Are we really at that point? Or is this just positioning and talk?
|One idea for the access problem|
(A different site plan is almost certainly necessary for an optimal access solution. As one commenter pointed out on the paper's article yesterday, the development lacks a waterfront restaurant. It really seems like a better, more vibrant mixed-use scheme can be envisioned, and with that would come a different circulation pattern. It's likely in the community's interest to go slow and get it right; the developer, on the other hand, probably wants to build now. Somewhere in the middle hopefully there's a sweet spot of compromise.)
The idea here uses an already-planned driveway that goes underneath the trestle. It then requires a footbridge across the creek for access to the apartments. It would be preferable to have a public footbridge and for the apartment complex to be less of a gated enclave, but if necessary, the parking lot and footbridge could be private. The footbridge concept is - perhaps naively - premised on the notion that spanning pringle creek is much shorter and would be easier and cheaper than spanning the slough. The connection to the Carousel lot would be retained, but only for non-motorized travel (and emergency response). This would give people on bike and on foot a direct shot to State Street and downtown.
Also since the Carousel parking lot is also unused at night, it seems like it ought to be possible for the City to sell to the development some nighttime-only parking permits to better utilize existing parking capacity there. It seems like creating a tiered parking system with variable pricing - some free, and some "premium" parking for a fee - might better allocate stalls and reduce the net parking requirements for a successful development.
The First Idea was Bad
For comparison here's the first iteration proposal. It involved closing the State Street crossing at the Carousel and adding a new driveway to Front Street southbound (with no access from Ferry Street and no crosswalk).
|Former access plan with new rail crossing, long drive, and State St. closure|
Fortunately, that concept had an expiration date, which has passed.
So what's your idea? We're at a point where we should all just be spitballing ideas to see if anything sticks!
|ODOT Rail: No New Crossings for You!|
(email in Revised Decision for Site Plan Review Case SPR13-01,
March 22, 2013)
Also, just for context, remember how much parking there actually is in downtown Salem.
|Downtown Surface Parking Lots in Red|
Parking Garages in Solid Brick Red
On-street parking stalls not included
click to enlarge (1 mb total, 1874 x 1114 px)
Update, August 31st
Architect Geoffrey James (comment below) has been circulating this fine idea!
|Another idea, using Bellevue Street access|
Courtesy of Geoffrey James
But as far as pure auto access goes, it may well be better than the undercrossing concept.
And Another...Pringle Square Access
A group calling themselves Pringle Square Access has another approach to southside access.
|Multiple access points by Pringle Square Access|
People really seem to think adding new at-grade crossings is an easy and obvious solution. Maybe something has changed, but ODOT Rail has seemed pretty clearly opposed to new at-grade crossings. We'll see. A change of heart would be terrific and make this project much easier.
|"ODOT Rail...would not grant a new at-grade crossing without|
completely closing another existing, nearby at-grade crossing"
From September 28, 2009 staff report