Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Appeal of Planning Commission Decision Shows Weakness in Bike and Walk Salem

Cheers for the Sunnyslope Neighborhood Association!

For reasons that are not entirely clear, last month on May 7th the Planning Commission excised a path connection for walking and biking between a cul-de-sac and new apartment complex.  Staff had recommended the path as "condition 7" of approval, but the Commission did not accept this part of the recommendation.

On Monday, June 24th, at City Council, there will be an appeal.  The date promises to be long, with the continuation of the third bridge hearing also scheduled.  It will also be ironic, as here is an example of a way that city process and procedure sometimes (or maybe often) slights cheap transportation solutions like walking and biking in favor of things like an $800 million giant bridge and highway.

Site Plan with abuting cul-de-sac

Current conditions with cul-de-sac

From the appeal:
The Board of the Sunnyslope Neighborhood Association requests that this decision be remanded to the Planning Commission, because the Planning Commission's decision did not include a condition that an appropriately sized pedestrian/bike pathway be constructed to connect the property with Jennifer Court...We did not oppose the apartment proposal [in general], and the property owners graciously made numerous changes to their plans to accomodate neighborhood concerns. While...some residents of Jennifer Court do not want a connecting path, the future residents of this apartment complex will also become our neighbors.
Without a path connection, the association points out, kids and adults will have to walk along Skyline and Kuebler.  Low-traffic connections, folks!  Geez.

It's amazing that even after we go through the Bike and Walk Salem rigarmarole, we still struggle with basics like this.

This should be a no-brainer...but you never know.  So it's great to see the neighborhood association looking out for basic mobility.  Thanks, Sunnyslope!

1 comment:

Jim Scheppke said...

Actually, SBOB, the public hearing on the 3rd bridge ends on June 21st as you reported the other day. ;-)