Sunday, October 9, 2016

Cherriots to Reconsider SRC; Notes on Lansing-NESCA, OR-22-Mission Street

N3B reported last week that Cherriots' Board voted unanimously to
oppose the City of Salem’s current land use action to expand the city’s Urban Growth Boundary and amend the Transportation System Plan and to authorize Director [Kathy] Lincoln at the October 12th Joint Public Hearing on behalf of the Board of Directors.
Apparently they are being urged (or pressured) to reconsider.

Bolted onto a Work Session for Monday the 10th is a Special Meeting to reconsider the position. (Agenda and meeting packet here.)

From the GM's Staff Report:
This action was taken based, in part, for the following reasons:

• The City was rushing the action when technical reports are not complete to review on the Salem Alternative;
• Jurisdiction of the bridge has not been determined;
• The Salem River Crossing (SRC) Oversight Committee should have been reconvened to discuss the proposed action. This resulted in the Transit District not being included in the conversation.

Since the Board’s action, the City of Salem published the October 12th public hearing notice on September 22; and on September 29, twelve (12) report addenda and summaries were posted on the City’s website.

In addition , the Board received feedback from other members of the SRC and the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce requesting they reconsider their action. As a result, President Krebs called for a special meeting of the Board to discuss this situation and consider whether or not the action should be rescinded, modified, or left as is.
The three bullet points seem pretty well founded, so there's no real reason for Cherriots to back down. The rushing is even worse than what is portrayed in the Staff Report: The set of memos from September 29th were all deleted, replaced, shuffled, and augmented in the blizzard.

Something they might consider also is that they do have leverage at SKATS-PC, which requires a unanimous vote "by consensus." One of the members of SKATS-PC routinely complains about walking, biking, and transit projects, and frequently enough leaves the room in order to avoid an abstention or a vote against. While this is a kind of "playing along" it's also a power move and represents a threat: Fellow SKATS-PC members as well as staff are on notice that there might come a time when the negative vote will actually be cast, halting a project, and so this has a chilling effect. This promotes reduced ambition for walking, biking, and transit projects. Cherriots could be more assertive about potentially voting against projects that are excessively autoist. Autoist interests may be taking advantage of the politeness of others.

Cherriots' position on the proposed Urban Growth Boundary is one such moment when they might usefully speak out against excessive autoism.

Moreover, since the Chamber has done them no favors, it is an open question what favors they owe the Chamber. (Update - See below for great news on their testimony!)

The SKATS Quadrennial Review will be this week, and maybe that's an opportunity also to tell the Feds that there's not enough METROPOLITAN in our Metropolitan Planning Organization. Suburban and rural interests are given excessive weight in the composition and voting numbers of the Policy Committee, and SKATS could use a more thorough-going urban outlook that understands the limits of autoism.

(The Technical Advisory Committee meeting prior to the review session on Tuesday doesn't appear to have any real news in it - but there looks to be a short mention at least of the Strong Towns presentation. That's nice to see!)

The Salem Area Mass Transit District Board of Directors meets Monday, October 10th, at 5:30pm, in Courthouse Square, the Senator Hearing Room, 555 Court St NE.

Lansing-NESCA - Envision Project

Sandwiched between everything important, on Tuesday the 11th, the Lansing-NESCA neighborhood "Envison" Plan Project meets to talk about cars and buses.

From the flier
I would like to have more to say about this, but the timing is bad.

If you live in the neighborhood, consider joining them.

The meeting will be 6:30 p.m. Tuesday the 11th at Salem First Church of the Nazarene, which is located at 1550 Market Street NE.

OR-22/Mission Street Study 

Another project it has not been possible to follow closely enough is the OR-22/Mission Street Study.

Project Boards from Open House
Mostly it's an autoist bunch of new turn lanes and widening. There is a detour and pedestrian displacement system multi-use path proposed that makes a wide way around the I-5 interchange with Mission Street. This just seems hopelessly autoist. It accepts 50mph highway speeds in an urban environment. It's all wrong.

And would the meandering MUP actually serve the demand? With the airport and I-5, East-west connectivity through here is a real structural problem. But the proposed path looks more like a "Family Circus" style Billy route than a real transportation solution.

Again, I would like to have more to say.

There's an online survey here, but it closes tomorrow the 10th.

Update, October 14th

Here's Cherriots' testimony on the SRC:
The Salem Area Mass Transit District Board of Directors opposes the current process to expand the city's Urban Growth Boundary and amend...the Transportation System Plan...
Thank you Cherriots and well done!

1 comment:

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Updated with cheery clip from Cherriots' public comment.