This site is ground zero, the origin, of Salem!
Almost a century later, between the two world wars some warehouses were built, served by the Oregon Electric line on High/Broadway. In the spaces between the commercial industrial development and the creek, there's also a strange group of residential housing, apartments and single family homes.
|See the house and box hedge in between the warehouses?|
via the Google
You might recall a very popular note in Emily Grosvener's "Desperately Seeking Salem" about the area. There's a history here that hasn't been written!
It's also a real barrier for people on bike, and the auto traffic patterns are more than a little convoluted.
Something of an outlier and appendix to the Downtown Mobility Study is a longer-range set of proposals for this North Downtown parcel bounded by Commercial, Division, Broadway, and Belmont.
|North Downtown Area|
The more interesting question is east-west connectivity.
|East-West movement along D Street alignment impossible|
Crossing Commercial at D nearly so
Who knows what the car traffic will actually be in a decade or two? It may be that changing living, working, and mobility patterns will bring a completely new set of problems to solve, and this seems like a location ripe to capitalize on problems and solutions we can't envision just now.
Moreover, this is one of the few parts of town with some genuine hidden, jumbly oddball charm, and it would be so very nice to retain some of it. This is a place where we might be suspicious of things too rational and planned. We should not wish thoughtlessly to bulldoze connections where old warehouses and residences yet remain. Surely some of the warehouses can be reused and redeveloped! The new street connections should work with them, not against them.
Because of this area's legacy, we should not be quick with a race to the bottom of crappy cookie-cutter apartments and strip malls. The area should be interesting, not indifferent and generic.
And so it is too difficult to know how to think about the connectivity proposals in the study.