Wednesday, December 19, 2012

At Third Bridge Work Session More Questions

Things are definitely slowing down for the holidays and news or other significant bikey developments are spotty.

If you haven't been over to No 3rd Bridge since Monday's work session, they've posted a wrap, which includes some interesting quotes.

Councilor Bennett's ward would see the biggest bridge impacts
Here are a couple:

"I drove here from 16th and D and everything was 'over capacity' [by Fernandez' definition]."
— Councilor Chuck Bennett

"If this represents connectivity between Portland and Newport, that's the wrong connectivity ... If it's all about creating a freeway though an established neighborhood, that isn't any kind of progress."
— Councilor Chuck Bennett

As you can see from the map, Ward 1 in yellow, Chuck Bennett's, really would bear the great brunt of construction and traffic, so it's not surprising to see him asking more probing questions.  Diana Dickey's Ward 6 and Dan Clem's Ward 8 would also be impacted. 

Also, from an early, likely unedited, draft story posted Monday night to the SJ website shortly after the meeting - but not yet in print, it seems:
Among the questions, Councilor Laura Tesler wondered if shifting demographics, such as a growing millennial generation relying less on motor vehicles, could affect river-crossing capacity needs. Brad Nanke wondered about the consistency of cost estimates and project costs of other bridges. Richard Clausen had questions about phasing in the construction stages and when the conversation about funding will surface.

Diana Dickey wondered what percentage of the bridge traffic comes from Polk County, and if changes in goods and services within the county has affected traffic levels. SRC studies indicated that 56 percent of current bridge traffic is local, trips within Salem, 37 percent is regional and just 7 percent is thru traffic.

Councilor Dan Clem noted that the River Crossing project will affect more than just east-west traffic in the region, but all traffic.

Councilor Chuck Bennett expressed concerns about the estimated 160 homes and businesses affected by the crossing option preferred by the Salem River Crossing oversight team, most of which, he said, are characterized by affordable housing and small businesses
It will take 5 votes on Council to accomplish anything, but Councilors appear finally to be digging in and asking some of the hard questions.  They'll return to the matter in January.


Jim Scheppke said...

As someone who was there and watching the body language of the Council, I would rank the appetite of the Council members to pay for and build a 3rd bridge as follows (from low to high):


Blasi will be replaced by Bednarz in January. He was on the Task Force and is, I believe, a big bridge supporter. If the vote were held in January it would probably be 5-4 in favor of some variation of Alternative 4. Opponents of the bridge have their work cut out for them. If you haven't expressed your opinion to your Councilor, please do so.

Curt said...

One quote unrelated to the bridge from Fernandez:
"Salem has a history of tolerating congestion so we don't have to live with more asphalt."

This is the city where main st. has more lanes than the interstate. I haven't seen as much asphalt since leaving Detroit.

On the bridge. I left the work session thinking that a phased 4A could pass 8-1 with Clem the voting nay.

Some still seem to be planning for the day when the money will just fall from the sky years from now.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Thanks for the updates! Yes, Councilor-elect Bednarz is a HUGE bridge supporter.