Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Transportation Enhancement and Kroc Access at SKATS Tuesday

Next week on Tuesday the 27th, the Salem-Keizer Area Transportation Study Policy Committee (our regional MPO) meets at noon in suite 200 at 100 High St. SE.

There's a high proportion of things - and acronyms - for people who bike. 

Most interesting is a progress report by the Salem Parkway Kroc Center Access Feasibility Study on the 3 alternatives advanced to the final round of analysis.

The medium alternative, UC, has an estimated cost of $9.5 million
This is an excellent example of a transportation cost that got externalized out of the initial site and building costs when the center was plopped down in an industrial wasteland. The high-medium-low cost estimates range from $16 million to $2 million. From the agenda:
This study is looking at improving walking and bicycling connections between neighborhoods north of the Salem Parkway and the Salvation Army Kroc Center and the adjoining pedestrian and bicycle system.

The study began in March 2012, with CH2M and OBEC as consultants. Both a technical group and a Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) have reviewed progress through each step of the study. Public outreach has included multiple "listening stations" and a public survey of the initial concepts. A project website was also created.

As documented in the attachments (enclosed), six concepts were studied that the SAC narrowed to three alternatives for further analysis. We will present illustrations of the three alternatives at the meeting. Next steps include a public open house in January and a recommendation of a preferred alternative by the SAC.
There is an update on the lackluster slate of legacy remediation in the combined Transportation Enhancement/Bike-Ped Grant projects:
The current round of ODOT's Transportation Enhancement project solicitation was combined with ODOT's bicycle-pedestrian grant program. After an initial project screening stage, ODOT invited three projects within the SKATS area to Stage 2 of the application process. The three projects (with descriptions, cost estimates, and a map enclosed) are:
  • Marion County - Hayesville Road sidewalks and bicycle lanes
  • Marion County - Brooklake Road sidewalks and bicycle lanes
  • City of Salem - Brown Road sidewalks and bicycle lanes
All three projects are included in the adopted SKATS Regional Transportation System Plan (RTSP).

The applications, which are due December 13, require an endorsement from the MPO. A draft letter of endorsement is provided (enclosed).

Final award notification is in April 2013 with funds available in either July 2013 or October 2013.

The ODOT solicitation schedule also includes an ACT, MPO, and Public input period in December and January. The SKATS Policy Committee should decide if it wants to prioritize the three projects; and if so, schedule time at the January 22 Policy Committee to have that discussion and decision.
Here's confirmation that the Minto Path got almost a million dollars from the OTC.  The baggage depot project is completely new and needs to be added formally to the list of official projects, the TIP.
On November 14, 2012, the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) approved funds from the ODOT Director's Transportation Enhancement (TE) Discretionary Account for two projects in the Salem area. For the Minto Island Trail, the OTC approved $876,500. For the Historic Salem Baggage Depot (Amtrak) Restoration Project, the OTC approved $575,200. Background information on both projects is enclosed (See the two memorandums to the OTC.).
And in data,
Maps of motor vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle crashes in 2010, developed by SKATS staff.


Jim Scheppke said...

You continue to give much better coverage to these interesting local transportation issues than our sad "local" paper. Seems like there should be some serious analysis of whether the Kroc Center is even going to make it long term before we spend millions to improve access to it, as if that would solve all the problems.

Curt said...

It must just be easier for our planners to collect checks from these trophy projects than implementing practical, cost effective solutions that can improve mobility right now for the vast majority of users.

Walker said...

Jim, Curt, you obviously don't get what's important in transportation planning around here -- pouring more concrete and asphalt and keeping CH2M Hill on the gravy train.