Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Bridges: Soft Open at Minto; at Second St and Wallace More Thought

It was nice to see the Minto Bridge on the front page over the weekend!

Have you crossed it? What did you think?


The West Salem Redevelopement Advisory Board meets tomorrow the 3rd, and they'll be talking about another bridge idea.

(Information on WSRAB is bifurcated right now between the old and new City websites, so it's a pain for linking. Here's the meeting packet, but it's posted to the old site. The new site says "An agenda for this meeting is not yet available," which is plainly false! Anyway, hopefully they'll get this straightened out.)

WSRAB is going to consider an
Addendum to the feasibility study to include an engineering evaluation of an overcrossing of Wallace Road NW at 2nd Street NW. The purpose will be 1) to further understand the engineering requirements; 2) evaluate bicycle and pedestrian connection to the Union Street Railroad Bridge; 3) determine vehicular accessibility and sight distance constraints to businesses on the east side of Wallace Road NW and redevelopment opportunity sites on the west side of Wallace Road NW; 4) consider the visual aesthetics of the overcrossing at the Wallace Road NW gateway to West Salem; 5) understand the connectivity to adjacent local streets.
The whole concept may be just totally going sideways now!

Presumably this new overcrossing study element is in response to the criticism of the underpass concept and the alternative proposal for the "bolt-on bridge" along the Center Street Bridge, OR-22 ramp, and Edgewater path. (More on that here and here.)

A problem, maybe the major problem, is that the project is conceived as primarily for auto connectivity. This will wipe out the biking and walking path along the railroad tracks, requiring new sidepaths, and impact the Union Street Railroad Bridge trestle. As primarily an auto throughway, it has to connect with Marine Drive, also.

The primacy of autoism here may have screwed up everything.

If we could revert to the gentler requirements for walking and biking only, it might fit in more nicely.

But then, apparently, City Staff and business interests feel there is no way to fund it or to justify funding it as a "redevelopment" action.

The study will cost $30,000.

Also on the agenda is a proposal to broaden the scope of projects eligible for an urban renewal grant program to include "environmental clean-up." This is clearly targeted at the lead abatement necessary for the 576 Patterson building and businesses.

But as the industrial area transitions to other kinds of businesses, contamination of one kind or another is surely going to be a recurring problem.

WSRAB meets Wednesday the 3rd from 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM in the West Salem Public Library, 395 Glen Creek Road NW.

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