Sunday, April 16, 2017

West Salem Neighborhood Association Proposes Change to Marine Drive

The West Salem Neighborhood Association meets tomorrow, Monday the 17th, and they're advocating for a significant change in Marine Drive.

Over at N3B they've got a note about a proposed maneuver at the Budget Committee on Marine Drive.

The West Salem Neighborhood Association wants to build a different, more northerly segment of Marine Drive and for the City to reduce its width to be a local street instead of a collector or expressway.

Proposal to build a different part of Marine Drive
 Here's their proposal from WSNA meetings in March and April:
Amend the City of Salem budget to remove $3,542,920 of funding from the Project No. 711503 to construct Marine Drive from Glen Creek Road to Cameo Street and redirect the funding to Project No. 61463 to purchase right-of-way and begin construction of Marine Drive from 5th Avenue to Harritt Drive.
In favor of it, they say:
developments along Marine Drive, such as the CASA of Oregon affordable housing project near Harritt Drive and Marine Drive will be more likely to move forward and fund a portion of the costs to construct Marine Drive. This will assist with local access and circulation to reduce traffic on Wallace Road and lead to fewer U-turns on Wallace Road that will improve safety.

The Marine Drive segment from 5th Avenue to Harritt offers West Salem residents access to commercial areas of West Salem without adding to Wallace Road congestion. The bicycle pedestrian boulevard elements of the plan create a safe route for commuting over the Union Street Railroad Bridge. Higher density residential developments adjacent to the route may justify more frequent bus service and increase transit ridership. Development of the Marine Drive segment for local access and circulation (instead of regional traffic movement) creates access to Greenway areas rather than a barrier. [italics added]
And against the current plan they say
the budgeted project [...] negatively impacts Pioneer Village residents, Wallace Marine Park users, and the riparian areas of the creek and slough that run along the west side of the Park.
But don't build this segment
This is all very interesting, but it seems to depend on a contested point.

The segment from Glen Creek to Cameo was selected because it was wholly inside the Urban Growth Boundary.

Parts of the northern segment were outside of the UGB, and in order to be able to build that segment, that alignment also needed to be inside the UGB. One of the elements in the package of the land use matters from last year was an expansion of the UGB to accommodate the whole of the northern segment. That matter is currently being contested at LUBA.

If the City enlarged the UGB improperly as critics argue, and LUBA remands or rejects the City's expansion, then the segment of Marine Drive WSNA wants to build would not be eligible for funding as a bond project as I understand it.

So the WSNA proposal seems to require the appeal at LUBA to fail and for the UGB expansion to be affirmed. It's not clear that this aligns with other priorities WSNA has articulated with regard to the Salem River Crossing.

This is difficult to understand. Perhaps this misunderstands things, or there are other factors in play. (If you understand the details better, please chime in!)

The West Salem Neighborhood Association meets on Monday the 17th and while Marine Drive is not on the agenda, the related matter of the proposed footbridge at Edgewater and Wallace is on the agenda. Here's more on why the project still doesn't seem very useful.

They'll also be talking about lead abatement at the former battery business on Patterson, and about homelessness.

The West Salem Neighborhood Association meets Monday the 17th at 7:00 P.M. in Roth’s West, Mezzanine (1130 Wallace Rd NW).


Jim Scheppke said...

My understanding from expert testimony to the Salem City Council in the past is that a UGB amendment is not necessary to allow construction of Marine Drive in order to comply with statewide planning goals or the state Transportation Planning Rule. The TPR allows for collector roads outside UGBs where the function of the road is to divert local traffic from a State highway and provided that access (i.e., driveways) to rural lands outside the UGB are only allowed for rural uses like farming. City staff have suggested, wrongly, that the city couldn't build Marine Drive because the city can only build urban streets with sidewalks, implying those are not allowed by the TPR. That's not true. There is nothing in the TPR or state land use rules that sets this kind of limitation.

The City can purchase right-of-way outside the UGB and can even build roads outside the UGB with the cooperation of Marion or Polk County. A recent City Council meeting approved an agreement with Marion County to do that on the east City limits.

BTW, Councilor Andersen asked at the recent Budget Committee hearing about the UGB issue and was told by the Public Works Director that about a third of Marine Drive is outside the UGB. But for the section recommended by the WSNA, it is only about ten percent outside UGB.

So it is not the case that "the WSNA proposal seems to require the appeal at LUBA to fail and for the UGB expansion to be affirmed."

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Yeah...there is more on this in "OAR on Rural Roads Suggests Possible Liberation for Marine Drive."

But what you say is about a "collector" street, the OAR seems to reference collectors, and the WSNA proposal is for a local street rather than a collector.

It's still more than a little fuzzy, and the WSNA proposal needs more detail on exactly how all of it would work!

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Minor update - The minutes from the May 1st meeting may clarify some on Marine Drive. WSNA includes as part of their goals for the next few months:

"Marine Drive 5th Street to Harritt Dr. as a local access street – continue to lobby for switch from project #711503, the regional access, to #61463 to acquire ROW for the local collector."

That maybe is still a little bit ambiguous, but suggests they see Marine Drive as a "collector" rated street after all, and not a "local" street.