The currently proposed amendments are primarily housekeeping. They include:As far as I can tell there's no great change of any significance (see correction just below), though the drift of a number of the edits nods to multi-modal change but may actually retreat from substantive change or action.
1. Updated to the introduction (regulatory context, population and employment forecasts, and travel characteristics);
2. Updates to existing conditions in various modal elements; and
3. Recommendations to support the Chemawa-I-5 Interchange Area Management Plan (a regional project conducted with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), the City of Keizer, and marion County).
This package of proposed amendments will include changes to the following elements of the Salem TSP: Introduction, Street System, Transit System, Transportation Demand Management, Intercity Passenger Transportation, and Freight Movement. Most of the changes are textual edits; however, there are a few minor policy and map amendments. Staff is planning on presenting a package of more substantive amendments focused on changes to the capital project lists and priorities in the future.
|Not sure the interior shows this same modal balance!|
Update and correction:
In the comments Jim points out, and then over at N3B they expand on, an edit whose probable significance I missed and which is actually quite consequential.
|Untethering projects from "anticipated revenue sources"|
The revision proposes to strike this sentence, thereby opening the TSP to "wish list" kinds of projects that have no "anticipated revenue source," and surely the greatest of these is the Third Bridge.
So this edit is something of a Trojan Horse.
But (other than this) mostly it's updating, with a lot of passages like this:
|From SAFETEA-LU to MAP-21|
(But guess what! This is already out of date, and presumably new language about the FAST act will replace the proposed language for MAP-21.)
Some of the outdated regulations are more interesting. Here are vestiges of an old benchmark program - and seemingly now in our prevailing regulatory scheme we don't actually have metrics to assess progress we may or may not be making on transportation.
|Oregon Benchmarks no longer relevant|
|A large deletion on VMT reduction|
The State Transportation Planning Rule requires that our metropolitan region first work to hold VMT per capita to "no growth" over the first 10 years of the plan, then achieve a 5 percent reduction in daily VMT per capita after 20 years of plan adoption, with a total of 10 percent reduction within 30 years...it will be even more strenuous an effort to meet the 20 percent reduction by the year 2025...it will be difficult to achieve these reductions without a serious commitment from the community to substantially change its driving behavior, agree to pay more for gasoline and parking, and to make significant land use revisions to the Salem Area Comprehensive Plan.So did we just give up on this? Why is this being deleted? Has a new regulatory scheme rendered this out of date? Or does the deletion simply reflect the lack of political will and community interest?
A few paragraphs after the table it has a key admission:
It is important to note that even if the Salem-Keizer region is able to build all of the projects contained in the Regional TSP and many from the Salem TSP, we wil still experience more than a threefold increase in the mileage of congested streets during the P.M. peak travel period by 2035 compared to 2009. Thus, we will be unable to build enough capacity into the system to handle all the peak hour traffic demand expected in the coming years. While it is important that these projects be built to reduce congestion, we cannot completely build our way out of congestion.And this is maybe my favorite edit in the whole thing. It used to read, "we cannot completely build our way out of congestion!" But now a more quiet period mark will do.
|No more exclamation point. The symbolism says everything.|
In the section on transit, which dates from 2005, there is a sad edit in which we go from "The City shall support attempts...[to] expand levels of weekend service" to simply "The City shall support attempts...[to] provide weekend service."
The revision also strikes a passage about increasing parking costs.
And in the back where there's a discussion the amendments conformance with the Statewide Planning Goals and the Oregon Transportation Plan, I'm not persuaded these amendments actually address these goals in any substantive way. I don't see new policies in these edits that "aim to reduce energy consumption...[and] demand for single-automobile trips."