|Decent Bike Parking in Salem!|
But located on the sidewalk and a little isolated
For there's no approved way to ride up to them.
Coming from Salem, on the approach from the south, things start off inauspiciously, as there is no connection from the corner of Chemawa and Keizer Station Boulevard, and you have to look through the trees to see the station. It's kinda hidden.
Then, when you try to make a right-hand turn into the station from the extension of Chemawa north that becomes Keizer Station Boulevard, there's a huge lip - a mini-curb and gutter even - on the driveway, totally big enough to catch your wheel and enforce an involuntary dismount. It's scaled for bus wheels, not bikes.
|The lip on the Transit Station Driveway|
|Poor Connections to Roadway|
for People on Bike; Insufficient signage
for regulations and directions
Then I went to the center and found two other clusters of racks, for a total of 10 staple racks, all covered.
And some other neat stuff.
Like this sinuous swale for run-off.
The center includes sustainable design features, including a green roof, solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations, energy efficient heating and cooling and rain gardens. The facility includes a waiting area, public restrooms, a meeting room and driver break rooms. A park and ride is on site, which includes charging stations for up to five electric vehicles.There's also several fun whirly-gig pieces mounted on poles. The art is kinetic and whimsical.
The bus shelters contain a short bench, system map, and trash receptacle - with recycling slots.
I was there at the end of the day, there were no people there, and he didn't make a fuss. During the commute hours of course you'd want to dismount on sidewalks when there are lots of people around, and for most people these crowds would provide the cue to dismount - but since not all people on bike would yield to common sense in this context, the policy makes sense.
But there weren't any signs posting the "no biking"! So he was "busting" me - again, very sweetly and politely - for something I couldn't possibly know about. This seemed wrong.
And more crucially, if part of a good design is to make the "desired" choice seem like the intuitive, obvious, and "natural" choice, this design failed. The bike racks are only connected to the sidewalk system, both the internal one and the external part along the public streets. The rack clusters sit up on the concrete sidewalk and do not directly abut the asphalt. So of course you'd be biking on the sidewalks.
If you don't want people to bike on the sidewalk, give them a way to bike on the asphalt, on the roadway system. And provide clear directional signage.
The deployment of bike racks here enforces the sidewalkification of bicycling!
More than this, because of the way Keizer Station Boulevard lacks sidewalks and the access driveway is right-in, right-out only, it's clear that designers imagined people walking or biking only from the south side and the external sidewalk along the east-west running Lockhaven/Chemawa arterial.
|Right-in, right-out with median on Keizer Station Blvd|
|Driveway on Keizer Station Blvd,|
Connections via Sidewalkon Chemawa
I have an expectation at a new multi-modal transportation hub that I will be able to bike in, find my way easily to conveniently located bike parking, and dismount adjacent the racks.I think this is a reasonable baseline for a brand-new transit facility, and the Keizer Transit Station did not meet it.
Additionally, the transit center is also isolated, and you wouldn't probably want to leave your bike overnight here. The shopping center is across the Oregon Electric railroad and another road, and so the transit center has but a single use at the moment. There are no commercial pods of other uses in pleasantly adjacent space, and the area lacks other eyes and ears. There are no bike lockers yet, so it still falls short in this area as well.
Just overall it feels like there hasn't been sufficient thought given to how people on bike might use the station as opposed to just installing some nice fixtures.
Figuring out how to get back on Keizer Station Boulevard/Chemawa going south was tricky - and I ended up having to ride on the sidewalk and through a crosswalk.
All in all, the station was nice to look at, but not maybe so great to use. Have you used it? What did you think?
The area around Keizer Station has been remade: The old course of Chemawa Road altered, intersections widened or newly made. The parking lots and construction are all new. For the transit station, a house nearing a century old had been purchased and demolished.
But traces of old Keizer can still be seen.
On the way back I saw that the big old tree in front of the John Pugh house had been cut. A note in January references a very old tree, possibly Keizer's oldest, that fell in December, and it seems likely this is that tree.
|John Pugh House with Stump|
Those who built it are from the oldest families in Keizer. John Pugh had married Sally Claggett - the family for which the creek is named. Members of the Pugh family were involved in the creation of the first school districts in Marion County, in construction of many early Salem landmark buildings, and in the design of old City Hall and the Grand Theater in Salem. From the Keizer Times:
Will Pugh had 230 acres which now include the land occupied by the Albertson’s shopping center at Chemawa Road and River Road. John’s claim of 318 acres was across Chemawa Road from his brother’s and included what is now the Safeway shopping center and Claggett Park:, and extended south almost to Greenwood Ave. Silas’s was north and east of Will’s and Janette’s was south of Silas’s and east of John’s.Here's the tree from a year ago via the google:
When John married Sallie Claggett his neighbors, who had some experience with Keizer’s floods, advised the young couple to build their house on high ground. Their house, probably the oldest in Keizer, still stands at 4845 Verda Lane above Claggett Park. The huge rocks for the foundation were hauled from the Santiam River.
In 1878 John and Sallie donated 1-1/2 acres for a school at the corner of Chemawa and River Roads, with the stipulation that when the land is no longer used for school purposes, it is to reven to the heirs of Charles Pugh, their oldest son.
|John Pugh House Before Tree Removal, 2012|
Not long after, one of William's children, Ernie Savage, opened a children's shoe store, the Junior Bootery, and for many years it was in the Derby Building. The Derby Building housed the Senator Hotel - and was demolished for Courthouse Square and the Transit Mall. (See, it all comes together!)
Back in Salem and in the present, the new signage on the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway on Auto Group Way showed the ironic backdrop of the Capitol Auto Group.
|Willamette Valley Scenic Car Dealership Way|