Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Small bits at NEN and CAN-DO

There doesn't appear to be anything transportation-related of any consequence in the neighborhood associations this week, so here's a couple of bits from previous meetings.

There's talk again about a bike repair station in Riverfront Park and more details on the crosswalk projects.

One thing that doesn't probably get talked about enough here is that the City and State are pretty good at budgeting and planning small and medium-sized projects. (Whether we consider them "good" projects is a separate matter; for the moment, we're just considering accuracy in budgeting.)

It's just the really big projects that are full of budgetary charlie foxtrot. And this is an industry-wide phenomenon (see Bent Flyvbjerg's studies). Big, complex projects go over budget by a lot. No matter what the authorities say, the odds are quite high that a project like the Salem Rivercrossing would go over-budget badly. Smaller and routine projects often come in at or below budget.

With the Great Recession, in fact, we've seen how by count of projects the City has been able to do about 50% more than initially budgeted in the 2008 road bond. By dollar amount the initial project list came in around 80% of budget and because the projects have generally been smaller, that 20% of funds went to 50% more projects.

#2 was omitted, and #s 1, 3, and 4 are funded
from April, 2010 priorities
Back in 2010 the preliminary list of "pedestrian crossing safety projects" contained a number of alternates.

I believe that the Bond savings has resulted in 3 of the top 4 alternates getting funded, and construction will happen this summer. (The median for Fairgrounds at Winter was eliminated with the bike route change to cross Fairgrounds on Norway instead of Winter. The immediate neighborhood did not support the median concept.)

Info sheet handed out recently at NEN and SESNA meetings

NEN has requested that the island at Center and 13th be done at the same time as the flashing beacon at 13th and Marion. At the moment are apparently separate projects and not scheduled concurrently.

NEN meets tonight, Tuesday the 18th, at 6:30pm in the Salem First Church of the Nazarene, 1550 Market Street NE.


At CAN-DO, there's talk again about a bike repair station.  From the draft minutes last month:
The board tabled until March a discussion of a possible grant application to the Salem Parks Foundation for a bicycle repair station at Riverfront Park.
CAN-DO meets tonight, Tuesday the 18th, at 6:00 p.m. at First Christian Church on 685 Marion Street NE.


Anonymous said...

Though you've already written about them a few times before, you forgot to mention that the TSP amendments are at the planning commission tonight!


Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Oof! You're right. Totally missed that one. The individual projects have gone through the process, so there are no surprises, I think, but perhaps in the supporting materials or details there might be some things worth commenting on.