The first criticism of it when the story was posted online a couple of days ago was - Why start water-shaming residents now? It's raining hard today. The time for the story was earlier in the year.
More important is the problem of scale. Commercial water users almost certainly waste more water than residential users, so why not start with an analysis of Salem's biggest commercial users? And as a total proportion of water use, is it even useful to start shaming residents?
The lack of scale and proportion is a significant hole in context and analysis.
(Conspiracy-minded folks might think of starting with residents as another way to shelter the Chamber of Commerce. That seems unlikely, but it sure doesn't look very good.)
But that's not the most interesting angle here.
|A different "culture of waste"|
The most interesting angle here is this: Basically, if you substitute "road use" for "water use," you have a similar analysis of how we overuse roads and create congestion because "there's no incentive to conserve road capacity."
If tiered water rates make sense, similarly tiered road useage - congestion pricing - also makes sense. Both are market-based solutions to more efficient allocation of resources, resources that are overused because they are underpriced. And road capacity is an expensive resource that gets used in drought-or-flood patterns. We have all kinds of off-peak surplus capacity, and we try to jam everything through during rush hour. Market pricing and market incentives can help manage this a lot better than the vastly more expensive solution of building more capacity.
We have problems with water and problems with road capacity because we approach them structurally the same way.
This isn't any new information, but it's a good graphic that makes a common typology of people who ride bikes even more clear.
We have to be designing and constructing facilities for people on the left side, not the right side of the graphic.The @Massdot #SBL guidance is premised on designing for the "interested, but concerned" population as primary users pic.twitter.com/CUFF0hdTeQ— Toole Design Group (@tooledesign) November 4, 2015
Infill and some History
In the block bounded by 3rd, McNary, Elm, and Gerth in West Salem, there's a cluster of single-story infill housing, all of which have garages on the alley.
|Infill at 3rd & McNary in West Salem|
|Garages and cars on the alley|
What it replaced had been a question. And here's what looks to be the answer!
In 1996, the school district sold the old school and the 2.6-acre site for $120,000. By then, the roof leaked and the basement flooded. Homes now grace the site.