Did you see Steve Duin's column today in the Oregonian or over the weekend online?
Yet change is more necessary and less intimidating than some might think.It was a measured take on city and transportation change, and Duin's writing itself is always a great pleasure.
If we want to strike the right balance in the daily commute, we may not need that inbound passing lane on Northeast Broadway. We may need the traffic dividers on Southeast Clinton, even if they simply divert auto traffic a block or two south onto Woodward.
If we hope to see our parents and children age gloriously in the neighborhoods where we live, we may need zoning changes that support new triplexes and duplexes in Buckman. We may not be able to afford the three-car garage.
Like the planet, we may thrive if we walk to work with our neighbors, seek our community on the sidewalk rather than our laptop, and consider change an opportunity, not an affront.
The Budget Forecast
a forecast. Here it is on transportation:
The primary funding source for Transportation Services is the City’s monthly allocation of state highway fund revenues, which include motor vehicle fuel taxes; heavy commercial vehicle weight / mile taxes; and title, licensing, and registration fees from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The state highway revenue represents 67 percent of the Transportation Services Fund total current revenue. The statewide motor vehicle fuel tax is currently 30 cents per gallon of retail fuel sold. The City’s allocation is based on a per capita distribution of the portion allocated to cities. Salem’s current share of the city apportionment is 5.80 per cent. Fuel tax revenue is sensitive to economic factors such as the regional price and availability of fuel, incorporation of fuel-efficient vehicle technologies, and consumer behavior. [italics added]A couple things to note. First, in round terms, the gas tax is funding only 2/3 of the Public Works budget.
Additionally, this is an operations budget, not one for capital projects, so a lot of it is for payroll, not for asphalt and concrete. When it is for materials, it is for pothole repair, not road widening.
Expenditures in the forecast are proposed to include the restoration of two previously eliminated positions – a senior traffic technician (all five years) and a signs and markings worker (four years). In addition, two positions to support street maintenance are proposed with a cost offset through a reduction in the expense for seasonal workers and the elimination of another position. The conversion of seasonal positions to full-time positions addresses limitations in how seasonal workers can be employed in compliance with the Affordable Care Act. The additional positions respond to capacity shortages in street and sidewalk maintenance services.
While the specific details might differ, in general our situation here reflects the national situation. The gas tax and user fees don't come anywhere close to paying for the road system.
|Keep Salem Moving Road Bond|
funded from Property Taxes
(detail, via SCV)
|User fees leave big funding gap; cost shifting|
to home-owners and renters, especially locally
It looks like the next event will be a formal Public Hearing at Council on Monday, June 13th.
There are a few interesting things in the neighborhood associations this week.
It's always frustrating and darkly amusing to read the gyrations involved in school drop-off/pick-up accommodations. Grant is gridded, flat, compact, and it should be easy to walk and bike. Free parking, too, is problematic. In the minutes to the last Grant Neighborhood meeting was another discussion:
Teresa Tolento, principal at Grant, was present to explain the proposed new student pickup configuration for dismissal . She has been working with Salem - Keizer School District Transportation Dept and Salem Public Works. The plan will extend the loading zone along Winter Street by about 25’ to the north of the current zone. There will be no pickup on Cottage and that is proposed to change to a 2 hour parking zone. The neighbors recommend that they enlist city parking enforcement to keep a watch and enforce during the instigation of the plan on both Cottage and Winter streets. Neighbors also suggested that the parking along Cottage may be more effective if it were 90 minutes, so that it is not longer than the parking limits within the surrounding reside ntial permit parking areas. State employees will still use it if they can walk north and move their car within a 2 - hour time block. Unfortunately, like the library, or downtown area, there will be no meters to act as enforcement. There was also a discussion and recommendation to speak with Kevin Hottmann at the City about whether a “volunteer” pass could be utilized by volunteers at Grant School to be able to utilize a longer parking time. Tim reminded Teresa that Salem Alliance Church’s parking lot on the corner of Hood and Cottage is always available for free to staff and visitors. Mike moved that “Grant Neighborhood support the proposal and recommend that the parking on Cottage be regulated to 90 minute time blocks.”It just seems like we keep talking around obvious solutions!
NEN - Tuesday
|Crosswalks on Market at 19th|
Future Construction of a Rapid Flashing Beacon at the Existing School Crossing at Market St. NE and 19th St. NE, John Echeverri, Project Manager;NEN meets Tuesday the 17th, at 6:30pm in the Salem First Church of the Nazarene, 1550 Market Street NE.
At downtown at CANDO, they'll be talking some about the Winter-Maple Bike Boulevard project.
Bike Boulevards Update/Angela Obery and Michael Livingston;CAN-DO also meets Tuesday the 17th, at 6:00 p.m. at First Christian Church on 685 Marion Street NE.