|It's a highway bridge, for highway speeds and dust|
not for pleasant walking
A new crossing also would connect east Salem residents as bicyclists and walkers to over 26 miles of new trails, parklands and walk ways. That would be a good thing.This is dubious and almost certainly false. Unfortunately, it is a common misapprehension in no small part created by the SRC team themselves in a deeply faulty analysis, "Bridge Alternatives and Assessment of Connectivity to Existing and Proposed Bicycle Facilities within the Study Area." It's sugar to make the medicine go down, and the "sugar" it turns out is saccharine, bitter and not so very sweet after all.
First, it will be a highway bridge built for highway speeds. To say that it will "connect east Salem residents as bicyclists and walkers to over 26 miles of new trails, parklands and walk ways" is to elide the brutality and ugliness of it. It is also much longer than the existing spans (Union, Marion, Center). Take a moment to think about a walk 3x, maybe 4x (maybe more!) the length of the Center Street Bridge - not merely across the span, but from access point to access point, the actual joins to neighborhood sidewalks. Think about the actual walk, with dust and with cars zooming by at highway speed, and not just lines on a map. There is nothing attractive about it and it will not offer any aesthetic lure or add any pleasant dimension to the experience of walking and biking.
|A new bridge is a "solution" to no actual problems|
for people who bike; instead, it creates
a bunch of new problems and exacerbates yet more.
East Salem residents who would like improved access to Minto, Riverfront, and Wallace Parks will be better served by a robust system of bike boulevards on existing streets. This will also cost much less than a new bridge and highway. (Remember, in 2010, the city of Portland said their whole existing system could be built for $60 million, the cost of one mile of urban highway.)
|A dead-end and blank wall created by Mission St overpass|
also - no sidewalks because of disinvestment
|Shelter, garbage sack, lack of visibility:|
A void under the bridge on the bikeway
Finally, at a billion dollars or more in total, the SRC would suck up so much discretionary funding that it will seriously hamper our abilities to fund bike/ped projects elsewhere. If we fund and construct it, we will have a Potemkin set of "connections" that took resources from funding and constructing smaller and more useful projects for people who walk and bike.
|Greenwash - via|
Even when the argument for improved walking and biking via the SRC is made in good faith, it is an unfounded argument. Its function is to try to greenwash the Salem River Crossing by an appeal to benefits for people who walk and bike. These benefits do not exist. The SRC harms conditions for people who wish to walk and bike.
Here are five previous posts that develop the bulk of this argument in more detail:
- River Crossing Spaghetti and Spandrels - Do we Really Want More Ramps?
- Salem River Crossing Whopper: Bait and Switch for People who Bike
- Salem River Crossing Memo on Bike Connectivity Potentially Misleads Task Force
- Happy Pedestrians Show Absurdity of Third Bridge
- MPO Subcommittee Moots Sidewalks vs. Third Bridge for 2018-2023 Cycle
- (Edit: late add) City Club Presentation on "Multi-Modal" Improvements at Bridgeheads Misleading, even False