Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Cherriots Wander Walks Map Strays from Pleasant Sidewalks

You might remember that some Willamette University MBA students were working with Cherriots on a walking map.

I think the Wander Walks Salem map has been out for a month or so. It's available at the service counter in the transit mall downtown.

But it's a little odd perhaps. Have you seen it?

Wander Walks Salem Map
Some of this comes down to personal taste, but would you say that the best quality walking in Salem is so much on busy roads?

I myself and those I know who like to walk often choose routes to avoid the exhaust and traffic.

Wander Walks Detail - lots of arterial walking
If you were to give these routes to someone new to Salem or to someone who didn't routinely walk, would they hook a person on walking here? Some of them maybe, but some are real head-scratchers - like that #3, the "Salem Center Jaunt" on Center and Marion Streets:
For the urban jungle enthusiast, this walk guides residents and visitors alike through the commercial heart of Salem Shopping. With boutiques, food and coffee,as well as unique and charming local shops...
You mean the mall?

If it is supposed to represent especially interesting or pleasant walks in Salem, I think the map misses the mark.

There's too much State highway and not enough wander.

It seems like this was a bit of a missed opportunity.

Did anyone do Bridge Pedal on Sunday or walk across the new bridge during the open house period?
Now that's a "signature" bridge! And it's not built for cars. (Lots more imagery posted to twitter and elsewhere.)

You already know we have a couple of smaller bridges in progress. There's nothing especially fascinating about them at the moment, but it's always nice to see the progress.

Construction on Shelton Ditch at Winter Street

Construction on Slough for Minto Bridge

A Few Stray Additions...

Salem brewers, you did "angry owl" - let's do a Peter Courtney Minto Island Bridge beer next year!
And here's some important criticism of the bridge.


Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Added a very pleasant note about bridge beer, and less pleasant bullets about the cost and financing of the Tilikum bridge. (Andersen writes at BikePortland and the Green Lane Project.)

Anonymous said...

If you have suggestions for specific improvements to the Wander Walks map, please share your thoughts with They did a limited initial print run to give people an opportunity to share feedback and recommend improvements.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...


Here's one batch of ideas:

1) consider including the downtown historic walking tour
2) consider a larger tour with some of the civil war era buildings that Mission mill identified
3) Give preference to bikeways and proposed bikeway streets: These lower-traffic streets are also more pleasant for walking. Like Chemeketa is an E-W connection vastly superior to Ferry street, and it is striking that no route uses it, especially through the Capitol Mall.
4) Not sure that "urban jungle" has quite the right connotations these days. But if a person wanted a short walk on busy streets, the State/Court couplet is far superior for walking than the Marion/Center couplet in downtown.
5) High Street is one of Salem's best walking streets, from McKinley School, by Bush park, over Fry Hill with the Fry and Jarman houses, and into downtown. It should be highlighted more.
6) It's hard to believe there's not a continuous route highlighted between the Hospital and the Civic Center along the whole length of the Shelton Ditch/Pringle Creek path.
7) Virginia Green has compiled a small library of walking tours, and one or more of hers out in the neighborhoods could be attractive.
8) Not a single hill walk? At least a walk up to Mahonia Hall and Fairmount Hill should be considered.
9) On the map itself, the "historic site" icon and captioning is thin: "historic bank building" is vague and not very compelling. Seems like historic sites could be better marked on the map itself.
10) There's some garbage data in google maps, and "Waldo Park" is completely misidentified.
11) The willamette queen is a diesel facsimile - does it really qualify as an "historic site"?
12) If you keep walk #12 unchanged, you should include Lee Cemetery. Cemeteries are great places for walking, and of course the burials offer direct and moving links to real history.

Maybe readers will have more...