Cherriots Moving For - Irrelevance? Self-Nullification in West Salem
Even our Transit Agency is infected by Bridge Madness. They're not "Moving Forward" as much as they are moving out.
One way of looking at the new routes and schedules is that the proposed service level entrenches drive-alone trips in West Salem.
|It is convenient, but not very truthful, to treat the system reboot|
and the Third Bridge as wholly separate matters
|Cherriots proposed five-day coverage for West Salem|
Both Wallace and Edgewater routes go downtown;
Edgewater is frequent service -
but lots of empty in the hills
Structural problems with West Salem aren't getting much play in the discussion. Cherriots could really use this as an opportunity to talk about how our land-use in West Salem is defeating transit. And talk about how we might want to use transit to improve West Salem. But no.
In the absence of this conversation, most people are reacting to the Cherriots reboot with questions about Saturday and evening service. And those are important questions, too.
Cherriots, alas, has done a terrible job messaging the budget constraints that lead them to service cuts and to the reasons they still can't offer Saturday service.
Instead they're selling it all as a great big upgrade - as indeed in some places it is. Especially along busy corridors, Cherriots is proposing 15 minute frequent service. That's almost enough that you don't even have to check a schedule, and can just walk to a bus stop, confident you'll get a ride with virtually no wait. That's real convenience and a service level that will draw new riders.
But the fact is riderships and revenues are down. So they have to make choices about where to concentrate limited resources.
And in making the choices they have failed to take into consideration huge structural problems in Salem land-use.
They talk about "Connecting Riders to Jobs," but one of the primary connections to jobs in Salem, the West Salem to downtown link, is being sundered.
|"most of these workers have jobs located in downtown Salem"|
(from the flexible transit study)
Never mind that this exacerbates the trend of inefficient land use and will bear even worse fruit for Salem 10, 20, 30 years down the road.
The Operational Problem in budget and logistics gets totally separated from the strategic and long-range questions of land-use and transportation planning and what look like attractive short-term solutions may very well cannibalize the longer-term viability of a robust transit system in West Salem.
This is messed up.
On Thursday, Sept. 18, we will be holding two webinars, a 3 p.m. webinar and 6 p.m. webinar. You can also view the webinars live on YouTube. To join a webinar and ask a question, all you need is a gmail account. If you don't have a gmail account and would still like to ask a question, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and put WEBINAR QUESTION in the subject line.(For more on the Cherriots system analysis, see notes here.)
Rivercrossing Oversight Team
Also messed up!
|SRC Oversight Team Agenda for Sept 18th|
They'll also pick a bridge design and talk about a funding workshop.
It seems highly unlikely that there will be enough information and time to reflect to make a sophisticated judgement on bridge design. It seems almost certain to be made on price point alone.
The funding workshop, though, seems like it might offer a chance to get serious on how folks propose to pay for the thing - and how much more urgent and cost effective would be a seismic reinforcement of the existing bridges.
The land use approval process will also be interesting, as it just seems so unlikely that they can successfully make the case for expanding the urban growth boundary or justifying land use goal exceptions.
(On the other hand, there have been plenty of seemingly difficult barriers that in fact proved no barrier at all. So who knows.)
The Oversight Team meets at 11am on Thursday the 18th at 100 High St. SE, Suite 200, above Bar Andaluz and Table Five 08. N3B will surely have more.
(For way, way too much more, see all notes on the Third Bridge here.)