Monday, August 18, 2014

West Salem's New Second Street Looks Awfully Zoomy and Lotty

You might remember the plan for a part of Second Street in West Salem. The old Salem, Falls City & Western railroad had run down its center on its way to the canneries and then the Union Street Railroad Bridge.

Salem, Falls City & Western Line, 1915 USGS map

Old, unimproved Second Street NW at Kingwood
 with abandoned RR line down center
But the City chose more parking rather than a bikeway and link to the bridge (see here and here).

The adopted plan
Funded by Urban Renewal monies, much of the construction is done now, and while it's all neat and shiny, it sure looks like a badly overbuilt section of road just one block away from Edgewater, the legacy "main street" here.

New Second Street with sidewalks, swales, curbs, and stalls
Especially when there aren't parked cars to pinch down the street a bit, it looks like an overbroad avenue that will tempt speeding. The 10-foot travel lanes are way more theoretical than actual.

Those who live or work on it of course will have a better idea, but from here it looks like it will become the "Edgewater by-pass," a cut-through to avoid queuing and other traffic on Edgewater.

And, again, when the Edgewater/Second Street Action Plan calls for more connectivity for people on foot and on bike, this looks pretty autocentric, with much more space allocated to temporary private car storage than for sidewalk life.

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