Monday, July 28, 2014

Construction and Street Closure Notes: Fairgrounds Road, 14th Street, the Capitol

Summer's construction and event season, and here's some notes on three street closures.

There's a good bit of work already completed on the safety median at the angled intersection of Hood, Fairgrounds Road, and Church Street.

New median at intersection of  Hood/Fairgrounds/Church
The crosswalks are deflected and slightly less conveniently located now, but they will be marked with much greater visibility - so the walking environment seems like a definite upgrade!

The biking environment may not be upgraded however.

Detail of pedestrian refuge with offset walks
North-south movement along Church Street now will require you use the crosswalks, and the offset center refuge looks like you'll want to dismount instead of trying to ride slowly in the crosswalk. If you're going south, that's not so bad; but if you're going north, you'll now have to cross in three directions by the crosswalks.

Some people will also want to bike on Fairgrounds Road, and I wonder how the narrowing will work. It may be that as with the medians adjacent to the railroad crossings, it will be desireable to put in sharrows to clue in people driving cars that single-file movement may be necessary.

Updated insert: Bike lanes, not sharrows.

Bike lanes run the length of the median, but don't connect past it
And I wonder if the median is really high enough to keep a drunk or otherwise impaired person who is speeding from hitting the church building.

A history of this prompted the median
Though this is a first impression and based on a sample size of 1, the smooth curve of the median makes me think more of an undersized highway median than of residential traffic calming. It will be interesting to check in on it again when it is done.

14th Street at Shelton Ditch

On Friday the City sent out a release about a street closure on 14th street in the vicinity of the Mission Street overpass:
Beginning Thursday, July 31, 2014, 14th Street SE will be closed to all traffic between Oak Street SE and Tripp Street SE. This closure is scheduled to continue until August 29, 2014, to allow for repairs to the 14th Street Bridge over Shelton Ditch.

The 14th Street Bridge at Shelton Ditch is an existing 3-span cantilever concrete bridge constructed in 1964. During the winter of 2012, this bridge experienced significant scour damages due to creek flooding. The project is being performed to provide permanent scour protection improvements on both sides of the bridge.
14th Street is the best way to cross Mission Street east of Winter Street, and it might be the best way period.

Very few green, low-traffic ways to cross Mission
14th street undercrossing one of the best, if not the best
While the road operates as a minor street for those in cars, it's a fundamental bikeway route for north-south travel.

Unfortunately, I can't think of alternatives here. It's not like there's an easy detour the City should have signed and made public.

But the City might give more thought to ways closures like this affect the walking and biking public differently from the motoring public, and give some additional attention to the other, more difficult crossings for people on foot and on bike.

Hoopla at the Capitol

One of the half courts during set-up last year
The Hoopla is this weekend, and there are some important street closures for the week. People on bike will be able to navigate some of it at slow speeds, but if you're in a hurry, avoid the Capitol!
Beginning Tuesday, July 29, at 6 p.m. through Sunday, August 3, at 8 p.m., the following streets in the State Capitol area will be closed for the Hoopla Basketball Tournament:
  • Court Street NE between 12th Street NE and Cottage Street NE
  • Waverly Street NE between Court Street NE and State Street
  • Winter Street NE between Court Street NE and Chemeketa Street NE
Additional streets will be closed beginning Friday, August 1, through Sunday, August 3:
  • State Street between Winter Street and 12th Street beginning at 2 p.m.
  • Cottage Street NE between Court Street and State Street beginning at 6 p.m.
All streets are expected to be reopened by Sunday, August 3, 2014, at 8 p.m. Drivers should avoid these areas or anticipate delays due to congestion.
It's also an example of a much larger street closure to have in your back pocket if you ever need to cite it for sceptics of Salem Sunday Streets! If they can close Court Street for nearly a week for basketball, for walking and biking we can surely close streets on a Sunday.

1 comment:

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

From the August 2016 Grant Neighborhood meeting notes:

"The traffic barrier along Fairgrounds Road and Hood Street has stopped another car from crashing into buildings at the south side of the turn; this being for the 4th time since its installation. The trees that were damaged will be replaced."