Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Open House for Strategic Plan on Thursday the First

The City's second Open House for the Strategic Planning Process is tomorrow the 1st.

No sidewalks on this part of Commercial Street
5 auto lanes wide, with an 85% speed of 41 mph
The project website has some materials for the Council work group subcommittees, but they haven't wrapped things up with any introductory materials for this Open House, so it's not exactly clear what is its purpose and what will be presented.

On Facebook the City says:
Come provide input on Salem’s Strategic Plan goal priorities, make suggestions for actions the City should take, and tell us how you would measure success. At the Open House, you can learn about how Council and community input have informed the Vision, Mission, Values, and Goals in Salem's Strategic Plan....

How can you provide input into the strategic planning process?
  • Drop in anytime between 6-8 PM on June 1 (we’ll have a brief presentation at 6:30 PM)
  • Write in anytime to
  • Participate in a City Council Work Group or Work Session (dates, times and topics are featured on Salem’s web page)
These shouldn't be ambiguous, but apparently they are
The Salem River Crossing may be a special matter of interest and debate.

There's a new autoist advocacy group on Facebook, an organizer of which is trying to lobby folks to attend the Open House, and they're mostly just posting pictures of themselves stuck on the road, as if they themselves are not part of the problem, that their own driving itself does not constitute the problem.

They seem to make their case mostly through sophistical inversions.

If driving causes pollution and congestion makes it worse, the proper conclusion to draw is that less driving and fewer driving trips would create less pollution and would relieve the effects of congestion.

But no. The errant conclusion here is that we need to build more roads so we can drive more, which somehow will reduce the pollution. Magic!

Another person elsewhere called biking impractical and able-ist, and challenged a person to ride up Eola.

With a walker, it's treacherous to reach
the bus stop from Fred Meyer
But what's able-ist? Isn't it the fact of our near compulsory autoism, which offers so little safety and comfort to an elderly person with a walker?

Doubling down on and overinvesting in compulsory autoism is one of the most able-ist gestures the City can make.

You might remember this ad from a few years back.

At the time, this battery-assist bike from Giant was about $2,250. (So there's a meaningful response to the problem of the Eola hill!)

If you added a $500 allowance for rain gear, and purchased a $2,750 eBike commute package for 24,239 people, every single person in West Salem, that would cost less than $67,000,000.

There is a whole lot you can do for less than the cost of a whole new bridge and highway.

And it could solve a whole lot of congestion! Remember, not everyone has to bike. Just getting 10% of people to switch could make a huge difference. 

AAA: Your Driving Costs 2015
Generally, autoism is expensive, and not just for governments. It's a real dent in a household budget. Suppose you make $20 an hour. An average car costs you 435 hours a year. If you make $50 an hour, it costs 174 hours.

It'll be interesting to see how the Open House goes. Advocates from our local chapter will be there calling for a commitment to a Climate Action Plan, as well.

There are many other topics, of course. So far the only public citizen overview of the entirety has come from the Salem Strategic Plan Study Group. Their response from earlier this month starts on page 8 (of 12) in the comment packet for the May 6th Council work session. (Most of the other comment is about climate change. If you know of other substantive commentary - that is, on the policy rather than on the process, which has already been criticized several times - please add links in the comments!)

The Open House is Thursday, June 1st, 6-8:00 p.m., Broadway Commons, Grant Room, 1300 Broadway St NE.  


Jim Scheppke said...

Thanks SBOB. You got it right! The new "Salem Bridge Solutions" group led by two brothers (a developer and a realtor) is just another Salem Area Chamber of Commerce astroturf group, and most of the "likes" on their Facebook page and signatories to their petition are Chamber members urged on by Chamber staff. It proves once again that what really motivates the core 3rd Bridge advocates is suburban sprawl development in West Salem, not relieving peak hour traffic congestion downtown. A 3rd Bridge at Pine Street would not do that anyway, as Councilor Tom Andersen likes to point out.

Walker said...

The meme of the hour at the session was "Make Salem a 'car-optional city!'"

ALL of the six topic areas would be greatly improved if Salem was not a such a car-mandatory city.