Sunday, August 23, 2015

Area TGM Grants: Salem wins Bike Boulevard, County and Keizer Shut Out

Over at the Salem Bike Boulevard Advocates, they broke the news yesterday that the City's TGM application was successful and that the City of Salem had been awarded $110,000 for planning the Winter-Maple Family Friendly Bikeway.

You can see the full list of awards here.

Our area also had two other TGM grant applications in contention, and it appears these did not make the cut. One of them from here had looked very weak, and the other was a toss-up. The winning Winter-Maple proposal was from the start a strong and focused one, and it was difficult to imagine it would not be funded.

So it's great that can move forward.

Winter-Maple project area,
Maple and Pine starred
You will recall that a couple of weeks ago a driver killed Caroline Storm as she attempted to cross the unmarked crosswalk at Pine and Maple, one of key crossings on the bikeway that will undoubtedly get a great deal of attention. (It is interesting that one of the All Roads Transportation Safety proposed hotspots is Pine and Broadway, just a few blocks down. One of the limits of both the bike boulevard project and the hotspot concept, is that jay driving occurs in the context of a whole corridor, and spot treatments at intersections won't always address an underlying speeding problem. Sometimes whole roads need to be redesigned. This is one reason why the opinion here is that the State Street Study could actually be more deeply revolutionary.)

It will also be important to push and push to make sure the project gets implemented and doesn't sit idle on the shelf after completion. Even optimistically it seems like it wouldn't wrap before the summer of 2017, and based on other recent TGM projects a longer timeline may be more realistic. They seem to take about a year in behind-the-scenes planning, so we should look for a public kick-off next summer.

Here's a list of all 28 area TGM-funded studies, and it's a long one, with many still far from complete. Two more are in process: The Commercial-Vista Corridor study is moving towards the end, and the State Street Study is just getting ready to kick off this summer. While the froth and enthusiasm for the grant award is deserved and fun, Salem doesn't actually have a good track record of following-through on the studies, so it is important not to treat construction as some kind of done deal.

As for the other area TGM applications in this 2015 round, the Marion County "Kuebler/Cordon Corridor Study and Management Plan" and the City of Keizer "Keizer Growth Management Plan Implementing Community Vision" both are missing from the final list of funded projects. The Kuebler/Cordon one is straight-up hydraulic autoism, and doesn't make much sense in the mission of the TGM program. The Keizer one is utterly baffling, padded as it is with empty buzzwords and no specifics. It seemed shockingly unfocused, a strange submission by a city government.

Several in the Salem Bike Boulevard Advocate team live in the immediate project area, and they are sure to have an important role on the advisory committee. If you aren't following their facebook page, it's must-read now.

As we have with the other studies, we'll also follow it here, and you will be able to read all notes about it at this tag.

No comments: