bought a parcel adjacent to Riverview Cemetery and looks to put in a mountain biking area! Plainly they don't see this activity as incompatible with the historic nature of the cemetery.

1 comment:

Doug's Transportation Ramblings said...

I'm a little perplexed by the perspective that folks walking and bicycling on a path through the cemetery is disrespectful of the dead, while folks walking their dogs in the cemetery apparently is okay with those opposing the path.