Friday, September 5, 2014

Bike and Walk Salem: Was it All for Nothing?

The Hearings Officer has issued his decision on SCAN's appeal at the Blind School, and in it is a striking comment on what is apparently deep naivete among those of us who want better transportation. (The decision doesn't seem to be posted to the City site, so hopefully we can update with it later.)

One of the findings in the decision against SCAN on the appeal of the Hospital's plan is that
policies and objectives stated within the Transportation [System] Plan do not apply...because these standards have not been expressly incorporated within the Salem Revised Code
Maybe this shouldn't be surprising, but it is. More than a little.

The TSP has seemed like a governing document, one that ought to be followed and which ought to guide and even control the way we interpret other documents.

The City's page for it introduces it as
the City's master plan to guide its actions and investments for the 21st century. The Plan is a comprehensive document containing goals, objectives, policies, projects, and programs needed to provide mobility for the next 25 years.
This is apparently wrong in key ways, however.

The policies and objectives in the TSP literally have no significance! Because they are not in the SRC, they hold no legal weight in assessing projects for compliance. They can be ignored at will. They guide nothing.

So, Bike and Salem, that two-year process to update to the walking and biking chapters of the TSP?

Other than its project list, it is empty. Just words. Of no consequence whatsoever. Just pretend.

Final committee meeting for Bike and Walk Salem
Seriously, was it just totally wasted effort?
Isn't that the conclusion you have to draw?

This is seriously demoralizing. Wow.

There might be more to say about the decision itself - or maybe not. At this point there may not be anything new to say. Over at SCV they've posted a video about the threatened trees and are starting an email campaign. The demolition approval (separate from this site plan decision) is being appealed to LUBA and there might be more to say once filings are completed. For all notes here on the Blind School, see here.


Mike said...
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Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

I know you meant your comment in partial jest, but please no name calling here, even in jest! Thank you!

Curt said...

I hope those participating in the NEN-SESNA neighborhood plan are not under any illusion that whatever new policies that come from that process will be faithfully executed by city staff. It seems as though the biggest resistence to implementing city plans and executing city policy is the Salem planning dept. and public works. Not a single person spoke in favor of the development at the hearing.

Whenever the planning dept. and/or public works has a choice between private interests and the public good, they side with private interests every time.

Its pretty clear why Salem does not in any way resemble the city that was envisioned 20 years ago in the comprehensive plan.

Susann Kaltwasser said...

Perhaps this is something that we can all work on...getting all of the master plans and STP incorporated in the Salem Revised Codes.

I totally agree on Neighborhood Plans. Why have them if the Comp Plan supercedes them? Just a waste of money if not used!