Monday, August 17, 2015

Old, Kludgy Intersection of 25th and State at NEN Tomorrow

The neighborhood associations are relatively quiet right now in a summer lull, but the NEN meeting on Tuesday the 18th has a note of interest.

Safety at the intersection of 25th and State is on the agenda.

25th Street jogs at State Street and the convenience store
It's a funny intersection with multiple things going on: 25th jogs with two T-intersections; it marks a land use boundary with the Prison and lots of other state lands; the old Geer Line had run through there immediately to the east; and in the other direction State Street narrows down as it enters the residential district on the west, and we lose the bike lane after a block. Two different grid alignments tussle with plat jog. And we dredged and widened a streetcar and buggy era road for late 20th century hydraulic autoism.

1917 and current map - via USGS Historical Map Explorer
It's a jumble here, and it embodies several layers of Salem's history and development. The layers don't necessarily correspond so well any more to 21st century transportation needs.

The centuries clash: Adolph House (1878) on left -
notice similarity to Bush house!
on National Register of Historic Places
So it's not surprising the intersection might have safety issues.

And in fact, Bike and Walk Salem, the update to our Transportation System Plan focused on walking and biking, identifies the larger part of the jog for a fix.

Our Transportation System Plan identifies the intersection fixes
The area is also within the boundary for the State Street Corridor Study.

State Street study area just includes
the 25th Street intersection (far right)
Though it might not wholly satisfy neighborhood advocates, the best solution might be to wait for the State Street Corridor Study's final recommendations and to see if a reconfigured intersection might be part of the holistic vision for the whole State Street corridor. (There is also the separate matter of 25th Street from Madrona north, which should also have a corridor, not merely spot, solution.) At the same time, it is certainly possible that daily users of the intersection have noticed problems that also really do require more immediate attention in a short-term spot fix.

NEN meets tomorrow, Tuesday the 18th, at 6:30pm in the Salem First Church of the Nazarene, 1550 Market Street NE.  

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