Come learn about the McGilchrist Urban Renewal Area, proposed improvements to McGilchrist Street SE, and the 22nd and Electric Street Overlay.With new offices like the Social Security and Veterans Administration offices, and restaurants like Santiam Brewing, this is an area in transition, maybe even gentrifying, and the frankly crappy conditions apparently acceptable in an area dominated by old-school industry are no longer ok.
|McGilchrist and the SSA Office Fiasco|
Two proposed transportation changes within our boundaries. Reclassify 22nd Street as collector, propose to make it connect to Madrona St. This would help reduce use of 25th Street and bring people to the industrial area. There is a desire to realign 22nd Street on either side of McGilchrist, but there is no funding or current plan. McGilchrist needs updates, but these would cost $20M so it’s best to do that at the same time (along with left turn lanes between 22nd and 25th). 25th and Madrona intersection will be fixed to make it safer, improve pedestrian access. The second change is to create an East-West connection between 25th and Airport Rd. A small street is needed to promote redevelopment without adding driveways on Mission. There may be a traffic increase on 25th, or it may help; depends on what goes into the development. Multiple options help disperse traffic.Planning for some change here is important, especially if the area is a magnet for elderly and disabled people, as well as an incubator for food and beverage.
|Kuebler Boulevard - attracting "investment"|
|McGilchrist at the SSA Office:|
40mph, no sidewalks - and oh, by the way, watch out for pedestrians!
Our approaches to Kuebler and McGilchrist show one way we export value to the edges of the city and drain value from the inner city. It subsidizes outer development at the expense of inner development. This is policy, not accident or magical market forces!
Wednesday the 11th at 6:30 p.m., the Morningside Neighborhood Association will meet at Pringle Creek Community Painters Hall, 3911 Village Center Drive SE.
On the agenda is the proposed Police Station and Civic Center project, and it seems likely one or more of the principal critics of the project will attend. Conversation may be spirited! This might be the best opportunity to hear both sides of the debate.
|Vacant big box - former Safeway on Middle Commercial|
Estimated to cost $53.5 million
as adaptive reuse for new Police Station
|Analysis of Eugene-style Police Station|
with an adaptive reuse of vacant Safeway
If you haven't gone to the open houses, this will likely be a very good opportunity to learn more.
Update, December 18th
Some good conversation in the comments!
In a nutshell, here's why the City's proposal remains more persuasive than the "back-of-the-envelope SWAG" issued by Salem Community Vision.
|Two proposals, side by side|
City alternative using car lot on left
Salem Community Vision SWAG on right
14.54 acres.In the City's proposal for a car lot, they found they weren't able to reuse the building on site, so critics should probably argue for reuse in more detail than just "why can't we reuse an old building." Maybe our Police have very specific needs that cannot be addressed by an old car lot shell. That seems like a plausible claim, one that should be disputed directly and not merely dismissed airily by an example from another city. There are several functions that Salem wants to centralize that Eugene did not centralize.
72,000 sq.ft. Capitol Chevrolet
24,000 sq.ft. Capitol Toyota
96,000 sq.ft. TOTAL
It seems like it ought not to be that difficult to formulate a strong, credible, and informed alternative to the City's four proposals. The fact that critics keep avoiding this - crucially avoiding using the best available information - casts significant doubt on their case. This is just baffling!
Instead, the lynchpin of the argument seems to be that critics already know, "we can't afford $70.5 million." Instead of asking "what do we need?" and "what's best for Salem?" and then "let's figure out how to accomplish it," they know the conclusion and reason back to "how cheaply can we do this." That looks like a Walmart, discount, and ultimately cheap approach to emergency services - unworthy of a Capital City.
Right now, dollars seems to be driving the conversation. What if instead values drove the conversation?
The chief critics of the City's plan write today
we would like an honest and open reconsideration of the location of the Public Safety Building (police station) and primarily we would like more citizen participation. Some of our critics think that we are opposed to the bond and are being antagonistic to the City Council and the staff. We don't feel that asking legitimate questions is disloyal to the welfare of the citizens of Salem. We are encouraging better dialog and exploration of options that we honestly think might save taxpayers hard earned dollars and feel we could get a better facility that will last for the next 50 years and allow for changing technologies and civic needs. Having a more open process is not a negative thing. It is being positive that citizens can make a valuable contribution to the decision making process.So let's have some dialog!
- Why is Peace Plaza so great and effective that it shouldn't be altered or even relocated?
- How is Mirror Pond so wonderful that it shouldn't be modernized?
- Why shouldn't we want to reconfigure the Civic Center in ways to make it more walkable and lively?
- What specifically about the four City estimates is not credible? (Not just the repeated claim, "but Eugene did it cheaper!")
- What do we give up in redevelopment and property tax opportunities when we don't use land the City already owns for a new Police Station? Why is the City's claim about operational inefficiencies from a remote site not credible?
- Apart from the question of cost, how exactly does the Eugene model promote neighborhoods and livability? Apart from cost, what kinds of Salem solutions would best promote neighborhoods and livability?