Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Feds Fund a Bicycle Visitor Center in Detroit; More on Passenger Rail

Dang. The Stayton Mail's reporting that the Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway between Estacada and Detroit won a $2 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration for a bicycle visitors center in Detroit.

The route runs along the Clackamas River and Breitenbush
With the way drought has diminished boating recreation, it wouldn't be surprising to see bicycling picking up some of the slack.

Sure looks pretty. (via RideOregon and the Path Less Pedaled)
(Update - The project's formal name is "Detroit Area Visitor Portal, Bikeway and Day Use Enhancements" and it's part of the Oregon Federal Lands Access Program. Here's the short list of programs funded in this cycle. Interestingly, it says "Funding for these projects is not guaranteed" and notes that Congress has to reauthorize funding for the program. So maybe this isn't exactly a done deal yet.)

Passenger Rail

The Passenger Rail project has identified a draft preferred alternative, and they're going out with an online "open house" about it.

the fall newsletter
It is, unsurprisingly, improvements to the existing Union Pacific alignment. It's a whole lot cheaper and less disruptive than a whole new set of tracks along I-5, which was the other principal alternative at this stage.

It doesn't seem like there's a whole lot to say about it - but check out the online presentation if you're interested in more of the assessment criteria and scoring.

More interesting, perhaps, is the comparison with the Salem River Crossing. The "Purpose and Need" statement that kicks off the NEPA process is from January 2013. It took them two years to formulate the initial "Preferred Alternative."

The SRC's "Purpose and Need" is from November 2006.

It wouldn't be at all surprising for the rail project to wrap with a "Record of Decision" long before anything, pro or con, gets resolved with the Third Bridge.

Rail has its own kind of lunacy, so it's not like the passenger rail project is some paragon of immaculate process and ideal outcome.

But the contrast shows just how problematic and boondoggular is the Third Bridge. If it was an actual solution to a real set of problems, the process wouldn't have been drawn out so long. Reasonable projects don't have to take so long; dumb ones do.

(For all notes on the rail project see here.)

1 comment:

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Updated with new details on the funding program for the Detroit bike visitors center.