|One day old pavement overlay on 14th Street|
smoothes over rough spots where rails
had been removed on the Geer Line wye.
That driveway looking part?
That's where rails were!
I don't remember seeing this on a project list, so I wonder if it was a "fill-in" project with left-over asphalt from a bigger project.
Whatever the case, the new smoothness was sweet! Hooray! Thanks, City of Salem!
A City employee happened to drive past and I yelled "When did you do this?" and he said Monday. So yeah, brand new.
This isn't a project that increases connectivity in any way. But it's a meaningful increment in bicycling pleasure!
Council Streets and Bridges Bond Committee
And that's a meandering, even dilatory, way to introduce today's Council Streets and Bridges Bond Committee meeting at noon in the Public Works office at City Hall. Councilors Clausen, Clem, and Nanke are the members and deciders.
The grand topic is identifying a list of candidate projects that might be funded with another chunk of bond surplus. Because of the Great Recession, the road bond projects have been coming in consistently under budget, and it's very nice to be able to expand the number of projects it funds.
In the previous round of expected surplus from savings, Council adopted
Resolution No. 2013-46 authorizing use of Streets and Bridges Bond proceeds to fund improvements at the Commercial Street SE/Kuebler Boulevard SE intersection ($2, 187,000), Fairgrounds Road NE/Hood Street NE intersection ($325,000), and 25th Street SE/Madrona Avenue SE Intersection ($5,000,000).And there's more savings!
So staff have identified a whole bunch - about $36 million worth - of new projects. These will need to be whittled down to a list of about $8 million, with expected completion in fiscal years 2016-18.
|New Capacity||Kuebler at Commercial dual turn lanes||$2,200,000|
|New Capacity||Widen Kueber, I-5 to Commercial ($5.3M total)||$1,315,000|
|New Capacity||Widen Hawthorne at Sunnyview||$660,000|
|New Capacity||Extend 22nd to Madrona||$1,600,000|
|ITS||Fiber optic connect and cameras on Broadway||$280,000|
|Pavement Rehab||Eola Drive||$330,000|
|Pavement Rehab||Doaks Ferry||$760,000|
|Pavement Rehab||Owens and River Road (includes griding that multi use path)||$1,300,000|
|Pavement Rehab||Marion Street downtown||$1,680,000|
|Pavement Rehab||Center Street downtown||$1,590,000|
|Pavement Rehab||Madrona (Liberty to Commercial)||$340,000|
|Pavement Rehab||Turner Road||$580,000|
|Pavement Rehab||Mission Street downtown||$600,000|
|Pavement Rehab||Center Street (Jason to Statesman)||$460,000|
|Pavement Rehab||Market (Summer to Liberty)||$370,000|
|Pavement Rehab||Summer (D to Center)||$1,030,000|
|Pavement Rehab||14th (State to Center)||$200,000|
|Pavement Rehab||Kuebler (Commercial to I-5)||$3,400,000|
|Bridge Rehab||Court Street wood bridge over Mill Creek||$250,000|
|Arterial Safety||Brown Road upgrade (extends existing project)||$2,500,000|
|Arterial Safety||Brush College (north side sidewalks)||$1,200,000|
|Neighborhood bike/ped||Signal and Crossing at Union and Commercial||$1,075,000|
|Neighborhood bike/ped||Minto Brown Trail (augment existing funding)||$1,000,000|
|Neighborhood bike/ped||Sidewalks on Doaks Ferry (Glen Creek to Grayhawk)||$300,000|
|Neighborhood bike/ped||Sidewalks on Lone Oak (Silver Hills to Cimarron)||$420,000|
|Neighborhood bike/ped||Sidewalk on Orchard Heights (south side east of Snowbird along city reservoir)||$430,000|
|Neighborhood bike/ped||Crosswalk and Center median on River Road North at River Road Park||$60,000|
|Neighborhood bike/ped||RR quiet zone crossing improvements at Woodrow and Silverton Road NE||$1,750,000|
|General Safety||LED streetlight conversion||$3,000,000|
|General Safety||new streetlights in residential and industrial areas where missing||$5,000,000|
Preserve and Maintain; Basic Connectivity!
Just in general terms: Why are we even thinking about widening an effectively functioning road like Kuebler, when we don't even have basic sidewalks to schools and parks, and need to repave a bunch of other deteriorated roads?
We should just stop widening until we are able effectively to preserve and maintain existing roadways and have finished all the legacy remediation projects for bringing roads up to basic 1970s standards of sidewalks and bike lanes.
I know the Comprehensive Plan doesn't quite say this. There's a bunch of things we're supposed to try before we widen roads - but they're on a particular travel corridor, not city-wide:
12. The implementation of transportation system and demand management measures, enhanced transit service, and provision for bicycle and pedestrian facilities shall be pursued as a first choice for accommodating travel demand and relieving congestion in a travel corridor, before widening projects are constructed.Still, widening Kuebler just makes it easier to live farther and farther from the city center. We shouldn't prohibit this, of course, but we shouldn't be in the business of making it easier, shouldn't be subsidizing sprawl in this way.
Here's a better breakdown of categories from the original 2008 bond. It wasn't $38 million for bike/ped projects, after all! Just 3%, or about $3 million - though the categories aren't pure, and the widening projects do indeed have sidewalks and bike lanes. It would take some effort to do a real audit of the bike/ped benefits and allocation in the bond.
|Why are Bike/Ped projects only 3%?|
That doesn't seem consistent with the Comprehensive Plan!
Number one on my list would be the signal and crossing at Union and Commercial.
Except for the Kuebler, and Hawthorne widening projects, and maybe some of the pavement rehab, most of them look pretty defensible. Some of them look really good. Given political realities, staff have done a pretty good job with recommendations. Unless the selection gets totally skewed for widening, it will be hard to say it's not a reasonable selection.
(More narrowly, it would be interesting to see if there are any second or third tier Bike and Walk Salem projects jumped up in the queue. I didn't have time to go over the list, but I would hope that these are all first tier projects, that the prioritization there has already been used as a filter. Fortunately, I don't see any red flags - do you?)
Here are the bike/ped projects pulled out of the larger list and given their priorities as taken from the recently adopted Pedestrian Element and Bicycle Element of the Transportation System Plan - aka Bike and Walk Salem.
It is interesting that the projects do not after all seem to represent a straight slice off of the "tier one" projects with the highest priority!
Some of the projects do not appear to be not listed at all, so it unclear if Council adopted them whether they would need to be added to the TSP.
|Neighborhood bike/ped||Signal and Crossing at Union and Commercial||$1,075,000||first|
|Neighborhood bike/ped||Minto Brown Trail (augment existing funding)||$1,000,000||first|
|Arterial Safety||Brush College (north side sidewalks)||$1,200,000||second|
|Neighborhood bike/ped||Sidewalks on Doaks Ferry (Glen Creek to Grayhawk)||$300,000||second|
|Neighborhood bike/ped||Sidewalks on Lone Oak (Silver Hills to Cimarron)||$420,000||second|
|Neighborhood bike/ped||Sidewalk on Orchard Heights (south side east of snobird along city reservoir)||$430,000||second|
|Bridge Rehab||Court Street wood bridge over Mill Creek||$250,000||not listed!|
|Neighborhood bike/ped||Crosswalk and Center median on River Road North at River Road Park||$60,000||not listed!|
|Neighborhood bike/ped||RR quiet zone crossing improvements at Woodrow and Silverton Road NE||$1,750,000||not listed!|
It is also interesting to consider that Councilors Clausen, Clem, and Nanke represent wards 4, 8, and 3, which might explain so much of the Kuebler stuff and a reason for the locations of some of the second tier projects. Retail politics! But also places where because of hills and more auto-dependent development patterns, bike/ped projects may not offer the same impact as they would in flatter, older, and more gridded neighborhoods.