Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Crossing Wallace Road at West Salem Business District Open House Wednesday

Don't forget about the Open House for the West Salem Business District tomorrow, on Wednesday.

Open House on the 25th
They'll be showing a solid idea that has metastasized - and it needs a therapeutic intervention!

Marine Drive-2nd Street connection
overwhelms the path and park
For several months now there has been talk of making a connection along Second Street by going under Wallace Road. Earlier versions of the underpass showed car access terminating at Cornucopia, just a block or two in from Wallace.

Earlier concept seemed to show car access
terminating at Cornucopia; the path stayed path.
But the latest version shows a new street that pushes all the way into the park and connects with the Marine Drive/OR-22 Expressway. (For complete discussion see here.)

This is a lousy idea.

Imagine a local street, and not a Marine Drive connector,
going under Wallace Road, via City of Salem FB
Let the City know that terminating car access at Cornucopia offers the best compromise that maintains the integrity of the Union Street Bridge and Wallace Park path system for people on foot and on bike.

The Open House will be Wednesday, March 25th from 4-6 PM in the Walker Middle School Cafeteria.

Update, March 29th

There's a new handout posted to the WSRAB page that has useful information on transportation costing and staging:

Let's call the underpass an $8 million project

The Marine Drive - OR-22 - Second Street connector
is number 10, a "long term" "potential" project
I don't know that it's exactly reassuring, but it's good to see that the Marine Drive - Second Street - OR-22 connector is described as a long term potential project rather than a first stage priority.

Update, May 1st

Here's a real-life example of the mock-up above!


Susann Kaltwasser said...

On the subject of Wallace Road, I wanted to share my observation of the new $10 million intersection at Wallace and Glen Creek. As your readers may recall the City widened the streets with extra turn lanes and now a pedestian or bike user must cross a 2-lane turn lane off of Glen Creek at Wallace. Then, they must stand in the traffic island to cross the actual street!

What I have observed more and more is that pedestrians and bike riders are just too impatient to wait for this turn lane crosswalk light. Over and over they push the button, wait about 30 seconds and then just cross the street when the traffic allows.

At least they are crossing when the turn light is red and they know that enough cars are stacked that they won't be run over. Although honestly I can't say if they cross when the turn light is green too, as I am not there generally that much of the time.

Drivers are also using the red turn lane light as a stop sign much of the time. They creep up over the crosswalk and look for an opportunity to turn on to Wallace Road. From both lanes, btw.

People living north of Glen Creek who use Wallace Road complain that the light is now longer. Not sure if that is a fact or a belief, but it does seem that the stacking at the light on Wallace is longer now.

Some might say that there is no need to study the impact of the 'improvements' after the money has been spent. But maybe it would help to do a reality check to see if perhaps we could save some money on poorly conceived 'street improvements' in other parts of Salem.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Thanks for the update on the Wallace and Glen Creek Highway Interchange!

As for the feedback loop...the problem is data is only useful where there is also interest and desire. And as we see with the Third Bridge, there is limited interest in real data. (I think you also see this with the Police Station project.) So I am pessimistic about the prospects for what otherwise would be a wholly sensible suggestion to go back and evaluate.

Additionally, too often "the standard," abstract engineering design standards, trumps genuine community needs. See this Strong Towns video for a hilarious example.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Here are some student design boards for 2nd. They are on the west side of Wallace mostly, and don't address the problematic nature of the Marine Drive - OR-22 connector on the east side. Perhaps more to say later...

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Updated with new costing and staging information presented to WSRAB.

There are important details to argue over still, but this project gets more interesting rather than less!

It seems like there is a very real prospect for a total package that substantially improves mobility for all road users and increases the prospects for meaningful redevelopment.