West Salem - Monday
|Five years ago, when so much seemed possible:|
City and UO/SCI Staff talk bike access
at Union St. Bridge path dead-end.
- Keizer Rapids (Regional) Park and the Big Toy Project - Marion County, Commissioner Janet Carlson
- Bicycle Boulevard Networks – Gary Obery
- Energy Conservation and Solar - Jeff Lewis, Salem Electric
|WSNA Transportation goals for 2015|
NEN - Tuesday
Though there aren't any items on the agenda to note, the minutes from last month's NEN meeting are awfully interesting.
The presentation and discussion on bike boulevards looked good, and Councilors appear to have agreed to talk more about including them in Council Goals!
|(Sorry for the awkward page break!)|
Well, we have some! We conducted an all-volunteer bike count project from 2008-2011. Here are reports from 2008 and 2011. The best set of counts is reported in Appendix B, "Travel Characteristics of the Salem-Keizer Region" from the SKATS 2011 RTSP.
We abandoned the project for two primary and interlinked reasons: In the absence of highly visible progress and more active City support, recruiting volunteers became increasingly difficult each year. To keep the project going required a better feedback loop where volunteers felt taking time out of their day to stand and count bikes during rush hour resulted in meaningful progress. Folks have to feel like they are "making a difference." So we needed City Staff to embrace and act on the results, and this in turn would make recruiting volunteers easier.
That said, relying on volunteers for the counts is not sustainable, and we need to have a system, as we do for cars, of automated bike counts. The counters to go in on the Union Street and Minto Bridges will help in this a great deal by providing a rudimentary baseline. But we still need more. And once the City shows they take counting people on bike seriously, then we will be able to recruit more easily for hand counts at spot locations.
Also interesting in the Council report: On the topic of bike boulevards a person they were "never seeing bicyclists" and were skeptical of spending for bike boulevards; the same person later said, "you take your life in your hand when you use the sidewalks."
(One of these days we'll figure out how to make the connections!)
NEN meets Tuesday the 3rd, at 6:30pm in the Salem First Church of the Nazarene, 1550 Market Street NE.
Grant - Thursday
|Early grocery on close-in Broadway, circa 1925|
And now site of Salem's first Food Cart Pod
- Update on the Architectural Handbook/Guide, Professor Hubka, Kimberli Fitzgerald & Historic Interns;
- Barrel & Keg Food Truck Pod/ Parking;
|Two-page spread from draft pamphlet on historic houses|
And more about new history - the first food cart pod in town.
And we'll say it again, it's likely not a coincidence that it is sited not on a highway or major arterial and stroad, but on a minor arterial/collector nexus - medium sized streets - that still retain some characteristics of the streetcar era.
The Neighborhood Association also formally adopted a resolution for bike boulevards!
“We adopt a position in favor of the bike boulevard running from Cherry Avenue, along Winter Street, to Bush Park, subject to the Downtown Mobility Study.”The Grant Neighborhood Association meeting is on Thursday the 5th at 6:15 p.m. in the Library of Grant Community School, 725 Market St NE.
East Lancaster (ELNA) also voted to adopt a resolution in favor of bike boulevards!
And at Southwest Association of Neighbors (SWAN) bike boulevards will also be on the agenda. SWAN also meets Thursday the 5th.
|Zig-zaggy bike boulevard in SWAN|
- The area north of River Road will be partially served by the connections created by the Minto Bridge and path, although in darkness and foul weather the isolation in the park will not be attractive to most users and in high water the park won't be usable at all. So River Road, as unattractive as it is with high speeds, remains a key connection and will need work.
- Liberty also lacks bike lanes, and only the most confident people will ever bike on it. I have seen many using the old sidewalks on Liberty. This is a problem for people on foot, of course.
- The proposed bike boulevard route is very zig-zaggy. The street system here is not rich with connections, and connectivity is a problem. There are also the hills. If we evaluate bike boulevards on the number of people they are likely to serve, ones in the gridded flats offer more immediate benefits for a larger proportion of people who might be interested in biking. (People don't move into SWAN because they are looking for a low-car life!)
- SWAN enjoys a higher level of income, and equity concerns may suggest improvements elsewhere in the City should be a higher priority.
- And the Cemetery itself, a huge structural and unresolved barrier.