For years SKATS has resisted any kind of accounting for greenhouse gases. But there is now an opening and a new possibility for change.
|The RTSP's curent draft goal 7 and several options|
for a revised goal 7 for the 2019 plan
(May 15th memo, "RTSP Goals: Discussion of Options")
Other MPOs in Albany, Corvallis, and Portland include provisions on carbon and climate disruption. Currently, Bend, Eugene, and the Rogue Valley do not. (Eugene's silence on this is surprising.) So if SKATS adopted language in a goal, we would be right in the middle: Neither an early adopter nor a total laggard. That seems like a very comfortable place to be.
|Formal Goals of other Oregon MPOs|
(May 15th memo)
|"Merchants of doubt" at the MPO|
(From the April minutes)
Moreover, in the governance structure, with one vote only, the City of Salem is also penalized with a very disproportionately small representation. The MPO structure gives the City of Turner the same vote as the City of Salem! The balance is not right - not demographically representative, anyway. The Salem-Keizer MPO is mostly the City of Salem, and its urban interests should be given more weight by population relative to suburban and unincorporated interests. (Here's a similar discussion about an MPO in Texas for comparison.)
As we noted a few days ago, 350.org is determined on the subject of greenhouse gases and goal 7, and they have indicated they "plan to attend every meeting of the SKATS Policy Committee to stay on their case with our demand that they address climate change in the regional transportation goals."
The schedule right now calls for final adoption of the goals in July.
During the Great Recession bids for City road construction projects routinely came in under budget, and the City was able to add many small projects to those funded by the 2008 bond.
That era is over!
The city of Salem is requesting additional federal funds to cover a shortfall for the 12th St.: Hoyt to Fairview Southbound Widening project. The low bid was over $600,000 above the engineer's estimate, and the right-of-way costs were almost double what was programmed. They are requesting an increase of $400,000 in Federal funding: an extra $100,000 for the right-of-way and an extra $300,000 for construction. The city will contribute an additional $1,162,886 of its own funds.At the Oregon Transportation Commission the I-5 Kuebler to Delany Road project got a boost, doubling from $17 million to $35 million.
It looks like Cherriots TripChoice is getting a bump in funding. In years past they have had $200,000 to $300,000 annual funding, but this looks like a doubling, and maybe even a quadrupling.
|(Edited from 2018-2023 SKATS TIP Modifications)|
On the SRC, in April MPO decided not to adjust the work plan:
Kathy Lincoln asked if it would make sense, based on public comment/testimony, to make changes to the [work] program related to the Salem River Crossing Environmental Impact Statement Project (EIS). Mike Jaffe responded that a relatively small amount of funds is allocated to that project, to support any EIS activities that might be asked of SKATS, as well as to keep the Policy Committee informed of any updates. Any funds not spent on those activities could be used on other MPO support activities or returned to the TIP for other projects.(Previously this past week:
Motion was made by Sam Brentano, seconded by Craig Pope, to adopt Resolution 18-17 adopting the 2018-2018 UPWP. Committee discussion focused on the Salem River Crossing project. Commissioner Sam Brentano does not favor making changes to the UPWP regarding the River Crossing project. Chair Cathy Clark noted that river crossing issues have been studied many times during the past 40 years with no definitive action being taken to preserve a corridor for a third Willamette River bridge. She suggested leaving things the way they are currently described in the UPWP. Ms. Lincoln agreed that due the amount and flexibility of the funds, no changes should be made at the present time....
The motion passed unanimously.
- "I-5 Kuebler to Delany Road Project Doubles to $35 Million, on OTC Agenda"
- "Congestion Task Force Meets Friday Morning"
- "ODOT Works to Box in Salem City Council on the SRC")
|Look for the historic sign|
next to the entry
SKATS Policy Committee meets Tuesday the 22nd, at noon. SKATS is at 100 High St. SE, Suite 200, above Andaluz Kitchen and Table Five 08.