Monday, March 9, 2015

In the Neighborhoods: More Support for Bike Boulevards; Cherries and Camas

Did you get out in the glorious weather? Lots of people enjoying the start of the cherry blossoms at the Capitol!

One thing I hadn't noticed before was that the very first trees to blossom are on the east side directly on the Chemeketa Street alignment. It looks like stairwells or something from the underground parking garage add just enough extra heat over the course of the winter that these trees are perhaps a week ahead of most of the other cherry trees in the spring.

(Assuming that the Cherry trees are all of the same kind, this is a very small example of the way our parking has broader system effects to which we give insufficient attention.)

Everybody's out enjoying the warmth and early blossoms.
Three of the trees are blooming earlier than the others.
(The warm weather and our low snowpack
is also related to climate change, alas)
The paper had a nice piece about a man who's been tracking the flowering for 56 years now:
[Wilbur Bluhm, a retired horticulturist of 30 years,] records a variety of information including when trees are leafing, flowering, done flowering, bearing fruit, showing fall colors, and when they lose their leave among other things.

Bluhm has been collecting this the data each week for the past 56 years and says that this spring season is the third earliest date that the cherry blossoms have been blooming outside of the capitol.

"On average, the cherry blossoms bloom around March 15," Bluhm said. "But this year they started on March 1."
At Bush Park the very first small camas shoots are also beginning to flower. So those are early too. In another couple of weeks they will also be glorious!

In the Neighborhood Associations this week lots of support for bike boulevards.


Last month by a vote of 8-4, the Morningside Neighborhood Association endorsed the family-friendly bike boulevard concept and is sending a letter to Council in support of it. (The minutes don't talk about the dissenting votes, and it would be interesting to learn more about the reasons four voted against the resolution.)

The association meets on Wednesday, and at the meeting there are additional topics of interest:
2016 Kuebler Boulevard Eastbound Widening Improvements, Kuebler Boulevard and Commercial Street Intersection Improvements, and ODOT Project along Kuebler Boulevard at the I-5 Interchange – Aaron Kimsey, Senior Project Manager, Aaron Edelman, Project Manager and Jerry Wolcott, Oregon Department of Transportation Project Leader;
The Morningside Neighborhood Association meets at Pringle Creek Community Painters Hall,  3911 Village Center Drive SE on Wednesday the 11th at 6:30 PM.


The South Central Association of Neighbors also meets Wednesday, and they have a few items to note on their agenda:
  • Salem Bike Boulevard Advocates, Sarah Rice and Jeff Leach
  • Update on Rehab Center Construction [at the Blind School], Leilani Slama, Salem Heath
  • Salem Streetlight Fee, Debrief on Feb 23 City Council Discussion
The South Central Association of Neighbors meets Wednesday the 11th at 6:30 p.m. in the South Salem High School Library at 1910 Church Street SE.


At last month's Highland Neighborhood Association meeting, the Board voted unanimously to support bike boulevards, and they will send a letter to Council.

The Highland Neighborhood Association meets Thursday the 12th at 7:00 p.m.  They meet at Highland Elementary School, 530 Highland Ave NE.


Last month SEMCA also endorsed bike boulevards.

South Gateway will also hear the same Kuebler presentation as Morningside, and they meet on Thursday the 12th. It's not clear whether an endorsement followed last month's presentation on bike boulevards. South Gateway Association meets at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 1770 Baxter Rd SE, on Thursday the 12th at 6:30 PM.


Gary said...

Regarding the Morningside votes against bike boulevards, several folks seemed to be suggesting that the city shouldn't spend already limited $ on "special bike stuff". Maybe I didn't make a strong enough point that these streets are much more than an amenity for bikes; they are amenities that strengthen neighborhood cohesiveness, neighbors getting to know neighbors as they pick up the paper or walk the dog in the morning, kids walking to their friend's house, storm water treatment facilities, fewer crashes, etc. I expect there will be greater use of the term "neighborhood greenways" when labeling these types of streets in the future so that the broader concept isn't lost.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

SESNA also has formally supported bike boulevards.

Figuring out a way to express the idea that our current street system is almost wholly "special car stuff" that excludes or hampers all other users of the public roads - flipping that narrative of "special bike stuff" is a challenge.

Relying on dedicated funding sources for bike/ped things reinforces the faulty narrative, alas. Also "Enhance" programming, as if mobility for non-car users is still an extra, a frill, an enhancement.