Thursday, September 5, 2013

Urban Renewal Board to See Kroc Center Access Final Recommendations.

Today the North Gateway Redevelopment Advisory Board will meet this morning at 8am and hear about the final recommendations of the Kroc Center Access Feasibility Study.

Basically a big bridge across both the Parkway and Railroad was too expensive, and so they scaled back to a smaller bridge over just the Parkway and two shared use paths along Hyacinth and Salem Industrial/Bill Frey. 

From the final recommendations settled on earlier this summer:
Near Term Improvements:
  • Construction of a bicycle/pedestrian connection from Hyacinth Street NE to Bill Frey Drive NE with transit stops on Hyacinth Street NE [red alignment]
This connection could be constructed either as a part of the planned roadway extension of Salem Industrial Drive NE (adopted project in the Salem TSP—not currently programmed for funding) or could be constructed as a separate shared use path through the conservation easement and with a bicycle/pedestrianbridge over Claggett Creek (see map), should funding for the path become available sooner than funds for the roadway extension. The planning level cost estimate for construction of the street extension with transit stops on Hyacinth Street NE is $8.5 to 9 million. The planning level cost estimate for a shared use path with a bridge over Claggett Creek, transit stops, and enhanced crossing of Bill Frey Drive NE leading to the Kroc Center is $1 to $2 million.

ODOT is currently reviewing more immediate bicycle/pedestrian improvement options that can be made to improve safety at the intersection of Salem Parkway/Hyacinth Street NE/Verda Lane (continental crosswalk striping and bike lane skip/colored striping at the right turn sliplanes, shifting the bike lanes to the left of the right turn lanes on the Hyacinth Street NE/Verda Lane and possibly installing truck aprons on the right turn slip lanes)

Mid-term and Long Range Improvements:
  • Construction of a shared use path along the south side of Hyacinth Street NE between Salem Parkway and Salem Industrial Drive ($550,000 estimate) with construction of bicycle and pedestrian intersection enhancements at Salem Parkway/Hyacinth Street NE/Verda Lane to increase the visibility and safety of pedestrians and bicyclists (costs not determined) [yellow alignment]
  • After the above improvements are made, a bridge over Salem Parkway at Verda Lane/Hyacinth Street NE to completely separate bicycles and pedestrians ($3 - $3.5 million) should be considered to further enhance bicycle/pedestrian safety.[blue alignment]
For previous notes about the study and siting of the Kroc Center, see here.   In the end, when with a different site we could have avoided the problem altogether, it's just dumb, dumb, dumb that they sited this big facility in an industrial wasteland; and having made that dumb decision, it's even dumber that they didn't anticipate this transportation problem and fold paying for the solution into the original construction costs. 

The pieces in this project will linger around competing for dollars (about $5 million total) that could fund other projects that didn't arise from such obviously preventable problems.  And kids from Grant, Highland, and Hallman neighborhoods will still face formidable barriers in reaching the Kroc Center from the other direction.

Pretty much EPIC FAIL all the way around.

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