Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Christmas Citrus in 1915 and extra STP-U funds at the MPO

What a crappy stretch of weather we are having. Here's a sunny and perhaps slightly amusing diversion.

A local history of citrus is well outside our scope here, but the role perhaps of trains is at last somewhat relevant. So we'll go with that.

According to Wikipedia, back in 1907, the Southern California Fruit Exchange, a coop formed in 1893, launched the Sunkist brand and a national marketing campaign.

Here's what the Christmas promotion looked like in 1915.

Full page spread for Sunkist Oranges
December 17th, 1915
Plain oranges are routine now, so it would have to be something like Bergamots to generate any kind of excitement nowadays. Or maybe all citrus itself is too ordinary - and we're back to the Tesla.

Mission Mill has recently started a new web project as an online archive devoted to their physical exhibits. They just published their show on restaurant history and it's worth a look!

Eating Salem website
At the MPO

Also, the Technical Advisory Committee for our local Metropolitan Planning Organization meets today with a fairly light agenda, but they've got a bit more discussion about some dollar bills they found under the sofa cushions.

From the agenda and packet:
Due to the MAP-21 extension, the SKATS MPO will have about $1.0 million more in FY 2015 STP-U federal funds than was conservatively programmed for FY 2015 in the SKATS Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). Five projects were submitted for consideration for funding using the additional funds. See the attached memorandum for additional information
Let's just assume the two Cherriots projects are worthwhile. But the County projects are all hydraulic autoism, all about more capacity and through-put on roads in unincorporated urban land.

It's very disappointing the bonus money wasn't allocated to walking and biking - to the 21st century! - instead of retrograde auto capacity expansion for the 20th century.

This will make its way to the Policy Committee, I'm sure, and maybe there will be more to say then. (Or maybe not.)

Update, the 11th

See comments below for discussion of the particular Macleay & Lancaster project.

The largest impact to NE corner


Anonymous said...

The Macleay/Lancaster signal is a replacement for the existing span-wire signal that is in need of frequent repair and maintenance, according to county staff. It adds & widens the bike lanes to the Macleay approach, and it upgrades the corner ramps to current ADA standards (you probably have seen many other intersections in the region with these updated ADA ramps). It will also have full left and right turn lanes for the Macleay approach.

Mike Jaffe
MPO Planning Director

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Thanks! It's good to know that on that project there is more than just a "traffic signal upgrade," which too often mostly means a way to speed more cars through.

There are already corner ramps and bike lanes here, however, so this probably doesn't count as a meaningful upgrade for people on foot and on bike.

More importantly, on Macleay there's already a center left-turn pocket, so an additional right-turn lane would lengthen the crossing distance along Lancaster by a full lane. Lancaster also has two car travel lanes in each direction and a center turn pocket. This would make a big intersection even bigger. (Aerial shot here.)

Laker Fan Mike said...

The extra right-turn lane if for the Macleay approach. North and south Lancaster approaches are not being widened. On Macleay, the south side of the street has striping for a bike lane (but it appears from Google Street Map to be far less than 6' that will be used in the upgrade) and there is no bike lane on the north side of Macleay as it approaches the intersection.

Yes there are the old style curb ramps (that cross a drain grate on one corner), but they don't meet current ADA standards. Compare these ramps to ones that have been upgraded recently (e.g. at Commercial St SE @ Kearney) that are oriented toward the direction of the crosswalk (and not out into the street) and have pads with domes that are detectable to persons with visual impairments.

One last clarification: today there is a left and right turn lanes for Macleay, and that will stay the same in the future. The county's description says Macleay will be widened to provide room for the bike lanes. Here's the project description:

The proposed project will provide a full upgrade of the existing span wire traffic signal at the intersection of Lancaster Drive and Macleay Road with a modern, mast arm installation. The project will also utilize existing right‐of‐way on the north side of Macleay Road to increase the radius of the northeast corner and widen the
westbound approach. The increased approach width will accommodate a six foot wide bicycle lane on the south side in addition to a six foot wide bicycle lane on the north side that could connect to future bicycle facilities on the north side of Macleay Road. The sidewalk curb ramps on all intersection corners will be upgraded to comply with current Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

To read the entire application and see the proposed design, go to this page (http://tinyurl.com/ztxaz8z) of the November TAC meeting packet and see agenda item D. An aerial of the location with the proposed plan is at the end of item D (page 36 of the PDF). The graphic will clarify the project.

-Mike Jaffe

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Thanks, Mike! Updated with image.

It's true there's not a huge amount of widening after all, but the change in turning radius on the NE corner will make higher-speed, whipping turns more likely. That degrades safety for people on foot especially. The ADA compliant ramps are helpful, of course, for those who need them, but for most people on foot they are not relevant improvements.

I'm still not seeing this as a great improvement in multi-modalism.