Nothing that needed close attention happened to be on the agenda (agenda and full meeting packet here - it's big), but there were some interesting tidbits.
|The last RTSP during adoption|
Chapter Four is on finance, and if you want to understand all the different ways we fund roads, that chapter dives right in. (Here's the adopted chapter from the 2011 RTSP with substantially the same material.)
|All the different pots of money! Yellow are those for bikes.|
(the pdf was scanned as an image, I think,
and it is not very clear throughout)
Chapter Five is on projects - though it's titled "Proposed System." (Here's the adopted chapter from the 2011 RTSP.)
It list funded projects and wish-list projects.
I didn't find any new funded projects, but the wish list is a little interesting. Even after Bike and Walk Salem, there are still no bike boulevards or other 21st century mobility projects on the wish list. At best we still are working on legacy remediation for 1980s style bike lanes and sidewalks in the context of "widening to urban standards." Most of the proposed projects are widening ones, right out of the Eisenhower-era playbook.
|Just part of the wish list|
Yesterday we noted the Salem Bike Boulevard Advocates, and in order to get boulevardy things built, the projects will need to get into wish-list side, and then the "funded" side of this document. It funnels up, so first thing is to get the City on board. (And there will be some wish-list projects, like the Third Bridge, we want to work very hard to keep out of the funded side.)
The chapter also contains a clear statement of hydraulic autoism. Woah, look at all the red! In 2031 these roads won't have free-flowing traffic according to our 20th century travel models!!!
|Most roads won't offer "free flow" in 2031|
(Never mind that the error bars
are huge, huge, huge!)
|The gas tax will be at the center of transportation package|
Commissioner Sam Brentano concurred with Commissioner Pope that the counties will not support any funding scenario except for the 50-30-20 split [State-County-City]. He added that he is not in favor of the cities and counties inheriting any orphan highways. He also supports contributions from bicyclists and pedestrians toward transportation infrastructure and maintenance...It looks like some version of the Oregon Transportation Forum's recommendations will be endorsed. (The OTF's recommendations do include a high-level goal to "Improve public health and air quality by making our neighborhoods walkable and bikeable and improving access to transit." And while it is possible SKATS would adopt a recommendation without this, it seems like opposition to this will remain rhetorical rather than adopted.)
Commissioner Pope commented that while many people seem to favor contributions in some form from bicyclists, to date no practical method has been found that would not have higher administrative costs than would be realized in revenues. He noted that a majority of bicyclists have cars and therefore do contribute to transportation funding....
Commissioner Brentano reiterated his lack of support for the bicycle/pedestrian and orphan highways proposals. He expressed appreciation that the OTF proposal does not include climate change/greenhouse gas recommendations.
In the meeting packet there's also a report on 2013 crashes. Though crashes cluster and occur at higher rates in some places than others, these rates take some time to stabilize, and year-to-year variation is significant. (In 2013 only two people on foot were killed; this year not one month has passed and we've already had three dead.) Even if one intersection has twice the crash rate of another, the crashes themselves are still distributed randomly in time, and it is not good to be quick to draw conclusions over a too-small sample. So I don't really know what these mean, other than that cars kill and hurt a lot of people.
|While friends and family will remember,|
the rest of us will forget and carry on.
(Note on Basic Rule added -
even 25mph in fog may be too fast!)
Intersections and corridors that have an average level of death and crash and injury? No problem! They're functioning well.
We have an implied level of death and mayhem that is an acceptable cost of using the road.
This is not surprising since we have plenty of streets and stroads on which 30, 35, 40, even 55 mph is the posted speed. Posting for these speeds means we know that people on foot, and some in cars too, will die. (Remember, if you are walking and hit by a car and driver, at 20mph you are only 5% likely to die; at 30mph you are 40% likely to die, and at 40mph it is a near certainty at 80%.)
If, as the Swedes did, and an increasing number of American cities are starting to also to do, we define "acceptable" as zero deaths, and find any non-zero number as "unacceptable," then we realize the system is totally messed up and we have engineered our urban roads and legal environment for speeds way too high.
So, with that in mind, here's a graphic of the total crashes in 2013.
|All 2013 crashes involving cars|
|Those hit on foot and on bike|