But it's also remarkable that the bike commute is a significant detail worth comment - but mainly in passing, and not as a freak show, outlier, or grand or heroic gesture unavailable to ordinary folks.
It's a small and sensible commute decision, one based on "fun" and proximity to home - and even a little banal.
That's a moment to cheer in the mainstreaming of bicycling and the way it's handled in the press.
Thanks, Bob and Tom!
However...at another Salem institution, there is sad and unsurprising news. The giant parking lot at the former Blind School property has claimed another loss.
|Here's the tree, to have been the focus|
of the courtyard and entry
But it should surprise no one that the parking lot and associated buildings were not planned in a way deeply sensitive to the existing ecosystem. The site plan was "imposed" on the site, not developed in tandem with it in an organic way. This is a failure of siting and of landscape architecture.
And again, it's all driven by cars, by the vast parking lot.
Keyed to the waning days of the Legislature, Transportation For America has a press release and somewhat new report out.
|T4America Bridge tool|
OREGON – A new Transportation for America report analyzes the condition of Oregon’s bridges and finds that 439 are structurally deficient — requiring urgent repair, rehabilitation or replacement.You know the deal. As we've pointed out, the Marion Street Bridge is one of the "structurally deficient" bridges, and it needs both regular repair and a seismic retrofit. That should be the priority, not a new "Third Bridge."
These bridges are located in areas urban and rural and serve as critical links in moving people to work and goods to market each day. In 2014, Oregon drivers took 1,000 trips per minute over these deficient bridges. Compared to other states, Oregon has done a better keeping their bridges repaired, but 439 structurally deficient bridges is still far too many, and without continuing to prioritize and fund their repair, progress could even slow or reverse course.
Most bridges are designed with a 50-year lifespan, but these structurally deficient bridges are an average of 55 years old, 14 years older than the average age of all Oregon bridges. One in twelve bridges were built before 1948, which means that 680 bridges have been carrying traffic since before the Korean War and the creation of Medicare.
“Federal and state transportation funding simply hasn’t kept up due to declining gas tax revenues, inflation and improved vehicle fuel efficiency,” said T4America director James Corless. “With action by the legislature, Oregon could join a growing list of states — 20 and counting — that have raised their own transportation revenues since 2012. While increasing state funding is a good step, Congress needs to reward those efforts by fulfilling the historic federal role as a trusted partner in transportation investment and passing a long-term transportation bill with stable, increased funding. Doing so would allow the State of Oregon and local officials to better address these sorts of ongoing maintenance needs.”
Other deficient bridges in Salem?
- Winter Street at Shelton Ditch (being replaced right now!)
- High Street at Mill Creek
- Cottage Street at Mill Creek
- Hawthorne Ave at Mill Creek
|In Japan after a 2011 earthquake|
The full report from T4America is here.
|McLane Island could be an important village,|
seasonal camp, or burial site
[A]nother concern to Oregon State Parks and the Grand Ronde tribes and other tribes is the possibility that McLane Island was a cultural site for native people. It could have been the site of a village or even a burial ground. The Columbia River has several islands that were used as burial grounds...[for example]So that's another delay, and another potentially fatal finding for the prospect of a giant bridge and highway.
To their credit, State Parks and the tribes are requiring that this be investigated. NO 3rd Bridge has learned from State Archeologist Dennis Griffin that in August core samples will be taken on McLane island from below the flood sediment on the surface to try to discover if any cultural materials can be found.
And not at all about bikes or Salem, but about one of our greatest practitioners of everyday beauty, this obituary:
His typeface designs are everywhere you look. Hermann Zapf has died at 96 http://t.co/E0oEEdIlUv pic.twitter.com/CFq9GoW2i6— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 10, 2015