Thursday, January 16, 2014

Council Streets and Bridges Committee to Talk Marine Drive Today

At noon today, the 16th, in the Public Works conference room at City Hall, the Council Streets and Bridges Bond Committee* will meet.

On the agenda is an update on the bond generally, an update on design work for Commercial and Kuebler, and most interestingly an update on Marine Drive NW.

Marine Drive expressway along Wallace Park
In the absence of much information there's two ways to look at it.

As part of the ramp spaghetti and expressway leading to a bridge, Marine Drive is a terrible project.

By itself and appropriately downsized, it is at least conceivable that there could be a design for Marine Drive that would offer a superior alternative to Wallace Road for transit, walking, and biking.

2008 Description of Bond Project - $3.6M for ramp spaghetti
and/or Marine Drive
The project in the bond is also ambiguous. Money can go to Marine Drive or to the ramp spaghetti - or some combination of both.

City staff didn't have materials in advance of the meeting, so it's not clear just what is envisioned here at the moment.  Buying right of way for ramp spaghetti seems premature, however, and perhaps money will go only to the Marine Drive bit.

So.  Who knows exactly how to pitch one's attention. For the moment, we should probably be wary, and meeting materials should clarify - at least a little.

* A reasonable question to which I do not know the answer:  Both the Police Station and the Road Bond have Council Subcommittees working on them.  Was the public outreach and process for the selection of the road bond projects significantly more open and public than the level that has characterized the Police Station project?

1 comment:

Jim Scheppke said...

Ah, the Marine Drive bait and switch. It is instructive to look back at Peter Fernadez' presentation to the Salem City Council on May 13th of last year. It comes up at 1:13 on the CCTV archive video. In the original Salem Alternative, Marine Drive is a pleasant little street with two traffic lanes and bike lanes and pedestrian paths. This was adopted by the Salem City Council in June. But the City of Keizer reacted badly to it at their meeting in July and demanded that Marine Drive be redesigned as an "expressway." This was done by CH2M HILL, at the request of the Oversight Team in October. Has the Salem City Council objected to this? They haven't even scheduled a discussion of it, so I guess they are okay with it, as they are with all the other changes to the Salem Alternative, such that it no longer deserves that name if the Oversight Team were being honest about it.