Saturday, June 6, 2015

City Council, June 8th - TGM Grant for Bike Boulevards - updated

The City website is down this morning, and so it is not possible to see the full meeting agenda. (This post will be updated.)

In the meantime, there are a few important transportation items Council will visit on Monday.

From the City's own press release (the order of items is edited here):
Here's a breakdown of the council's Monday, June 8 meeting:

--The council will...take up the topic of bicycle transportation. Bicycle advocates have urged the city to develop low-traffic volume, low-speed bike routes known as bicycle boulevards.
(This is nice and all, but it's framed up as a perk for special interests and not as something that benefits the city generally. The framing here is disappointing.)

A state grant on the council's agenda might advance plans for the city's first bicycle boulevard. City councilors will discuss a proposal to apply for the state's 2015 Transportation and Growth Management Program.

Funds provided through the state program would be used to create a refinement plan for the proposed Winter-Maple Bikeway. The bike route would connect the Capitol Mall and downtown to the Grant and Highland neighborhoods.

The Transportation and Growth Management Program would provide about $140,000 for planning, including $110,000 in state funds plus $30,000 in city matching funds. It is a competitive application process and there are no guarantees that the city will get the funding.

Salem currently doesn't have funding to construct the Winter-Maple Bikeway, or any the 60 miles of bicycle boulevards outlined in its long-term plans. Completing a refinement plan, however, could be a step towards public outreach and seeking funding opportunities.
--Salem currently doesn't impose fines when someone with a disabled parking permit parks at a meter and doesn't pay, or parks all day in a time-limited spot. But the city's lenient rules for those with Americans with Disabilities Act placards have contributed to parking congestion.

At the council's meeting on Monday, the council will hold a public hearing about a proposal to remove exemptions to parking time limits and metered parking rules. City staff recommended the change because a high percentage of the metered parking around the Capitol Mall -- a spot where parking is particularly tight --is being taken by employees with ADA placards.

The proposed changes in parking rules wouldn't apply for those with Wheelchair User placards from Oregon or other states. Wheelchair users could continue to park for free at any meter marked 30 minutes or longer.

If the council votes to advance the parking ordinance, it could have a second reading for enactment at the council's June 22 meeting. The city could begin enforcing the new rules as early as mid-July.

Salem City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m., Monday, June 8, at the Vern Miller Civic Center, 555 Liberty Street SE. To view the complete council agenda and staff reports, go to and click on "City Council" and then "Meeting Agendas"
Though the city press release doesn't call it out, there was also going to be a TGM grant application for the "bridgehead districts," an application that failed to get funding a year ago.

Land Use Plan for Bridgehead Districts, 2014 application
Has anything changed? (See here for last year's discussion.)

Probably not, but it's hard to say until the staff report is published.

It's almost certain that this remains a lousy, terrible, no-good application!

The bike boulevard application is terrific, and deserves enthusiastic support. But the bridgehead one is terrible and deserves great criticism.

You can write Cindy Lesmeister of the TGM program with letters of support for bike boulevards, and opposition for the bridgehead districts.

Update, Sunday

Boy, that's an ugly set of edits. So the Bridgehead District TGM grant application is nohwere to be seen on the Counncil agenda. So I don't know if this means that sense prevailed and it has been withdrawn, or if it seemed best to bring it to Council separately. We'll see.

Bullets for the rest:
  • Council voted unamimously on the 26th to advance the First Street vacation for the proposed Goodwill in West Salem, so that ordinance will get a First Reading and looks to proceed. (See here for notes on the 26th.)
  • In two weeks there will be a Public Hearing on the proposed City budget. We'll come back to this later. The latest edit has an addition of $400,000 for "3 capital improvement projects" - of unknown nature.
  • A formalized grant of $510,100 from the Urban Renewal Agency to the City of Salem for the Union Street and Commercial intersection project. Nothing new, but that deserves a "whoo-hoo."
  • The Staff Report on the bikeway TGM grant. In addition to the neighborhood associations, there are letters from the Boys and Girls Club and St. Vincent de Paul church. Salem Alliance Church, you may recall, had already written a letter of support, and it is very exciting to see the successful outreach to places of worship. It is also worth noting that the proposed route goes through lower-income neighborhoods in Salem, and this would be not be an instance of a higher income neighborhood scooping up pilot and/or leading edge transportation infrastructure. So this proposed alignment also meets a basic equity test, I think.
It is significant that the proposal isn't to serve
Salem's wealthiest neighborhoods first.
via the Census Reporter
I think that's all the major points in the agenda. Maybe you will see something else! Enjoy this great weather.


Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Updated with edits and additions - in particular that the bridgehead district TGM grant proposal is not on the agenda.

Susann Kaltwasser said...

Councilor Benjamin told the East Lancaster Neighborhood Association on Thursday that if we did bike boulevards we might have to give up some street trees! How outrageous!

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Rain gardens and improved stormwater detention are often happy features coordinated with bike boulevard improvements. So it's probably exactly the opposite case: Bike Boulevards often add targeted green strips and increase the street frontage available for greenery and trees. This is one reason why Portland has adopted the term "neighborhood greenways," which makes this connection more explicit.

Thanks for passing along this misapprehension and misinformation.