Friday, November 16, 2012

The Sidewalkification of Bicycling, Leaves - Friday Newsbits

B+'s note on fall color on D Street reminded me to check in on the railroad quiet zone projects on D Street and on Market Street.

Good thing signs don't pile up like leaves in the street!
But first!  The fall leaf haul will be on December 1st:
Compost your leaves and grass clippings at the Fall Leaf Haul on Saturday, December 1, 2012, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. This event provides a way for homeowners to drop off grass clippings and leaves (no tree limbs accepted), and to turn them into compost locally. The program is designed for Salem residents only (no commercial landscapers, please). This event also helps keep leaves out of storm drains, reducing the potential for clogged storm drains and flooding.

This year’s collection locations include the following Salem sites:

State Fairgrounds Lana Avenue NE Gate Lana Avenue NE and Silverton Road NE

Sprague High School 2373 Kuebler Road S

Wallace Marine Park East End of Glen Creek Road NW
In addition to clogging drains, leaves in the street also pose difficulties for people on bike - they're slick, can hide inducements to involuntary dismounts, and the resulting slalom then brings people on bike closer to pesky cars.  If you have neighbors blowing leaves into the streets, let 'em know about the fall leaf haul and remind 'em about the green barrels for yard debris!

Quiet Zone

The crossing on D didn't seem much further along than it had got in August (though I have been told the City agreed that sharrows at the crossing were a good idea), and all the action was at the apartment complex on the corner of D and Garnet that's getting a new driveway.

At the other end of Garnet, though, construction seemed to be on a temporary hiatus.

Garnet and Market
But the sidewalkification of bicycling was on display.

At Mill if you want to cross 12th or get on the Promenade - use the sidewalk.

On Chemeketa if you want to cross 12th - use the quasi-sidewalk on the Promenade.

Sidewalkification: Curb cut and ramp at Market and Garnet
And here at the new dead-end on Garnet at Market. This wasn't a surprise.  The drawing shown to City Council in June does, however, appear to show a somewhat wider sidewalk and intersection, and since then the width may have got value-engineered a bit.

In any case, all across the City it's like the solution for everything is to force people on bike up onto the sidewalk in order to act like people on foot. And here the right-angle, as it was on Kuebler, is narrow and tight.

Sidewalkification on Kuebler:  Photo by David Cary
Even if it's an exaggeration to say the sidewalk is the solution for everything right now, it certainly seems like most of the significant projects for "bike facilities" this summer and fall involve these sidewalks and quasi-sidewalks rather than travel lanes of one kind or another in the roadway.

(If we don't want people biking on the sidewalks downtown, why do we force them to bike on the sidewalks elsewhere!? It's a trap!)

Boise Redevelopment

In other news, it looks like the Boise team is going to submit a new proposal for apartments. There's even a different name on it, and at least in the preliminary piece, "Pringle Square LLC" was nowhere to be seen.

Hopefully the new design will escape the genericness of "developer common" and achieve something more stylish, more lovely, and more integrated with downtown's many uses.

More to come, obviously!

Sunday Update on Quiet Zone

On Mill at 12th the City added sharrows! With the travel lanes constrained and highly channelized by the new median treatments, crossing the rail tracks really requires that you take the lane. This won't solve all the problems at the crossings, but it's very helpful to alert drivers that passing will not be possible here.

One of 4 new Sharrows on Mill at 12th


Doug's Transportation Ramblings said...

I appreciate that the lack of curb cuts at the end of sidewalks is a sore spot for many people and I fully agree that it is regrettable that the city is so obtuse when it comes to accommodating bicycles. However, I don't think that the city's unwillingness to provide curb cuts at locations that only allow for right-in, right-out bicycle traffic between the sidewalks and the streets is the real problem. Any thoughtful, adequate connection for bicycles must accommodate both right and left turning traffic. Otherwise, if we are going to be vehicles, then we follow the routes that other vehicles use--and that is not to drive down a narrow, twisting sidewalk and then to make a haphazard left turn onto the street.

Curt said...

That model is not very encouraging. Looks a lot more like conventional sprawl than urban mixed use.

Jim Scheppke said...

Re: Boise site. They don't seem to be reusing the building already on the site anymore, right? These look like generic cheapo apartments. Am I missing something?

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

I'm trying to hold off drawing conclusions on the Boise site until we can see more of the renderings. You may both be right, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

A new architect has been hired and the plans for the apartments have drastically changed.

Not sure how to upload a photo to this site...