Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Help Plan Hilfiker Park on Thursday

The Hilfiker parcel is part of a long undeveloped strip
between Albert Drive and Boone Road in South Salem
The City is kicking off the formal Planning Process for the future Hilfiker Park on Thursday the 2nd. There will be an Open House at Painters Hall in Pringle Creek Community from 6:30pm to 8:00pm.

Apart from the recreational things and amenities we deploy inside the park, it occupies a key potential east-west connection, and making sure the path system works for walking and biking, including during the early dark in Winter, will be an important part of the park's design.

There is a long strip of undeveloped land, without any connections, between Albert Drive and Boone Road. New residents of the Fairview project as well as existing residents south of Battle Creek, are all cut off from Winco and Trader Joe's, and essentially must drive in a round-about way to reach these important destinations on Commercial Street.

Morningside neighbors want single-family homes
and a collector-level street punched through at Hilfiker
Path connections in a new park could help with bike connectivity for shopping. Trader Joe's could be accessed without any travel on or across a busy street.

The TSP calls for bike lanes on a collector-level street extension of Hilfiker Lane and Hillrose Street. It's a "tier 2" priority, and some ways away, however.

The park could connect Jamestown Street/Sunland Street and the current local street configuration of Hilfiker before that. But access to the west is currently blocked. The formal Site Assessment says
Pedestrian access is provided at Sunland Street to the east and Hillrose Street to the north. Private property currently blocks access from nearby Hilfiker Lane and many nearby residences located to the west.
New bike lane on Hilfiker (tier 2 priority)
City of Salem TSP, bike chapter
Still, the park should be developed for future connections, and not merely as a glorified cul-de-sac.

The site is identified as a "Neighborhood Park."
[A]menities within neighborhood park s typically include playgrounds, multi-use courts, picnic areas, pedestrian trails, and multi-use turf play fields. These parks may include natural areas. However, splash fountains, off-leash dog areas, and other amenities that could be a significant draw to park users residing outside the park’s service area are not found at neighborhood parks. Off-street parking is also not normally provided, as these facilities are located within walking or bicycling distance for most intended users. [italics added]
The Site Assessment also calls out "a focal specimen tree," a larger Oak of 41 inch diameter, and it sure sounds like the team is cueing that up to be a central feature of the park, a witness tree of sorts. That's nice to see! It also mentions other Doug Fir and Oaks.

The first Hilfiker Park planning meeting is at Pringle Creek Community Painters Hall,  3911 Village Center Drive SE on Thursday the 2nd at 6:30pm.

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