Monday, June 22, 2015

Proposed Maple-Winter Bikeway Leads Area TGM Grant Applications

You already knew about the Bike Boulevard project. But there are a couple more applications from area governmental agencies in the works for Oregon "Transportation and Growth Management" project grants. (Complete list here.)

From the Parkway to Court Street
 But first, the official summary on the City's $110,000 bike boulevard request:
The Winter-Maple Family-Friendly Bikeway is identified as a Tier 1, high priority project in the Salem TSP. While the general alignment for this Bikeway has been approved, specific operational and signage improvements are necessary to create a safe and convenient special route for riders of all ages and abilities. Design considerations will include managing traffic volumes and speeds, addressing specific bicycle and pedestrian safety issues, intersection treatments, neighborhood livability, and access to destinations. This project will result in proposed amendments to the Salem TSP which will make the recommended improvements eligible for funding and enable the City to advance projects to final engineering and construction
The application focuses on crossing treatments, and notes that there are 32 intersections, with 4 major arterials, 3 minor arterials, 6 collectors, and 19 local streets. The City of Keizer wrote a letter of support, but since "parkway" is not included in this list of 32, the intersection of Cherry and Salem Parkway may not be included.

Interestingly, traffic calming or traffic diverters are not discussed. It also says "the project will also include a slightly larger secondary project area to ensure that speed and volume management treatments do not result in higher volumes and speeds on neighboring streets." There's a little bit of have your cake and eat it too here perhaps. A recent study in Portland showed that significant speeding remains a problem on their bike boulevard network. Additionally, the City of Salem has shown a striking lack of interest in a 20mph speed limit on neighborhood streets, and the application makes no mention of using this tool, either. This stance on the car traffic side of the equation bears watching and may be a sign that the resulting bike boulevard design could still be on the timid side with bike traffic insufficiently prioritized and protected. Are we really going to make something on which parents will feel comfortable sending their kids on their own? Or is this going to be a design that ends up mainly just serving more experienced people on bike, the commuters and recreational cyclists who are already using this route?

The others?

From Marion County, for $176,000 the "Kuebler/Cordon Corridor Study and Management Plan":
Marion County will lead the development of a Kuebler Boulevard-Cordon Road Corridor Management Plan, which will investigate existing deficiencies, future needs and key connection points, review existing management policies and plans, and integrate land use concerns into a single document. The project will be completed in collaboration with the City of Salem and the Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments with the end goal of adoption as policy by elected officials, The plan will culminate in an intergovernmental agreement between Marion County and the City of Salem that will lay out the framework to resolve important transportation and land use issues required for development to progress.
Hmm...that sounds a lot like straight-up retrograde hydraulic autoism.The land-use piece might be a little interesting, though. I have to admit, I don't think very often about the fact that each side of Cordon has fundamentally different uses. Mostly I think about high speeds, no sidewalks, and bike lanes I wish had physical separation from the 55mph zoomy autoists:
The project will promote environmental stewardship and sustainability in a number of ways. The first is shortened corridor travel times and a reduction in emissions through planned access and improved traffic operations at arterial intersections. Access management and travel progression are current topics of local concern. Access management ideology of both city and county will be explored and documented, with an outcome of mutual understanding of Cordon Road access treatment between the agencies. Analysis of existing and future intersection capacity and corridor progression will be incorporated into the plan, with recommendations made for existing and future conditions. The plan will also address the valuable resource lands located along the corridor and beyond the UGB. Cordon Road is located alongside the dividing line that separates urbanization from important agriculture land uses, both of which have different access needs. The plan will consider the varying land uses and establish a framework for promoting access to each.
The word "bicycle" does not appear in the application, however, so it seems unlikely that the proposal is in any meaningful way multi-modal.

From Keizer, for $165,000 the "Keizer Growth Management Plan Implementing Community Vision":
The project will result in a Growth Management Plan to integrate the Community Vision plan, Transportation Planning and Land use regulations. The plan will emphasize community involvement to address identified growth needs through a variety of innovative solutions. The complex environment of legislative, cultural and political will be assessed to create a specific set of actions to implement. This process will identify discrete growth scenarios and assess the strengths and weakness presented by each. The plan will provide specific actions and solutions that will be adopted and provide solutions for the needs of the growth of the city.
"Through a variety of innovative solutions" is blatherific padding! This sounds too vague and empty - not to mention that "the complex environment of" has no noun object, just a pileup of adjectives! It looks very unfocused on the face of it. (The application is also padded: 227pp worth. By comparison, the City of Salem's, even with a sizeable packet of letters of endorsement, is only 27pp.)

In their recent FB post, the Bike Boulevard Advocate team says they are "accepting any good vibes or karma you can send our way," but it's hard to imagine that the bike boulevard project won't get funding. It looks focused and strong - except for the fact that there's still no identified funding source for anything. But that's a separate matter entirely, and one important goal for the outreach phase of the project is less design refinement than generating political support for speedy funding and construction.

The Kuebler-Cordon project could be good, especially if the land-use side is robust and the focus isn't simply on generating plans to widen the roads.

The Keizer thing just looks empty. (Do you read it otherwise? Maybe I have misread this one.)

I thought I'd seen a note that Cherriots was applying for a TGM grant, but perhaps I misremember.

It is good to see that the City of Salem did not in fact dust off the "Bridgehead District" grant application and chose to apply for the bike boulevard only. Good sense prevailed.

Throughout the State, a lot of the applications are for basic updates to local Transportation System Plans. But there are a few that might be more interesting.

Up in Portland, Metro is applying for one to
integrate health equity outcomes in the 2018 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). This work would occur through the 2018 Regional Transportation Plan update and will include community engagement, conducting a regional-level health impact assessment on investment alternatives under consideration in the plan update and making adoption-ready recommendations on policies, best practices and implementation actions that advance positive public health and health equity outcomes.
Another one from Metro
will serve as the transit modal component of the 2018 Regional Transportation Plan and implement the Climate Smart Strategy to provide a coordinated vision and strategy for transit in the Portland Metropolitan Region.
Down in Springfield form-based code makes an appearance in a grant application to
support the preparation, adoption and application of an innovative hybrid form-based Main Street Corridor Mixed-Use zoning code to enable the new mix of uses envisioned in the adopted Main Street Corridor Vision Plan and implementing Springfield 2030 Comprehensive Plan Housing and Economic Element and TSP policies .
Applicants made requests for 6,877,432 in total funds, and only $2.5 million is available. Awards will be announced in August.

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