|(Credit: Andrew Kent via NY Observer)|
One of the main items was a draft of the new Unified Planning Work Program, the document that outlines the main projects and tasks for the agency in the coming year.
You might say that it's just reading in a wintry mood, but it seems like the Work Plan is in denial of death. It's totally dominated by hydraulic autoism and gives insufficient attention to the death of persons and to the prospect of climate death. It is a sunny look at 1950s autoism, all about through-put, not people, and not shaped around values. It's about movement-through, not how to create destinations of value where people stop and create or exchange. It is nostalgia to recreate a fictive past of free-flow movement, and ignores the end-state of a trip.
|Last year's SKATS 2015-16 Work Plan|
Work continues on the Salem River Crossing Study EIS (Environmental Impact Statement). The lead agencies are ODOT and city of Salem. A project management team (staff from ODOT, city of Salem, Polk County, and SKATS plus the consultant team headed by CH2M Hill) manage the project; and an Oversight Team (elected officials representing city of Salem, city of Keizer, Marion County, Polk County, Salem-Keizer Transit plus senior ODOT and FHWA staff) oversees the EIS process.And again, for the second year in the Work Plan, there is formal acknowledgement that using the project's own modeling standards and assumptions, the Salem River Crossing won't actually solve the problems it purports to solve - it is internally incoherent at a cost of more than $500 million!
In February 2014, the Oversight Team cooperatively selected a locally preferred alternative. Also in 2014-2015, a bridge type was determined, funding workshops were held, and work on the Final EIS was started.
In 2015-2016, extensive modeling was completed for the FEIS, as well as engineering refinements to the Preferred Alternative design and footprint, and work had started on a process to expand Salem's Urban Growth Boundary to incorporate the Preferred Alternative footprint.
Tasks in 2016 -2017 include Final EIS analysis and document preparation, agency review (including submitting the FEIS to FHWA for review in September 2016), publishing the FEIS in November 2016; continued work on state land use analysis and approvals, and amendments to Salem's Transportation System Plan and SKATS' TIP and RTSP Amendments. These tasks are required before FHWA will issue a Record of Decision (ROD) on the project to allow federal funds to be obligated for design and construction. [paragraphing added]
In the SKATS area, analysis for the Salem River Crossing Study and draft EIS show multiple locations in the study area where v/c [volume-to-capacity] ratios exceed the mobility standards in the base year conditions. The analysis also shows that with the proposed changes in the Preferred Alternative there will be locations where forecasted traffic conditions in year 2035 will exceed the mobility targets. Final analysis of study area intersections are expected to be completed in early 2016. It will be required that ODOT do a performance assessment and bring to the OTC a package that demonstrates the need to establish alternative mobility targets.Here's what is says about safety:
Work on a Regional Safety Plan started in 2015, primarily with analysis of 2008-2013 crash data in the SKATS. 2014 data will be added when made available by ODOT. ODOT is in the process of updating their Transportation Safety Action Plan, with public review in May 2016 and OTC adoption scheduled for September 2016. SKATS staff will review the state plan and determine how the SKATS region can best coordinate the emphasis areas in the TSAP with the needs on the SKA TS regional system.I know the context is bureaucratic administration and planning, but that's still pretty bloodless - in both senses: it is pale and wan, and it also erases the carnage and loss.
Things of particular interest here are essentially footnotes, interstitial activities:
Participate in the DLCD review of Oregon 's green house gas Target Rule. Determine whether SKATS and ODOT should collaborate on a "Baseline Assessment" of greenhouse gas emissions and other travel indicators based on currently adopted plans in the SKATS area.The bike count stations and better modeling will help with better transportation planning for the 21st century. But reluctance on greenhouse gas modeling threatens to render it all too nugatory.
Work with ODOT and other MPOs in the state on development of the next-generation travel demand model and a synthetic population model.
The first two bicycle count stations will be installed in late 2016. Once installed, SKATS will coordinate with Salem to retrieve the data, and summarize for general use.
The Mission Street/Highway 22 project shows some of misplaced priorities.
|One of the major projects: Mission Street|
Additionally on the agenda, there was the curious fact that at the December 8th meeting so many people abstained from voting on the November 10th minutes, the November minutes could not be approved (Dec 8th meeting packet with Nov 10th minutes here). There was a lot of greenhouse gas modeling talk in November, so maybe the politics of that is the hang-up. At any rate, that's a small but interesting detail, and perhaps fodder for the conspiracy-minded!
|Historical list of area STP-U and TAP-U funds|
|ODOT's "Funding Walking and Biking" on TAP and STP|
(As I understand it, there are also different STP and TAP funds that are allocated by ODOT in other grant programs in more restricted ways.)
You'll notice the Salem River Crossing heads the list. Other choices could have been made. Bike boulevards or enhanced crosswalks could also have headed the list, for example. While there are some projects explicitly to support non-auto travel, many of the projects are also expressions of hydraulic autoism. This is an area where different political priorities and values could yield a meaningfully different project list. Maybe not totally different, but definitely with different emphases and proportions.
The table shows a total of $48 million in that 16 year period. So that's $4 million a year; or at $60,000 each, that's 67 new pedestrian medians a year.