|Lots of residential West Salem is far from a bus stop|
|Not surprisingly there are few boardings in the hills|
But of course "over 7,000 West Salem residents work outside of the area. Most of these workers have jobs located in downtown Salem."
|"most of these workers have jobs located in downtown Salem"|
But of course in the background is the giant bridge and highway - a capital expense problem:
|Count 'em! A bridge will cost at least ten Courthouse Squares|
(It is interesting that the study team does not seem to have targeted downtown employers with West Salem employees. Photos from the open houses are perhaps revealing in this regard - here, here, and here. It may not be a coincidence that the project name "capturing the ride" alludes to "captive" riders as opposed to "choice" riders - though here's Jarrett Walker, who is conducting another Cherriots study, on why those are lousy terms.)
|The River Crossing Alternate Modes Study and Transit:|
Improve Transit Service, Increase Service Frequency
But in not linking conversations about the bridge to conversations about transit, we tacitly trade an operating problem for much bigger capital problem.
Free parking might be the single-most important factor, and it has been disappointing that many who advocate against the thrid bridge are not also able to see the ways that our failure to price parking appropriately makes the drive-alone trip too cheap and easy, which in turn props up demand for inefficient drive-alone bridge crossings.
One of the costs of our free or cheap parking policy is that it hampers our transit agency's ability to provide quality service. Too often free parking means lousy bus service! Manhattan has a great subway because parking's too damn expensive - because land is too valuable to waste on large amounts of car storage.
|Salem River Crossing Alternate Modes Study|
In every way, a robust transit system is key to eliminating the wish for a costly and risky giant bridge and highway.