The lead item, of course, will be an extension of the three-hour parking limit downtown.
Staff recommends extending the current downtown parking arrangements out one year, to February 2016, to get through another Holiday season and to give time to negotiate a real solution to the ongoing capital deficits on the parking district and parking garages. (I don't know if there's anything new to say on this, however.)
|Nyet: Uber needs Licenses|
On December 5, 2014, Compliance Services obtained evidence that Uber was charging fares for providing transportation. At this point Uber was operating as a vehicle for hire company without the required license. The driver in question was also operating without his required vehicle for hire driver's license.So there's the appeal, but there are also ongoing negotiations as well as prospective code amendments, tentatively scheduled for March.
On December 10, 2014, Compliance Services served an Enforcement Order upon Uber requiring it to cease operation in Salem or obtain the necessary vehicle for hire license under SRC 30.700-30.845. The Enforcement Order also advised Uber that there is a potential maximum penalty of $2000 per day for operating without the required license.
The compliance date for the Enforcement Order was set as January 14, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.
On December 16, 2014, Compliance Services sent advisory letters to all known Uber drivers in the Salem area. This letter informed the Uber drivers they are required to obtain a vehicle for hire driver's license under SRC 30.700-30.845.
The advisory letter also explained to them there is a potential maximum penalty of $2000 per day for operating without the vehicle for hire driver's license.
The appeal period for the Enforcement Order was set to expire on January 14, 2015. An appeal was received on January 13, 2015. The next step in this process is to present this case to the Hearings Officer. As of the writing of this report a hearing date has not been set.
Insurance requirements is one of the important matters. For people on foot and on bike, what happens when you are hit by a driver with an Uber fare or other ride-hailing service fare? Because this is driving for business and not incidental to ordinary driving, the driver's regular insurance is not going cover much if anything. So there's a huge coverage gap here. (BikePortland has a longer discussion.)
Something that is interesting, but whose implications I don't understand, is that the City proposes to switch some funding sources on a project in order to exempt the project from NEPA permitting. It's not clear whether this is a dodge of needed environmental protections or a reasonable way to cut some red tape. The City proposes to "use of $320,000 of Streets and Bridges Bond proceeds to fund traffic signal interconnect improvements along Liberty Street NE and Salem Parkway." The Staff Report says
Transferring the federal funds from the Liberty Street NE and Salem Parkway Interconnect project in exchange for the an equal amount of Bond funds from the Brown Road NE project will remove the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) [sic] permitting requirements from the Liberty Street NE and Salem Parkway Interconnect project, while still meeting the local match requirements for the Brown Road NE project....It seems like an interesting slip that NEPA is parsed in the Staff Report incorrectly as the Environmental Protection Agency rather than the National Environmental Policy Act.
This could save up to $50,000 and remove one year from the project schedule, allowing construction to occur in 2015.
It makes you a little suspicious. But hard to say for sure, since the project is for computers and wiring/wireless technology, and doesn't seem like something very disruptive.
|Make a car-walk-bike connection along the RR line - 2nd Street|
There's also a chunk of non-transportation planning news at Council.
|Phase 2 on the south side, looking northwest|
Not routine, apparently, is the grant program for the Pringle Square North Block development.
Shall the Agency Board authorize the creation of a South Waterfront Urban Renewal Area Project Grant Program as an innovative financial incentive to encourage development and the overall appearance and condition of the South Waterfront Urban Renewal Area?When the Park Parcel purchase was negotiated, it included provision for a $750,000 "performance grant." Apparently the vehicle for the funding doesn't yet exist and needs to be created.
The North Block, especially the part that includes the proposed nursing home, is the least satisfactory part of the Boise Redevelopment, and I hope that this program will receive extra scrutiny. If there are parts of the project that are worth a greater level of subsidy, the nursing home is not one of them.
(It's also interesting that we see clearly here that folks are "just making stuff up as they go," literally fabricating new subsidies for the project. That makes you suspicious as well.)
The NEN-SESNA "Looking Forward" Neighborhood Plan is at Council for a Public Hearing and prospective adoption. (For previous notes on it see here.)
Finally, there is the question whether to let an additional real estate/developer type on the Planning Commission. (See the Salem Weekly article for more.)
Other Stuff in Passing
- Should the City expand its no-smoking prohibition to include parks?
- An update on planning for Earth Day. (It is amusing that the Staff Report talks about the project as a way "to help strengthen the public's image of Salem as an environmentally responsible city" but not necessary as actually making Salem a more environmentally responsible city. There's some greenwash here, and it will be so very nice to see more substantive policy in action some day.)
- The first round of Legislative positions are out, but
there's nothing on transportationsee fourth comment below!
- An update on the Floodplain Management Plan. (The materials got bifurcated into two pdfs - here and here. The second one is also a splice of two different matters.)
- An update on the Portland Road Action Plan, but there's nothing meaningful or new in it.
- An update on the North Housing Investment Strategy, but it also is just a rehash of old information.
- An update on economic and business development, and it is also pretty vague and empty. (Seriously, these last three "updates" are more like paper-pushing than meaningful analysis and updates on progress in City programs.)
- And a couple of proposed annexations, here and here. The second one, involving 1910 and 1930 Wallace Road, has been at least peripherally involved in tricky questions about sewer easements and it's adjacent to the proposed alignment of Marine Drive and the Third Bridge, and there's a weird cluster of property not in the City...it feels like there's something more to say here, and maybe a reader will know more.