Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tonight! Open House on Granny Flats

Whoops! In the excitement of the past week, missed the Open House tonight on "granny flats."

From the City:
Join us for an open house Tuesday, November 29 at the Salem Public Library to talk about accessory dwelling units (ADUs), commonly known as mother-in-law apartments. The City of Salem is considering allowing these smaller housing units in the city as a way to expand housing choices in Salem.

We want to know how you think ADUs should be regulated in Salem. Your input will be used to help develop a recommendation for allowing ADUs in the community.

Public Open House
Date: Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Time: 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Place: Salem Public Library, Anderson Rooms
585 Liberty Street SE, Salem, OR
Here's the presentation from the meeting earlier in November and the notes from that meeting.

(Maybe there will be more to say later.)

Update, December 2nd

Notes on Parking from Open House
The meeting notes are now posted, and as a reader points out below, there was meaningful sentiment against requiring additional off-street parking.

Cheer Yourself Up, Read about Emily's X-Country Trip!

Though it hasn't hit the print edition yet, there's a very nice piece online on Emily Loberg's trip across the continent.
In June, Emily Loberg readied her 1985 rebuilt touring bike and set out on a 5,350-mile solo journey.

Her months-long adventure would take her over the Cascades, near two oceans, across the Great Plains, up the Continental Divide and through 15 states.

"This has always been a life-long dream of mine — to bike across the country," said Loberg, who was 24 when her journey started. "I bike everywhere I go. My dad taught me how to ride a bike when I was 5 ... It's always been a big part of my life, and I love to travel."
Go read it!

Boodle deserves Revival! Grifter Too

You might remember a few years back that Portland Brewing/MacTarnahans had a summer beer oddly named "Grifter."

Grifter IPA
It wasn't a great image, the brand didn't stick, and the beer was retired after not too long.

But it turns out they were way ahead of the curve.

Doggerel posted at the Bank against
the publisher of the Capital Journal
(February 13, 1904)
The whole constellation of words around the "confidence man" and the "spoils system" is ready for a revival, and a favorite here is "boodle."

"Two souls with but a single thought"
Bosses Thomas C. Platt and Richard Croker eyeing the spoils
Cartooning at the end of the Gilded Age, Homer Davenport and his work remain relevant, sadly enough.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Ride-Booking Companies as the Number One Mayoral Priority?

A little while back, a video with Mayor-elect Bennett was making the rounds.

The video's supposed to be light-hearted, and so we shouldn't place too much stress on it. At the same time, it ostensibly offers a statement of Mayoral priorities, and so it's not something to ignore completely.

The council-related events of last week overtook it, though. Maybe now we can revisit it a little.

Food is a distraction also: At the drive-thru coffee shack
Just overall, this thing about conducting interviews in cars is a little disturbing. As a pop culture phenomenon, carpool karaoke and its successors is amusing - but let's be clear that it's also a formal instance of distracted driving, no matter how careful is the driver.

Again, it's meant to be light-hearted, but this style and form reinforces our propensity for dangerous driving, and suggests driving is no big deal, that drivers can conduct any number of other activities while driving. There's nothing outrageous here, it's important to say, but it very nicely expresses our current norms and cultural expectations for a certain inattentiveness on the road. This is normal, banal, perfectly acceptable autoism. But it's actually dangerous.

As for substance, the Mayor's number one priority? Uber.

Frankly, that's a little bizarre. Of all the things to say as number one, that's it???

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Pseudo-Science vs. Real Science at the MPO: Greenhouse Gas Workshop

If we haven't killed ourselves off in some slow-developing or sudden extinction event, historians from the future looking back on our era will write about our enthusiasm for cars and the way we embraced the pseudo-science and social engineering in hydraulic autoism. They will be impressed with the pseudo-scientific metrics of volume/capacity ratios and levels of service, as well as our tolerance for long and sedentary commutes, and equally amazed with our repudiation of actual science in rising greenhouse gas emissions, their effects, and our careless response.

The Policy Committee for our Metropolitan Planning Organization meets on Tuesday the 29th, and there are several meaty matters on the agenda. At the top of the list is a two hour work session after the meeting proper to discuss greenhouse gases and what the State and MPOs should do.

From the agenda:
The Advisory Committee on Metropolitan Transportation Planning and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets has held five meetings between May and November 2016. Commissioner Brentano and Mike Jaffe have represented SKATS on the committee and provided updates to the SKATS Policy Committee. The Advisory Committee has consensus on several of the initial target issues and is having its final meeting in December....

Because of the complexity of this GHG target setting issue, the Policy Committee requested a 2-hour workshop to review the work and consensus recommendations of the Advisory Committee. SKATS staff will provide a presentation about the target setting process assisted by staff from the Department of Land Conservation and Development. After the Policy Committee has asked questions and discussed the issue, they are requested to provide Commissioner Brentano and staff with any direction they believe is appropriate for the final meeting of the Advisory Committee in December and/or LCLD’s meeting in January 26-27 to adopt targets.

Friday, November 25, 2016

City Council, November 28th - A Right-sized Undercrossing Again?

Council meets on Monday, and in order to accommodate overflow capacity, the meeting was moved to Loucks Auditorium at the Library. Subsequent developments have rendered the matter moot, and since we will be left mainly with the denouement on that civic drama now, important it is, it does not seem useful to have further comment here.*

Other things on the agenda really had not been important in that context, but now that they are bumped up, from here the principal matter now at Council is the set of proposed amendments to the West Salem Urban Renewal Area for the Second Street-Marine Drive extension and undercrossing.

A smaller, scaled-down undercrossing plan?
The actual text of Exhibit 1 is very interesting.

Marine Drive in the TSP is a mid-sized "collector street" and in the Salem River Crossing it has tended to grow even more and to become something of an expressway - though in order to secure assent, the SRC has in many ways exploited some ambiguity and traded on vagueness, sometimes acting like Marine Drive was just a collector, other times like it was an urban highway.

In these proposed URA amendments, Second Street is twice labeled a "local street," a smaller classification for neighborhood streets.

That seems like an important definitional switch.

Secondly, the amendments discuss an extension of Second Street to Patterson only, and not a continuation east of Patterson into Wallace Park and then turning north to Glen Creek.

Thirdly, this avoids the troublesome matter of any demolition on the Union Street Railroad Bridge and trestle.

If there is no chicanery here, this could be a right-sized project worth supporting again. In important ways it seems to revert to an earlier concept and phase. (See here, here, and here.)

It will be interesting to see more discussion on this latest concept, but with these changes, it now seems like it merits support more than opposition or doubt.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

1916 Thanksgiving Grocery Ad Shows Frequent Corner Stores

The Thanksgiving ad from 1916 shows part of the network of old neighborhood grocery stores. I don't think there's any great lesson here, but it is interesting to think about how they were spaced more for walking distances than driving distances.

November 27th, 1916
Here are the businesses and addresses keyed to the current map of Salem.
Hardly any of the storefronts remain, and most of the lots have been redeveloped, either with newer houses or with larger commercial development. While it's not possible at the moment to dive very deeply into any of these, as corner grocery stores in the context of pre-autoist neighborhoods a few are immediately interesting.

Ward Richardson's cabbagery is located on Hickory and Front, right in the footprint of the Salem Alternative. It would have been ruralish in 1916. Melwood's would have been in the old Hollywood neighborhood before urban "renewal," and Harlan's near the train depot before the Hospital razed everything in that neighborhood. The Highland Grocery is right by the old Herbert Hoover house. Schmid's is on the old Geer line. Streetcar routes are nearby many of them, too.

The ad, with its gauzy, swirling pilgrim figure, I read as influenced by art nouveau. If you love design and art history, maybe you'll be able to characterize it better. It's a striking contrast from the more conventional, and somewhat grim, iconography of 1915.

November 20th, 1915
Maybe with war on the horizon, the chopping block wasn't so funny any more.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Just Walk Salem Wins Weston Award from Oregon Walks

Need some good news right now? Just Walk Salem has won a Weston Award from Oregon Walks! That's the Oscar or Emmy in the Oregon walking advocacy world.

The founders of Just Walk Salem, Jennifer Carley, Jeanine Stice, Pat Norman, will be honored December 2nd at the 6th Annual Weston Awards.
Oregon Walks' Weston Awards are named in honor of America's greatest walker, Edward P. Weston. In just 10 days in 1861, Weston walked from Boston to DC to attend Lincoln's Inaugural Ball. His journey took him to cities big and small, neighborhoods poor and rich, through a cross section of America, where he was welcomed at every turn.

The Weston Awards celebrate inspiration, enthusiasm, perseverance, and the conviction that one of the best ways to get anywhere is on foot. Join us in celebrating the Westons among us today: people from all walks of life who have made our communities more livable and more walkable.
The gala will be Friday, December 2nd, in The Treasury Ballroom at 326 SW Broadway in Portland, from 6:00pm-9:00pm

Just Walk also was awarded a grant for a project to unite young and old.
AARP Oregon and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership are working together to bring Oregonians an Inter-generational Safe Streets Challenge. Youth and older adults have similar needs when it comes to navigating our streets on foot. Whether a second grader is walking to school, their grandfather is walking to the corner store with their shopping trolley, or their aunt is walking to the park to socialize – we need accessible destinations, continuous paths, and safe crossings.

We’re pleased to announce the following recipients have been selected for the Inter-generational Safe Streets Challenge:

Just Walk Salem Keizer & Stephens Middle School (Salem-Keizer School District) Just Walk Salem Keizer (a grassroots network of neighborhood walking groups) will engage at least two groups of middle school students and older adults in working together to develop at least 1 walking route each that highlights the points of health in their neighborhood. The groups will cross-check the routes by conducting the Walkable America ‘walkability checklist’. Once finalized, the walking routes will be included in a full-color “WanderWalks” pocket map printed by our transit provider, Cherriots, and distributed to neighbors through community partners. This project aims to foster healthy neighborhoods through identifying safe and enjoyable places to walk together.
You may recall that we were not great fans of the first version of the Wander Walks map. Its routes did not always seem like they had been vetted through something like a "walkability checklist."

The actual practices of middle schoolers and older adults, as well as the formalized vetting through a checklist, seem likely to generate something much more useful and pleasant!

This looks like a very promising extension of the Wander Walks program.

Councilor Delights in Car Violence, Misunderstands Roads are Not Just for Cars

From KATU:
Salem City Councilor Daniel Benjamin shared a violent, racially charged video on Facebook Thursday, and now a local activist is calling for him to step down.

The video shows several African-American people being run over by vehicles....

In one scene, ominous music plays as a crowd gathers on a street. Suddenly a car plows into them.

The video then launches into a series of collisions between vehicles and groups of people.

The post includes a description from conservative blogger, Ron Dwyer, saying, "As this video shows people are starting to get tired of the Black Lives Matter bullies blocking the roadways."
The Mayor's censure was pretty feeble, really:
"I told him that I was disappointed and shocked at the video and I suggested that he take it down," Peterson said. "We're striving hard to let people in the community know that the city of Salem stands firmly beside the civil rights of every person in this city."

Monday, November 21, 2016

Flashback: Roger Shimomura's 2015 Show at Hallie Ford was too Timely

National politics isn't really a topic possible to touch on in any meaningful or useful way here.* But Teapot Dome and Watergate may soon seem like quaint episodes from a bygone era. We are living in important times, crisis times, and it seems dumb just to go merrily along thinking or complaining about local land use and transportation. Maybe there will be a way to work in some larger perspectives this winter and in an on-going way.

In the meantime, it's a good time to remember Roger Shimomura's show at Hallie Ford Museum of Art from early 2015.

Classmates #1, Roger Shimomura
(via Hallie Ford Museum of Art)

(unknown, but clearly an internment camp)

(barracks in same)
From the museum:
Museum Director, John Olbrantz says, "As a painter, printmaker, and performance artist, Shimomura's range of works address the sociopolitical issues that have shaped his life experiences as a third generation American of Japanese descent. His remarkable body of work acts as a powerful and compelling self-portrait and window into the Asian American experience."

A number of Shimomura's early works address his childhood experiences at the internment camp of Minidoka during WWII, while in his current series, the artist inserts himself as an aging Asian Everyman in various guises, both funny and poignant. He does this as an imposter, or a battler against a host of ironic, stereotypical settings: punching at a gaggle of Disney cartoon characters, joining Chinese Mao-era brigades, and attacking Japanese stereotypes and assuming identities of iconic American figures such as Superman.
More images at his Seattle gallery.

* Comments are closed. There are other, better places to discuss national politics and what to do. Find them! Willamette Week might have the best local analysis. From a more global and worst-case perspective, "Autocracy: Rules for Survival." Scholars who study authoritarian regimes are worried and sounding the alarm.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Rejected Proposal for State Hospital North Campus Featured Drive-Thrus

This fall there has been conversation and debate about a proposal to save all of the buildings on the North Campus of the State Hospital. (More at Salem Weekly and Hinessight.)

No details other than a vague press release, however, have been released. At NEN the other day, representatives from the State shared an update and fact sheet from their perspective. Included in that update is a brief assessment of the proposal and an outline of why they did not accept it.

The assessment is one-sided, of course, all from the Department of Administrative Services side of things, but it is more detail than we have seen before. So it's a data-point, useful, but not perhaps conclusive. Still, it doesn't look like the proposal was compelling enough, and it looks like DAS had reason for not accepting it.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

City Council, November 21st - Work Session on SEDCOR and Downtown

Council meets next Monday for a work session on economic development and downtown revitalization. Much of it is out of our wheelhouse here, and you might have better things to say about it. The slides also don't have the narrative, and it's not always possible to fill in with the appropriate explanation or interpretation. Even so, in important ways they're a little baffling, especially the SEDCOR one. A good story and analysis ought to be easier to convey with clarity and force.

A subtext, also, for the two presentations is the implied contrast between edge and center. The SEDCOR presentation lauds the new Mill Creek Corporate Center on the southeast edge of the city on the other side of Cordon and Keubler. The downtown presentation focuses on the center. It is assumed that we want to invest in both, but nowhere is there any sense of any trade-offs that might be involved, and any question about which is more likely to return greater commercial and cultural value in the medium- and long-term.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Work Program for ODOT's New Walk and Bike Plan is Wishy-Washy and Bad

A reader sends news that at the Oregon Transportation Commission meeting in Eugene on Friday the 18th, they'll be getting an informational update on the implementation program for the new statewide walking and biking plan.

It's not very good.

Weak Sauce
From the plan:
ODOT has made some progress on many of the Action Items identified in this ODOT Work Program. Other near term Action Items will be started within the next five years as time and resources permit...

Over the 25 year life of the 2016 Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, the timing of implementation strategies will be influenced by need, opportunities, and available resources. Whenever possible, ODOT will seek to leverage other work to make progress on Plan strategies.
It's all about reducing expectations - captured by the vague formula of "we've made some progress."

So basically, we won't pursue anything unless we can do it as part of something else. Biking and walking projects are always secondary, and should not be pursued independently as a priority valuable by themselves. We will not devote meaningful resources to building out walking and biking, but will wait until "time and resources permit."

In all that it is consistently second-class in funding and priority.

If you read the work plan you might find more to say about it. From here, the problems seem like a high-level and thorough-going consequence of structure and values, and not merely quibbles on the details.

The OTC meets on Friday the 18th in Eugene. If you like, you can send comment to OTCAdmin@odot.state.or.us

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

More Notes on Eugene and Springfield

The long weekend was a chance to check out more of Eugene, and again to think about what a different city our size does well, and what they don't do well. (Not sure there's a theme here, just scattered notes!)

Repurposing a Church for a Food Hub

As folks are thinking about the Mercado/Hub concept for Portland Road as well as prospects for reusing the Jason Lee Memorial Methodist Church on Winter and Fairgrounds, the example of Sprout! Regional Food Hub in Springfield might make for a very interesting comparison.

Sprout! Regional Food Hub
is in the former First Christian Church
in downtown Springfield
(via Sprout!)

In the deconsecrated sanctuary, the Springfield Farmer's Market
(via SW Oregon Architect)
In addition to hosting a market, it has several small restaurants with outdoor seating in a courtyard, an outpost of Claim 52 Brewing, a commercial kitchen for rent, and event spaces. (The pub is called "the Abbey," and that functions both as a nod to Trappist brewing traditions and other abbey ales, and also perhaps offers a contrasting hit with a slightly transgressive buzz on the notion of "beer in church!")

Bus Rapid Transit

Double dedicated lanes for EMX in median on Pioneer Parkway
To reach Springfield for the exploration, Lane Transit's Emerald Express, the EmX, was convenient - running every quarter hour on a Sunday!

Friday, November 11, 2016

A Special Blue Light and Other new Bikey Road Details

Bike traffic signal and blue light
While these aren't game-changers, there are some quiet advances and incremental improvements for our new bike lanes on recent projects.

When 25th & Madrona opened up, a reader pointed out the new bike traffic lights.

And if you look closely at them, there's an additional feature. On top is a very small blue light. I think they're the first in Salem. (Update - The ones at Mission & Winter came a few weeks earlier, and are the first.)

Portland started experimenting with these back in 2012. The blue lights go on when the video detection - see the camera above them - registers a person on bike. So that way you know when you've tripped the signal and don't have to jockey trying to get its attention. They should be standard!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

City Council, November 14th - A Junket to Boise

Council meets on Monday, and for our purposes here, it's a light agenda.

So let's talk about the Police Station and the election results instead, since that'll for sure work its way back to Council, and remains an important matter.

Congratulations to the community advocates who, with so much less money than the Chamber and its PAC, successfully won the public debate for a more balanced and right-sized proposal. Well done!

In the paper's piece about the oversized bond measure's defeat, there is an odd note of uncertainty about next steps, though.

From the paper:
"City council will listen to what voters have said and ask: 'What are our next steps? Do we continue to try to make it our number one priority?'," Deputy Chief Steve Bellshaw said on Monday before the election.

He speculated that in the event of the bond measure's failure, the city would need to re-evaluate its next step, which could be assembling another citizen task force, coming back with a measure for a cheaper facility, trying again with a stronger campaign or temporarily abandoning plans for a new police facility to focus on other issues.

"There's always a risk of coming back too soon," Bellshaw said. "It'll be a tough choice."

There has been for a long time a template for a proposal that enjoys broad consensus support!

It came out in November 2011, and it has made periodic reappearances since then. Mostly it's talked about in a color slide from 2013, but it's been around for longer than that even. It had a local architect and a national architect attached. (This year Architect Magazine even named ZGF its "top firm of the year" and featured its focus on sustainability.) It was a serious, credible concept.

It should provide the template for a new proposal, updated and adjusted as necessary to include the necessary work at City Hall and the Library.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Cranksgiving Scavenger Hunt and Benefit for Food Share this Weekend

Looking for some bike fun this weekend? On Saturday the Hub is hosting a scavenger hunt and race for groceries that will be donated to Marion Polk Food Share.

From the facebook event listing:
Each year Cranksgiving is held in November as a way for messengers and other urban cyclists to socialize, compete, and enjoy themselves while also raising food for local soup kitchens or food pantries in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. It is one of the only alleycats focused on raising donations for good causes.

Where: 1230 Broadway St. NE
When: Saturday Nov. 12th
Time: 10:00 am show up, 10:30 am roll out

Bring a bike, a bag, a lock, and about $15-$20 to buy food. All of the food collected at grocery stores will benefit Marion Polk food share.

PS There will also be Coffee provided by Steel Bridge and Pan Dulce (Sweet Bread)
Here's news coverage from last year.

The Election and the SRC - What if They would Fund it?

You might remember from earlier this year a report on the Federal lobbying for funding the Salem River Crossing.

Shades of 1876
(Scott 563, 1922)
The results of our Election make it interesting to revisit.

From here it's now very ambiguous, and points to an "on the one hand" and "on the other hand" reading. But it's important not to ignore it. What if local funding no longer has to be the bulk of it?

I'm not real psyched about relying on Vox for a Trump victory speech, but few outlets seem to have transcribed it. (Maybe later there will be reason to revise this.) It seems relevant to register the place of infrastructure:
That is now what I want to do for our country. Tremendous potential. I've gotten to know our country so well. Tremendous potential. It is going to be a beautiful thing. Every single American will have the opportunity to realize his or her fullest potential. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.

We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals. We're going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none, and we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it. We will also finally take care of our great veterans who have been so loyal, and I've gotten to know so many over this 18-month journey.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Project Scoring for 2018 Cycle Continues at the MPO

The Technical Advisory Committee for our local Metropolitan Planning Organization meets today, the 8th.

Forward-thinking cities are removing highways!
(via New York Times)
The lead item is continued assessment and ranking of projects for the 2018-2023 funding cycle (formally "the Federal STBGP-U and TA-U funds for the FY 2018-2023 TIP" - more on that in a moment).

With the decision to pull four items from consideration for the 2018-2023 cycle and instead fund them by applying the "bonus" money from the 2015 cycle, evaluation of the remaining projects is a little easier. ODOT has further refined some estimates (and the false precision, down to single dollars even, is a little amusing: $1,470,000 vs. $883,541 etc.) and here's the latest draft priority list with project "owner" and estimates:
  1. River Road N. Traffic Signal Interconnect – Keizer Keizer/Salem $1,470,000
  2. Union Street NE Family Friendly Bikeway Salem $3,500,000
  3. Silverton @ Hollywood Traffic Signal & Turn Lane Marion County $883,541
  4. Hilfiker Ln SE at Commercial St SE Intersection and Signal Upgrade Salem $1,925,000
  5. Fixed Route Transit Bus Replacements Cherriots $4,234,927
  6. Verda Lane Bike/Ped improvements Keizer $2,730,000
  7. Hollywood Dr: Silverton Rd to Salem CL Urban Upgrade Marion County $2,513,318
  8. Keizer Growth Transportation Impacts Study Keizer $185,000
  9. Kuebler/Cordon Corridor Study and Management Plan Marion County $200,000
  10. Oregon Household Travel and Activity Survey for the SKATS area SKATS $350,000
  11. Lancaster Dr: Auburn to Center Urban Reconstr. Marion County $2,417,189
  12. McGilchrist Street SE – Complete Streets Project Salem $3,500,000
  13. Transit ITS Replacement and Upgrade Cherriots $2,145,000
Here's a helpful reminder about what should be important for prioritizing.

September's Keeling Curve - CO2 earth

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Why is Salem the Capital and Jeffersonian Anti-urbanism

In the paper today there's a humorous recitation of the intrigue and maneuvering that went on to ratify Salem as the State Capital.
Why is Salem Oregon’s capital? I was asked this question twice this week and took it as a sign.

As with most simple questions, this one is not that easy to answer. The question is understandable. Portland, even without its numerous suburbs, has long out-populated Salem. To many fifth graders taking geography tests and out-of-town visitors, Portland seems like a more likely candidate for the capital. So how did Salem get the honor?....

Despite Oregon City’s charms, the territorial legislature passed a bill titled: “An Act to provide for the selection of places for the location and erection of public buildings of the territory of Oregon” on Feb. 1, 1851. The bill named Salem the territorial capital, Portland as the site of the territorial penitentiary and Marysville (now known as Corvallis) as the site for the territorial university. It appeared pretty clear. Law passed, Salem is the capital, right? Except that being the seat of the government brings a lot of jobs and revenue to the surrounding community. Legislators and lobbyists need to eat, sleep, board their horses and, in the case of many early Oregon legislators, drink (a lot). Many communities realized the economic gains that could come from being the capital city. Cue the next decade of political infighting....

Finally, general elections were held in 1862 and 1864. Salem beat the next closest vote getter (Portland) by twice as many votes in both elections.
But one element of deep context may not be given enough weight here. These are the laws and votes and political actions - but not the values and motives behind them.

19th Amendment in Salem: Help for Great Experiment of Democracy

Probably in direct or indirect ways you've been giving some thought to the 19th amendment.

Oregon had already settled things locally in 1912*, and while in 1920 it was the front page headline, it didn't totally dominate the page. Even though the determining vote just scraped by with the minimum, only eight years after our own vote there was a hint of been-there-done-that for us. Instead the tone seemed to be "about time."

"Tennessee Ratifies National Suffrage Amendment"
August 18th, 1920
From the paper:
Tennessee Ratifies National Suffrage Amendment
Votes for Women Assured In Coming Election Through Ratification by 36th State
Vote is Close in Tennessee House and Effort Will Be Made to Reconsider Tomorrow - Bitter Fight Over Ratification -Tie Vote Upon Rejection Preceded Favorable Action
A young Susan B. Anthony
via "Granddaughters of
the Revoution
Nashville, Tenn., Aug. 18 - Tennessee today became the thirty sixth state to ratify the Susan B. Anthony federal suffrage amendment. The constitutional change thus will become effective in time for the 17,000,000 women of the country to vote in the presidential election in November, unless the lower house of the Tennessee assembly rescinds its action of today in adopting the ratification resolution, 49 to 47.

Speaker Walker, leader of the anti-suffragists, put opponents in a position to demand reconsideration by changing his vote from nay to aye and moving to reconsider. The house adjourned until 10 o'clock tomorrow, when the speaker's motion will have the right of way. Suffrage and anti-suffrage forces tightened, their lines this afternoon, for the final fight, and both sides were claiming victory.

The suffragists, however, had the advantage of today's victory and expressed confidence that Speaker Walker's motion would be voted down tomorrow. The next step then would be the certifying of the action to the secretary of state of the United States, who would issue a proclamation declaring the amendment ratified.

The Tennessee senate ratified the amendment last Friday by a vote of 25 to 4.

Seek Another State
Suffrage leaders declare they will not slacken their efforts, as they desire to have at least one other state ratify before the November elections, as they expect a fight to be made against Tennessee's action because of the clause in the state constitution which prohibits any assembly from action on an amendment not submitted before the members were elected. Both United States Solicitor General Frierson and the attorney general of Tennessee have declared this clause to be unconstitutional in the light of the recent decision of the supreme court in the Ohio referendum Case.

Ratification by the Tennessee legislature was the culmination of an intensive drive made by suffrage proponents to have the amendment made effective in time for the women of the country to vote In the presidential election in November. The drive was started when West Virginia became the thirty-fourth state to ratify early this year.

Other States Fail
Washington was the thirty-fifth to ratify and on the same day it acted - March 22 - Governor Townsend of Delaware called a special session of the legislature of that state to act on the amendment. The Delaware assembly met early in May and the senate quickly ratified, but action by the house was delayed. Finally, June 22, the legislature adjourned with the ratification resolution still in the house committee of the whole.

Meantime the Louisiana legislature met and efforts were made to have it act favorably. President Wilson appealed to Governor Parker to recommend ratification, but the governor declined to do so. The ratification resolution was taken up late in May and was debated at intervals. Governor Cox, democratic presidential nominee, threw his influence on the side of the amendment, declaring that the democrats of the legislature owed it to their party to ratify the amendment.

The legislature finally adjourned July 8, however, without acting.

While the Louisiana legislature was considering the question, appeals for planks favorable to suffrage were made to both the republican and democratic conventions and the republican convention was picketed by representatives of the woman's party.

Lineup of Parties
The lineup of the democrats and republicans on the vote for ratification follows:
Democrats - Aye 35, no 34, absent 1
Republicans Aye 15, no 12, absent 3

The suffragists won the preliminary victory in the house today when a motion to table the ratification-was lost on a tie vote, 48 to 48. Some of those keeping tally recorded the vote on this motion as 49 to 37 [47?] In favor, and first reports were that suffrage had lost. The official tally showed a tie vote, however, and to make assurance doubly sure, a second roll call was ordered. The vote again was recorded 48 to 48.
The next day there was bluster and pushback.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Drivers Strike and Kill Person Crossing Highway 22 in West Salem

Two drivers struck and killed a person trying to cross Highway 22 just west of West Salem last night.

First release from the State Police:
On November 3, 2016 at about 7:55PM, OSP Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a vehicle versus pedestrian crash on Highway 22 (just west of West Salem).

Preliminary information is a pedestrian attempted to cross Highway 22 when he was struck by two different vehicles. The pedestrian was pronounced deceased at the scene.

This is an active investigation. More information will be released as it becomes available.
Second release (with a side of victim-blaming):
On November 3, 2016 at about 7:55PM, OSP Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a vehicle versus pedestrian crash on Highway 22W (near Frontage Road, just west of West Salem).

Preliminary investigation revealed a 50 year old male was crossing Highway 22 (from the south to north) when he was struck by a 2016 Chevrolet Cruz sedan traveling westbound on Highway 22. The driver of this vehicle told troopers she attempted to avoid the pedestrian but was unable to do so. After this impact, the pedestrian was struck by a second westbound vehicle, a 2007 Toyota Corolla.

This area of Highway 22 is not lit by street lights and there is no designated crosswalk. The pedestrian was wearing dark, non-reflective clothing. Alcohol consumption and improper position upon the highway are being investigated as contributing factors in the crash.

OSP was assisted by the Polk County Sheriff's Office and the Oregon Department of Transportation. Next of kin has not yet been made on the deceased. This is an active investigation. More information will be released as it becomes available.

OSP urges pedestrians and bicyclists to wear bright colors, have reflective material and use extra caution when there is limited visibility due to hours of darkness or inclement weather. Also be knowledgeable of the laws pertaining to biking or traveling near and on highways. Please visit the Oregon Department of Transportation's pedestrian safety page at http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TS/pages/pedestrian.aspx for further information on pedestrian safety. [italics added]
This looks a little like a crash on Highway 22 that killed a person trying to cross in November 2013.

If you are homeless and camping along the river, Highway 22 is a huge barrier, there are hardly any good places to cross, and speeds are high. If you are prosperous, your car breaks down, and you need to cross the highway, the same holds true. The auto firehose design of this urban highway is agnostic to class, race, or station, and ensures it is dangerous for other road users. There are design problems from our hydraulic autoism that overwhelm and penalize individual mistakes or defensible judgments any person on foot might make.

This post will be updated.

We say "troubling"
but really, how troubled are we?
Killed in 2016:
Killed in 2015:

West Salem Neighborhood Association, WSRAB talk Second Street-Marine Drive Underpass

At the West Salem Redevelopment Advisory Board on Wednesday, the City presented an update on the concept for a crossing under Wallace Road along Second Street-Marine Drive. Next week it will be at the Neighborhood Association for more discussion.

Latest on new Second Street and realignment of railroad path
In the WSRAB packet was the letter from the West Salem Neighborhood Association urging a pause, new study, and perhaps a reset.

From the letter:
The West Salem Neighborhood Association requests the City of Salem suspend the use of Urban Renewal Funds and Streets and Bridges Bond Funds for further detailed planning purposes of the 2nd Street—Wallace Road Underpass Proposal pending a deeper review of alternative transportation solutions.

The 2nd Street Under Pass Proposal Feasibility Study presented at the City’s Open House was reviewed by the WSNA Land Use Committee. The Committee recommended the project not proceed to the Planning Stage without thoroughly vetting the concept or alternatives.
It's hard to know how to read this and comment on it. There are lots of things going on.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Ankeny Wildlife Refuge Center needs More Bikey Goodness!

The paper's got a neat story on what sounds like a terrific private-public partnership to create a education center at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge. With a bequest from Mark Gehlar, the Salem Audobon Society wants collaborate with the Fish and Wildlife Service on the first phase of the center.

There's a meeting tomorrow the 3rd at Pringle Community Hall to talk about it. One thing that deserves more attention is bicycling in and around the refuge!

Nature Center Concept at overlook site

Ankeny Hill Overlook with kiosk, parking lot, on rise
and close to same view - but lower down (via Streetview)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

No Helmet Required! City Organized 1983 Ride on Route Difficult Today

Mostly things seem like they're getting better, but here's a gem plucked out of the paper's archives that suggests the opposite interpretation - back then in some ways things might have been a lot better for biking in Salem!

via Twitter

How many of you would be confident leading a ride with a bunch of 12 year-olds along that route or any parallel nearby? North of State Street there is a primitive network of lower-traffic neighborhood streets (not yet upgraded to full bike boulevard facilities), but crossing Market, Center, and State Streets requires care. South of State Street is busy and difficult.

25th and Madrona Finishes and Reopens

Late yesterday the City announced that the intersection work on 25th and Madrona was mostly done and the road would be reopening.

Looking westnorthwest along green crossbike and channel
via City of Salem

Plan view from July 2015
From the City yesterday:
The intersection of Madrona Ave SE and 25th St SE is expected to reopen this evening. This intersection carries over 15,000 vehicles per day! The new alignment and signal will greatly improve the safety and flow for all modes of transportation. In addition, 22nd St SE has been opened between Mission St SE and Madrona Ave SE.

This $9 million project was funded by savings from the 2008 Streets and Bridges Bond projects, Oregon Department of Transportation Immediate Opportunity Funds, Transportation and Stormwater System Development fees and Utility rates.

The project is being completed on time and within budget. The project team greatly appreciates the patience shown by residents and businesses during this very complicated construction.
Have you tried it out? Let us know how it works for you!

That crossbike thing looks like it is meant for eastbound bike traffic on Madrona, which can enter the channel in the island, use the green crossbike (like the crosswalk adjacent to it) to access a new multi-use path on the east side of 25th. The MUP won't connect to anything yet though, so this seems like a bit of orphaned infrastructure, a dead-end really. It's also a little rube goldbergian, it seems. I worry about zoomy right-hand turns in the slip lane. Maybe it will be more useful than it seems. So if you use it, let us know.