Tuesday, August 12, 2014

South Salem Transit Station and Blind School Appeal: In the Neighborhoods

At the Morningside Neighborhood Association meeting tomorrow, Cherriots will give an update on the process for a new Transit Station in South Salem.

Bike Parking at the Keizer Transit Station:
Isolated, on the sidewalk,
and you can't bike to it
With a sort of pairwise symmetry Cherriots has been working on acquiring land and planning for a new Transit Station in South Salem along the Commercial corridor.

Proposed transit center on South Commercial
Cherriots has applied for funding from a couple of different programs, and so far things haven't worked out. I'm not sure that the details are particularly important: It's not like this is a bad project or anything. It has just seemed like mismatches between program goals, scoring criteria, and timing with the Transit Station's progress on internal milestones. I don't think we should be drawing inferences from the fact that it's struggling for funding. The proper conclusion, rather, is about policy, about the crappy way we invest in transit.

Cherriots hasn't shared much officially about their proposed locations, so perhaps this will be something of an announcement about prospective sites. Or maybe not. Maybe it will just be a general update.

As Cherriots plans for the Station, hopefully they will remember the problems at the Keizer Station site, where less thought was given to circulation for people on foot and on bike than on circulation for buses. The South Salem Station should be a much stronger multi-modal hub with attractive, comfortable, and functional connections, not just shiny hardware that's hard to reach.

If you look at the area map, you'll see the study area is on the crossroads of Keubler and Commercial, both of which are high-traffic roads, terrible for biking. Cherriots can't directly change the road configuration on either road, but they can better attend to connections to the roads, how people will actually be arriving on foot or on bike, to general edge conditions, and to internal circulation patterns. Function should trump ornament.

Also on the agenda is a presentation on the street tree program. SESNA piloted a planting program, and there's a chance to extend it to Morningside. I believe the City will provide the trees for free, and you just have to plant it and provide the care and feeding. If you're interested in real parking, in trees for the curb strip, check it out.

(And in not-ready-for-fall-yet-but-here-it-comes...
[Friends of Trees] will be giving Crew Leader Training in south Salem On October 25th. The morning hands-on portion will take place at Clark Creek Park; we'll replace some young trees that didn't make it this year. The indoors training, lunch, & panel discussion will happen that afternoon at a venue close by. Stay tuned for upcoming details.)
The Morningside Neighborhood Association meets Wednesday the 13th at 6:30 p.m. in the Pringle Creek Community Painters Hall, 3911 Village Center Drive SE.

SCAN's Appeal on the Blind School

SCAN has appealed the "class 3 site plan review" for the Hospital's plan at the Blind School.

The matter at issue seems not to be tree removal or the overage of 87 parking stalls, but instead is the walking and biking environment: improved crosswalks, bike lanes, and intersection treatments on Church Street, Mission Street, and Winter Street. The claim is that these improvements, adopted in the City's Transportation System Plan, would normally be required by the City as part of the development, but the City has instead given the Hospital a pass on them, "relieving the applicant of responsibility."

The Appeal Hearing will also be on Wednesday the 13th at 5:30pm in Council Chambers at City Hall.


Curt said...

SCAN's appeal is very much about parking. We will directly challenge the city's tortured interpretation of SRC 133 and argue that it does not conform to the policies in the Parking Management Element of the TSP.

The appeal document is just generic language we put down to get the appeal in under the deadline. Don't read too much into it.

Susann Kaltwasser said...

I find it ironic that on the one hand the City of Salem is urging people to plant trees and on the other hand they are issuing permits to cut down existing and sometimes historical trees. Over 30 trees at the old Blind School property are to go and now we find out that more downtown street trees are coming down too. Go figure.....