Wednesday, January 7, 2015

City Shares Surveys on Social Media and the Commercial-Vista Corridor

Two new surveys are out this week and offer a chance to tell the City what you think.

Social Media: One-way or Two-way?

I don't really get yet the City's approach to social media. Are they looking to use it to have a conversation - you know, like "social"? - or are they just going to use it as a propaganda arm for press releases and other prepared and sometimes Pollyanna-ish bits?

The way the City's Planning group treated recent decisions by LUBA was interesting:
LUBA's remand only gets a retweet about "limbo"
People on Facebook have also suggested that criticism of the City might have been deleted. (Of course, some criticism is simply name-calling, trolling, or so under-informed it's at all not useful. Some moderation of comments and response is certainly appropriate in this context.)

The City has a survey out now about the ways they do use and should in the future use social media, and it might be worth your while to let them know what you think - and to suggest that a wider view of dissent and debate might be useful.

Update, Jan 9th

Here's a great one! The library's twitter account is private:

Want information? Not for you!
That is totally bass-ackwards social media.

Middle Commercial Study

The Commercial-Vista Corridor Study also has a survey out. Let 'em know you value slower auto speeds, general traffic calming, and improved conditions for people on foot and on bike!

Additionally, looking back at the recent decision from LUBA, it seems like it is time to push for more plan language in city code itself:
On appeal to LUBA, petitioners make no particular arguments under SRC 220.005(f)(3)(B), but instead argue that the Bicycle System Element of the city's TSP include plans for improving the facilities at the adjoining intersection of Mission and Winter Streets, and that the hearings officer erred in failing to require the Hospital to construct these improvements....SRC 220.005(f)(3)(B) does not reference the TSP or require site plan review applicants to construct the bicycle facilities referenced in the TSP. Absent a more developed argument based on the requirements of SRC 220.005(f)(3)(B), petitioners’ arguments under these assignments of error do not provide a basis for reversal or remand.
When we went through Bike and Walk Salem to update the bike chapter of the Transportation System Plan, it seemed like its policy language was going to shape actual decisions.

But as we see, the City and LUBA are free to ignore language in the TSP because it is not also expressed in the SRC ordinances, which evidently have greater binding force.

The recommendations in the Commercial Vista Corridor study will be aspirational and advisory - empty in this regard - without incorporating them more robustly in the SRC.

So consider letting the City know that we should be more serious about executing on adopted plans, and one way to do this is by incorporating more plan language into city ordinances.

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