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
, 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.