|Transportation is only 18% of the total|
Utilities are 74%
Council will consider the proposed Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) which, based on public input, would bring a number of bicycle and pedestrian improvements. For example, Central Salem is slated for the Union Street Family Bikeway as well as a bike lane conversion on Church ST SE (between Trade ST SE and State ST) and Streetscape improvement projects downtown. Northeast Salem would see a substantial improvement with the extension of Fisher Rd NE resulting in safer access to the Fred Meyer shopping center. The North Lancaster area would enjoy new bicycle lanes, new curbs and sidewalks and streetlights as Brown Road NE is brought up to modern urban standards. And, in Southeast, the widening of Kuebler Blvd. SE will include a bike land and sidewalk (from Commercial ST SE to Interstate-5). Also, tree-planting is included in every road improvement project we construct in the City of Salem.Most of the "bicycle and pedestrian improvements" have been in the pipeline for quite a while, and do not represent some new responsiveness to "public input." You can see the dollar amounts in the "previous" column, which have been accounted for already in previous five-year cycles of the CIP. The Union Street bikeway phase 1a is another piece from a previous CIP. And the removal of dual turn lanes comes from the mobility study's recommendations formally adopted in August 2013. The downtown streetscape is a perennial topic, not at all new. I wish the City were less breathless and more impatient, more explicitly aware of how long people not in cars have to wait for things.
|One way of looking at things (this chart not in the CIP)|
But you can still ask about this as a genuine "glass half-empty" or "glass half-full" moment.
|MassDOT Separated Bike Lane Guide|
|Hullaballoo from a couple of days ago|
So given the realities of the way auto travel harms cities and contributes to greenhouse gas emission, I still see the totality of the CIP's project list as "half-empty." I see it as an insufficient commitment to building out mobility for those who are not making drive-alone trips in a car. And far too strong a subsidy for those who are making drive-alone trips.
For some additional comment on the CIP see the more detailed previous discussion here.
And since it's an election year, maybe some of the candidates for Mayor and Council will have more to say on the totality of the CIP.
|(comments added in green)|
So here we have a clear example of an externalized cost: A generation or more ago we sprayed DDT and stuff all over, and now the business or agency who did the spraying has no responsibility for clean-up. When we object today that environmental regulation increases the cost of doing business - or worse we escalate the rhetoric and call it "jobs-killing" - we don't actually make a full life-cycle accounting. So all too frequently we off-load generally knowable costs to some future entity. Magic! They disappear. But not really. Someone has to pay - in money for clean-up, or in health and healthcare costs for illness and reduced lifespan. (This is exactly the situation today with carbon pollution, but if you're reading here, you know that already.)
Without diving in deeply, it's not possible to know how big of a problem this particular matter at the former orchard site might be, but it certainly underscores one of the challenges in creating something truly "sustainable." A greenwash won't do here. Fortunately, the area is one of the last proposed for development, so there will likely be some time to figure out the best abatement strategy.
It's important to get it right. The Fairview project is one of the most worthwhile and potentially wonderful things going in Salem, and we should all want it to succeed and thrive.
There's a final decision on the reimbursement district out by the new State Police facility. That seems like something to file away and maybe revisit later.
The Urban Renewal Agency looks to move forward on the downtown "opportunity sites" and fortunately at the last Council work session, the idea of reallocating urban renewal dollars for the Police Station seems like it has died a good death. For more see here on the Belluschi bank at Chemeketa and Liberty, and the Marion Car Park at Ferry and Commercial. Yet more here.
BUDGET COMMITTEE MEETINGS - Held in the Council Chambers
- Review of FY 2016-17 City Manager Proposed Budget ~ Wednesday April 13, 6:00 p.m.
- Review of FY 2016-17 City Manager Proposed Budget ~ Wednesday April 20, 6:00 p.m.
- Review of FY 2016-17 City Manager Proposed Budget ~ Wednesday April 27, 6:00 p.m.
- Review of FY 2016-17 City Manager Proposed Budget ~ Wednesday May 4, 6:00 p.m.
- Review of FY 2016-17 City Manager Proposed Budget ~ Wednesday May 11, 6:00 p.m.