Saturday, March 16, 2013

West Salem NA, Northeast Neighbors talk Sidewalks - In the Neighborhood Associations

Monday, March 18th at 7:00 P.M. in Roth’s West, Mezzanine (1130 Wallace Rd NW), the West Salem Neighborhood Association meets.  On its agenda is clarification of the proposed sidewalk deletion on Linwood - the Lindbeck Orchard apartment development.

Sidewalk segments on Linwood street to be deleted?
The hearing notice to remove some sidewalks was baffling, and at the last neighborhood association meeting WSNA voted to oppose it.  The developers are going to attend the meeting to explain in hopes of changing the stance before the Tuesday Planning Commission hearing

The staff report is out, but it doesn't really clarify things.  Apparently another round of drawings and explanation was necessary, and the planner in charge of the case furnished these additional materials:

Path connections between a "back patio" and sidewalk
are proposed for deletion (red and yellow added)
It turns out no part of the sidewalk on Linwood is part of the proposed deletions.

Instead, the sections to be eliminated are path connections between "back patios" and sidewalk.   The official reason furnished by the developer is that  slope of the hill would make for steep pathways.  But of course what it really means is that the developer doesn't want to go to the expense of cutting and grading the pathways appropriately.

And, actually, would you blame the developer with this configuration?  The only units that have this path connection between back patio and walkways are the ones backing into Linwood Street.  The path connection is a requirement of code in an attempt to provide for a more walk-friendly streetscape.

But remember the path connections are to back patios, not the front entries!  The whole complex turns its back on the street and, like the one proposed for near the Carousel, instead faces inward at the parking lot!

So much for pedestrian friendly.

But there's more.

Walking or Biking to Roths or Library is not easy!
According to google, it's about a mile-and-a-half to Roth's, the Library, and the Post Office.  There are two hills separated by the creek, and long stretches of Glen Creek have a sidewalk on one side only.  There are bike lanes, but with the traffic on Glen Creek the plain lanes are not in a configuration suited for kids or people new to bicycling.  And then there's the charlie foxtrot of Wallace Road.

Even if it's not all that far from the library and a grocery store, this is an auto-dependent development.  In the current configuration of development and roads, very few will ever walk or bike.

And this auto-oriented development will create a few hundred trips a day by car, many of which will cross the river.  This development will create pressure for a bridge.  Without system development charges for a bridge it calls for others to subsidize a bridge to handle increase in auto traffic.  

1911 Ad for Kingwood Park development
If we aren't going to invest in things that mitigate the need for a bridge, why are we putting in big new development here if the City's official position is that the bridge is at capacity.  Isn't the land at carrying capacity until we make some changes? 

(But of course we have left the realm of common sense, and it is foolish in this context to ask for things to make sense.)

Northeast Neighbors

On Tuesday, March 19th, while the sidewalk question is at the planning commission, the Northeast Neighbors will meet at 6:30 p.m. in the Salem First Church of the Nazarene at 1550 Market Street NE.

One of the items on their agenda is the possibility of crossing help at 13th and Marion, just northeast of Safeway.  
13th at Marion: unmarked crosswalks, one-way + dual turns = difficult!
This is right after Center Street splits into a one-way couplet, and while Center Street south of Safeway has marked crosswalks and a pedestrian median, Marion Street north of the grocery store has neither, and cars take the dual turns quickly and without consideration of the unmarked crosswalks.

People walking to the grocery store, including students from Parrish and North, sometimes face great difficulties and even dangers as they attempt the crossing.

City Traffic Engineer Kevin Hottmann is scheduled to be there and it will be great to learn more about the possibilities here.

Planning Commission

Also at the Planning Commission on Tuesday will be the Parks Master Plan update and the Marquis care facility proposed for Boise

And a Footnote!

So here's a modestly scaled housing development proposed for SE Division in Portland.  This seems like the perfect sort of thing for the Boise redevelopment.  And maybe other places.  It's actually not that different in massing from the Linwood units!  (The materials and finishes here are certainly more expensive, but there must be ways to to stuff like this for less.)  Note the robust ground floor commercial space and sidewalk activity.

Housing on SE Division in Portland - THA Architecture
Why can't we get stuff like this in Salem?  More like 295 Church Street?

No comments: