And despite some concerns about this site, it may be a propitious location to think better about non-auto mobility. There's also a field trip scheduled for before the meeting. (More to come on that, surely.)
|There probably won't be a grill
but hopefully more open-minded discussion
Salem River Crossing – To be held at Broadway Commons, 1300 Broadway Street NE, Magnolia Room #305 ~ Tuesday, February 19, Field Trip: 3:30 p.m. and Work Session 5:30 p.m.
Parking Task Force ~ Tentative: Monday, April 8, 5:30 p.m.
Proposed Fee for Transportation Funding – Street Light Fee
Monday, 5:30 p.m. – Library Anderson Rooms
Infrastructure and Funding
The Urban Renewal Agency has a report on Urban Renewal financial impacts. This year the urban renewal districts in Salem will cost other entities like Chemeketa, the Salem-Keizer School District, Marion County, and Cherriots a total of $9,110,927. It would be so very interesting to have an impartial review of the URAs. As talk about closing the Pringle Creek URA suggests, it is not clear the urban renewal districts are actually adding value above and beyond inflation. At the same time, the kinds of projects the agency is funding are very different from those projects in the 70s and 80s.
There's a project to add to the System Development Charges eligible list. A third bridge should be added to it! If the current developments in West Salem serve as a baseline for a bridge system that is still functional, if occasionally irritating, new development above and beyond this baseline should bear the cost of the bridge. Isn't that the idea behind SDCs? But our current system externalizes this cost.
|Proposed Front St Ramp and Parcel
The matter is back at Council. Staff argue that
None of the Willamette River crossing alternatives being considered by the City Council envision using the subject Parcel.The point of the No 3rd Bridge team is that a lower-build cluster of recommendations from the Bridgehead Study should be implemented first. These are, as the staff report dances around, not formally part of any build alternative being analyzed in the draft Environmental Impact Statement. The staff report also says that bioswales are planned for this parcel.
For people who bike, the proposal by No 3rd Bridge should occasion some pause. The free-flowing off-ramp to Front Street would eliminate the multi-use path on the Center Street Bridge, a separated facility that isn't very good, but yet provides the most direct access to Edgwater and points significantly west of Wallace Road. Even after the Union St. Railroad Bridge was opened, half of those who biked previously on the Center St. Bridge continued to do so, even with the much prettier railroad bridge connection.
Still, the big picture goal is to kill the big bridge, and until we have success there, this potential disagreement over detials is a nit. If a free-flow off-ramp is a good idea or necessary, there might be ways to reconfigure biking connections to Edgewater that would represent an improvement on the current path.
There are two parking items. Staff proposes to push out the reporting date for the Parking Task Force, and also proposes to adjust parking permit fees. These look roughly to double, which would be consistent with the hourly increase from $.75 to $1.50.
There's an update on an FAA airport grant and the first reading of the new Airport Master Plan.
That tricky sewer easement issue in West Salem will be continued to February 25th and Council wants to reopen the hearing for new testimony.
Finally, the City has a report on official legislative positions. One interesting note is on HB 2276, which would increase the gas tax. Within the city, the administrative/finance group opposes any increase of the gas tax. Public Works, which depends on the gas tax for road repair and construction, is apparently silent on the matter. There are also lots of land use bills, which indirectly would have consequences for transportation. HB 2601 would broaden the use of photos from red light cameras gets support. (There may be more to say on these bills in the next legislative update post.)
There a new round of proposed annexations and a curious proposal to allow the City to perform the duties of the Economic Improvement District instead of contracting to a third party, which is currently the Salem Downtown Partnership. Makes you go hmm...