Saturday, August 6, 2016

OAR on Rural Roads Suggests Possible Liberation for Marine Drive

The latest on Marine Drive, Second Street,
and the Union St RR Bridge paths (July 2016)
A reader sent a note to, which has proper indentions and a nested hierarchy for reading Oregon Administrative Rules. Thanks!

OAR 660-12-0065(3) - via
(click to enlarge)
And as we work through some of it, readers have turned up another interesting part:
Transportation Improvements on Rural Lands
(3) The following transportation improvements are consistent with Goals 3, 4, 11, and 14 subject to the requirements of this rule:
(a) Accessory transportation improvements for a use that is allowed or conditionally allowed by ORS 215.213 , 215.283 or OAR chapter 660, division 6 (Forest Lands);
(b) Transportation improvements that are allowed or conditionally allowed by ORS 215.213 , 215.283 or OAR chapter 660, division 6 (Forest Lands);
(c) Channelization not otherwise allowed under subsections (a) or (b) of this section;
(d) Realignment of roads not otherwise allowed under subsection (a) or (b) of this section;
(e) Replacement of an intersection with an interchange;
(f) Continuous median turn lane;
(g) New access roads and collectors within a built or committed exception area, or in other areas where the function of the road is to reduce local access to or local traffic on a state highway. These roads shall be limited to two travel lanes. Private access and intersections shall be limited to rural needs or to provide adequate emergency access.
(h) Bikeways, footpaths and recreation trails not otherwise allowed as a modification or part of an existing road;
(i) Park and ride lots; [italics added]
It looks like a two-lane collector-level extension with bike lanes, or a multi-use path only, could be built along the Marine Drive alignment without expanding the UGB or requiring an official Goal Exception. (I think this is the best overview on Marine Drive.)

Marine Drive south of Cameo St inside our UGB (detail)
So that means that there could be a way to build a right-sized Marine Drive that functions as a somewhat lower-traffic alternative to Wallace Road - without also hitching Marine Drive to a Third Bridge or otherwise making it a Trojan Horse for the Bridge.

An earlier version (2014) of Marine Drive in Wallace Park;
with a center turn pocket it still might be just "two lanes"
There are still things about the concept that make me queasy, most of them autoist vestiges of a car-first approach:
  • Advocates for Marine Drive don't seem to mind the disruption to the Union Street Railroad Bridge and Wallace Park path system. They should take this more seriously.
  • "Two lanes" seems to mean the cross-section would actually be three lanes wide, including the center turn pocket, still rather zoomy for a park border.
  • The concept for a soft trail (temporary or permanent) at the northern end of the alignment constructed by volunteer labor may not take into consideration the staffing demands for all the other local projects: Croisan Trail and the trails around Sprague; work on the Catamount Trail and other projects at Silver Falls; and for the new bike park in Geer Park. Is it realistic to think there is enough volunteer labor to do all of this effectively?
But if Marine Drive can be separated from the Third Bridge and the UGB expansion, and pursued as a separate project on its own merits, since it is already in the Salem Transportation System Plan, then it becomes possible to debate and work towards a compromise and right-sized solution that
  • Completes the gap: Connects the Union Street Railroad Bridge to Second Street and across Wallace Road for people on foot and on bike
  • Offers a north-south bikeway alternative to Wallace Road
  • Takes some amount of local auto traffic and transit off of Wallace Road and offers congestion relief for through-traffic on Wallace Road
Interestingly, a Staff Report from September 1997 on the "Wallace Road Local Access and Circulation Study" recommends that
A new north-south collector street should be constructed east of Wallace Road NW that will provide a spine for local access and circulation. The alignment should begin at Moyer Lane NW and continue north parallel to Wallace Marine Park, then follow the urban growth boundary, ending at River Bend Road NW.
This could be made consistent with the first iteration of the undercrossing concept along the Second Street alignment, which terminated car access on the railroad path at Cornucopia, and then with a couple of turns via Moyer Lane could connect with Marine Drive one block south of Glen Creek Road. This would assure Marine Drive acts for local access and does not become instead an over-used by-pass. (Some amount of inconvenience and indirection here for drivers is a feature, not a bug!)

Early concept for underpass seemed to show car access
terminating at Cornucopia; the path stayed path.

Update - another Delay

The last update
Well, what do you know. There's a new schedule. You can see the previous ones here.
The latest update
I don't think this really tells us anything we don't already know or couldn't guess more-or-less from the Land Use stuff that's percolating now. But it's interesting to see formalized.

Update 2

Here's another new schedule...maybe it's just internal change, with the December 2016 terminus for "land use" stuff.

Another revised schedule


Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

(Edit: Updated with new schedule.)

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

(Edit: Updated with a second new schedule.)