Monday, November 3, 2014

Presentations on Fairview and Boise this Week

This week brings two presentations on local development and design: One is part of a Public Hearing at the Planning Commission on the Fairview Addition West by Eric Olsen; and the other, at the Grant Neighborhood Association and much less formal, is on the Boise redevelopment.

Fairview Addition West promises to look a lot like this
Edwards Addition, Monmouth
Eric Olsen Development
I thought there might be more to say on the Fairview project, but the Staff Report recommends approval with conditions on details only, and aside from a couple of local concerns by an immediately adjoining neighbor about drainage and trees, neither the neighborhood association nor the adjoining developers have identified any substantive concerns about the project as a whole.

The only item that jumped out at all to me - and I will be interested to learn if other apparently insignificant details are instead highly significant - in the Staff Report is the desire for Strong Road to be 24 feet instead of 22 feet.

City wants to amend plan from 22 feet to 24 feet wide
There really is no need for 12 foot travel lanes here.  They could be 10 foot travel lanes, even. (This long piece in The Atlantic by Jeff Speck, "Why 12 foot traffic lanes are disastrous" sums the case.) Combined with an adjacent 10-foot multi-use path, the wider section on Strong Road will tend to make it zoomy rather than calm.

This is a mistake. But there might not be any way around it, since only the "private" streets and alleys are exempt from the City design standards in the TSP, and Strong Road is identified as a "collector" in the Master Plan and therefore subject to City standards for collector streets.

But since there will be no bike lanes on Strong Road, and some people will prefer to take the lane rather than use the sidepath, a zoomier car environment may be problematic.

Making City standards trump the proposed interior standards here defeats a little of the multi-modality envisioned for the whole. But it would be exaggeration, I think, to say this is a very important detail. (Do you think otherwise? Chime in!)

From the Public Works Comments in Staff Report
on Design Speeds for Pringle/Battle Creek

More Public Works Comments on Strong Road,
including reminder about sidepath in lieu of bike lanes
Also a little interesting is the disjunction between the nearby school zone and posted speed limits and the actual "design speeds" on Pringle Road and Battle Creek.

Why are we designing curves for 40 MPH with a school immediately nearby??? That's a Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

(But, important to note, that's a City problem, not a developer problem.)

In the end, it looks like we've all got our pom-poms on and want to cheer the project so it finally gets to the point where, along with the other subdivisions, it has the critical mass to become a real neighborhood.

The Planning Commission meets Tuesday, November 4th at 5:30 p.m. in the Salem City Council Chambers.

(For all posts on this part of the Fairview project, see here.)

Update on Boise at the Grant Neighborhood Meeting 

Pringle Square Apartments - via CB|Two
Walking by City Hall or the Boise site you might have noticed more construction of late. Last I was by, the second story (of what looks like four) was going up. (Though it looks like mostly wood, and I wonder how much they'll be able to get done through the wet winter. It's too bad things slowed down this summer.)

Even though the Boise project isn't in the Grant Neighborhood, they have an interest in downtown, and on Thursday they'll be getting an update on the project! If you too are interested in the project, here's an opportunity to learn more.

The Neighborhood Association meeting is on Thursday the 6th with a potluck at 6:30 p.m. and the General Meeting at 7pm.  It is in the Library of Grant Community School, 725 Market St NE.

1 comment:

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Eric Olsen has a web page now for the Fairview addition.

It shows a plan view and aerial of "phase one," just off of Pringle Road.