Monday, August 31, 2015

West Salem Urban Renewal Board may Degrade Wallace Undercrossing and Path

A little over a month ago a draft of the West Salem Business District Action Plan went out to a bunch of meetings for comment. This was the initial set of concepts:

West Salem Business District Action Plan
Executive Summary, June 26th
Note in particular the area keyed at number two.

On Wednesday the West Salem Redevelopment Advisory Board meets to consider an updated concept plan.

revised West Salem Business District Action Plan
WSRAB Summary September 2nd
Now at the area of number two there is a "future curb cut" (green triangle) and the extension of Second Street NW continues into the park, takes over the footpath, and becomes Marine Drive along the perimeter of the park.

Salem Alternative OR-22/Marine Drive Expressway
and new Glen Creek Path
Marine Drive is a medium-sized, collector-rated street, that is actually a Trojan Horse for the expressway associated with the Third Bridge, whose footprint is in that yellow-beige band sweeping over the lower right corner.

Imagine a local street, and not a Marine Drive connector,
going under Wallace Road, via City of Salem FB
With a modest amount of car traffic on a local street the proposed undercrossing would be a relatively pleasant shared environment, and Second Street could become something of a bike boulevard as the straight-forward extension of the Union Street RR Bridge path and alignment. (Note that the picture the City is circulating above appears to show a local street.)

Salem, Falls City & Western Line, 1915 USGS map
It's too late for a Rails-to-Trails conversion,
but a Bike Boulevard is still possible.
But on a collector-rated street speeds will be higher, and City standards call for bike lanes. This shared environment becomes significantly less pleasant.

Connecting Second Street to Marine Drive is a retrograde move, one that degrades, not enhances, walkability in the Edgewater District and degrades the park experience in Wallace Marine Park.

The City has already adopted an Edgewater Action Plan, and its values are incompatible with the Third Bridge.

None of the Edgewater Action Plan's Vision and Main Street Concept
is compatible with the devastation wrought
by the ramps and viaducts of a 3rd Bridge
WSRAB meets Wednesday, September 2nd from 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM in the West Salem Public Library, 395 Glen Creek Road NW.

For all notes on the Edgewater District see here.

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