Friday, November 6, 2015

City Council, November 9th - Bike Boulevard Crossings

At Council on Monday is the decision to submit formally an application to construct five crossing safety projects, including two at key Winter-Maple Bike Boulevard crossings, on Pine at Maple, and on Fairground Road near Cottage.

There are a couple of other minor transportation items as well.

Five Crossing Safety Projects
Project estimate is now at $380,000
If you've been following the Non-Highway Enhance process, you'll already know about this.

If not, there's a pool of State/Federal money explicitly for non-auto-centric projects in the 2018-2021 cycle statewide. The City initially considered a bunch of project applications, including:
  1. Finishing up the east portion of the Union Street Bikeway
  2. The Hyacinth-Kroc Center Path
  3. Planning for a new riverfront path north of the Union Street Railroad Bridge on the east bank and north to Keizer
  4. The Second Street crossing under Wallace Road in West Salem
  5. Sidewalk infill on South Commercial
  6. New sidewalks and bike lanes on McGilchrist St SE between 12th and 25th.
Numbers four through six were judged not ripe enough, and one through three (plus the safety crossings) were advanced as concepts to our Metropolitan Planning Organization and Area Commission on Transportation.

The package of five safety crossings scored highest, and it alone of the four was recommended for advancement with a full application to ODOT.

The matter at Council authorizes the full application.

The Winter-Maple Bikeway
The two bikeway intersections will mend important gaps in the current signed bikeway and will be two of the largest chunks of engineering in the upgrade to a full family-friendly bikeway. These intersections require serious changes in design in order to accommodate the full "eight to eighty" range of users. Even for ordinary, competent adults they are formidable at times. You will recall that a driver killed Caroline Storm as she was crossing Pine along Maple earlier this year. Crossing Fairgrounds Road is nearly always a scamper.

The other intersections are important for schools.

So this looks like a very fine project.

At this point in the process, projects are still competing for funding, and there are more projects in the application pool than ODOT thinks can be funded. In general, once projects get to this point, the City does a pretty good job with them, and while you don't want to assume anything, it would be surprising for this one to fall below the funding list. It looks solid.

(And again, for much more detail on the Enhance process, see here. For more on the Winter-Maple bike boulevard, see here.)

Other Matters

The City and PGE are renewed the electric utility franchise for another decade, and they've added a few new conditions. One especially interesting item is that
Where required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), PGE has agreed to make any necessary improvements resulting from their construction activities on existing City streets, sidewalks, or curbs.
So it would seem that in 2005, when the last franchise agreement was extended and/or renegotiated, ADA compliance was not part of the deal. So it's good to see that incorporated now.

McGilchrist at the SSA Office:
40mph, no sidewalks - but watch out for pedestrians!
In the administrative purchases report for the Urban Renewal Agency, there's a line item for $1,189,917.53 in engineering services on the McGilchrist corridor from 12th to 25th. A couple of weeks ago in the City's "Community Connection" newsletter there was a note that
This week, staff sent a letter to property and business owners in the area of McGilchrist Street SE (from 12th Street to 25th Street) to let them know that survey crews, engineers, and environmental consultants would be in the area, preparing for the design of improvements to the McGilchrist Street corridor. The FY15-16 Urban Renewal Agency budget included funding for this initial design phase.
That'll be nice. It's in an industrial area, and so it still probably won't be ideal for walking and biking, but this is also a place where freight movement likely remains primary, and the other things fit in around it. Still, with the Social Security Office, a Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic, and the nascent brewery and tasting room cluster, there is a need to make sure that secondary doesn't mean second-class. Hopefully the 40mph limit will be reduced as well. (For more on the McGilchrist corridor see posts here.)

Finally, there's a new heritage tree, a large Deodar Cedar at 23rd and Hayden. Check it out next time you're out on a walk or ride!

1 comment:

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Here's an update from SESNA (minutes from February 23rd meeting) on McGilchrist that doesn't quite seem big enough for a post of its own:

"Sara Long, Tom Walsh & Aaron Kimsey, McGilchrist Street Improvements ­ Update on what to expect. Plan paid for out of Urban Renewal funds, up to 60%. Want to get federal funds to pay for rest of design. (Have to have design in order to get grants; have been saving match funds.) Ideally construct in 2018, depending on funding for construction. Classified as major arterial, ie should have five lanes, bike lane; re­evaluated and concluded only needs three lanes. Keep road narrow to reduce size of culvert/bridges needed over creeks. Separate project for 12th St. Widening at Pringle, possibly second turn lane, requiring improvements further down on Pringle. Decide how to realign 22nd St so it goes through, not staggered, going to be painful either way, try to avoid destroying buildings and parking. Create double left turn onto 25th St. Many things have been added (fiber optics, for instance) since last plan in 2007. Conversations about bike lanes/boulevard, acquiring land for size of street, stormwater treatment. City has plan for multi­use path along east side of 25th ­ they will do some work on this during McGilchrist plan. No change to RR crossing ­ this intersection is #1 in state for “near misses”. Can’t talk about acquisition until many other things are in place."

Good to see plans for three rather than five lanes.