Friday, November 2, 2012

Critics of $687 Million Salem River Crossing to Talk Sunday

The Salem River Crossing has a public estimated cost of $687 million. Courthouse Square's total cost, including the $23 million repair that is scheduled to start next week, is less than 10% of this. By orders of magnitude, the Salem River Crossing should get 10x as much attention!

But it's big and complicated, and so far the paper and public haven't spent nearly enough ink or time analyzing it, looking at the arguments for and against it, and perhaps most importantly talking about the people and interests of those who are trying to drive it.  

A talk on Sunday, the No 3rd Bridge Briefing, aims to change all that.

"The color of the bike shed" was a mid-century example to talk about ways we focus too often on unimportant but easy to grasp details and neglect the big picture, the overly complicated, and the costly.

Sometimes really important stuff slides by without enough conversation and analysis because it's overwhelming.

The NO 3rd Bridge Briefing will make it simple.  It will be Sunday, November 4th at 3 p.m. in the Anderson A meeting room at the Salem Public Library

Jim Scheppke and Scott Bassett, organizers of the the presentation, have even distilled a top 10 list to make it easy!
Top Ten Reasons to Oppose the Proposed 3rd Bridge
1. The 3rd Bridge should not be approved by the City Council until there is a plan to pay for it.
2. The 3rd Bridge is unlikely to be paid primarily with federal or state dollars – the cost will be on us.
3. The 3rd Bridge proposal is based on outdated traffic counts and projections of growth.
4. The 3rd Bridge’s 75 acres of new right-of-way will dislocate over 160 homes and businesses.
5. The 3rd Bridge turns Pine and Hickory Streets in North Salem into major arterials.
6. The 3rd Bridge is $5.5 million over its original $2 million planning budget.
7. The 3rd Bridge will destroy the peace and tranquility of Wallace Marine Park.
8. The 3rd Bridge plan ignores solutions involving better transit and better bike lanes.
9. The 3rd Bridge creates visual and noise pollution for neighborhoods in Highland and West Salem that will find themselves under an elevated freeway.
10. The 3rd Bridge does not have support from a majority of the Task Force that worked for six years to research the options.
You may remember Scott Bassett's piece in May about the Salem River Crossing:

The talk will have three speakers, united in scepticism about the bridge, and each coming to the project with a different perspective.  According to Jim and Scott
The featured speaker will be Scott Bassett, a transportation policy analyst for fifteen years, who has been following the planning process for the 3rd Bridge. Bassett will describe in detail the 3rd Bridge plans that will be considered by the Salem City Council at a public hearing on November 5th at 6:30 p.m. He will also show how the need for a new bridge is now highly questionable in light of declining traffic on the existing bridges, and he will present his ideas on how to relieve congestion at peak hours without spending many hundreds of millions on a new bridge.

Also speaking at the briefing will be a member of the project Task Force who is not in favor of building a 3rd bridge. Doug Parrow, who represented the Bicycle Transportation Alliance on the Task Force, will give an insider’s perspective on the project, and explain why he believes better infrastructure for bike transportation is one answer to relieving traffic congestion.

Bob Krebs, a member of the project Oversight Team for the Salem-Keizer Transit District Board, will share how planning for the 3rd bridge will proceed from here. The District has not taken a position on the 3rd bridge. Krebs will also share his ideas about how better mass transit between West Salem and downtown might be a viable solution to relieve peak hour traffic congestion.

Following the presentation there will be time for audience members to have their questions about the 3rd Bridge answered by the expert panel. Panel members will also explain how citizens can participate most effectively at the Salem City Council public hearing on November 5th.
Mark your calendars for the talk on Sunday and City Council on Monday!

For more on the River Crossing see a summary critique and all breakfast blog notes tagged River Crossing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I LOVE that the caption for the SJ photo is "Traffic backs up on the Marion Street bridge." That's not backed-up traffic! Those are free-flowing vehicles.