Saturday, June 30, 2018

Alien Enemy Registration Included Teenage Children 100 Years Ago

February 4th, 1918
Earlier this week CNN anchor Brian Stelter tsk-tsk'ed another journalist who proclaimed her worry about our politics. Later, Rebecca Traister responded and directly criticized this, observing
News media hasn’t taken these groups as seriously as they’ve taken Trump supporters because they don’t take people of color, they don’t take women — or the validity of their political anger — very seriously. Look no further than another tweet sent by Brian Stelter on Wednesday, chiding the liberal activist Amy Siskind for comparing border-crossing checkpoints to the dystopian authoritarian state of Margaret Atwood’s Gilead. “We are not ‘a few steps from The Handmaids Tale,’” Stelter tweeted dismissively. “I don’t think this kind of fear-mongering helps anybody.” The message was clear: Your fury at injustice is overdramatic, exaggerated, invalid. This was 24 hours before Anthony Kennedy resigned from the Supreme Court.
A couple of weeks ago, Anthropologist David Lewis wrote to remind us about family separation and boarding schools, like Chemawa, as part of our strategy to assimilate native peoples by force:
Parents were forced to give their children up, from the age of 6 years old. Students would remain at the school for the whole school year for up to 12 years. Children were subjected to punishment for speaking their language or practicing their cultures. They were made to where uniforms, and cut their hair and take American names. They could only speak English and boy were taught mostly rural trades, farming, ranching and the like. Girls learned stereotypical “household” skills. Most would return home only in the summers and to their parents and community they were like strangers, unable to speak their languages or fully participate in their culture.
And there was of course the system of family separation enforced by slavery.

Right here 100 years ago, "All German female aliens of the age of 14 years and upwards are required to register...." American women who married German citizens were included in this, as obviously were teen-age children. There was no separation, but there was public shaming.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

"Scooter Wars" Framing Misses on our Autoism

While we wait for our first public bike system here in Salem (earlier this month they announced another delay), the ability to bolt a smartphone and lock onto just about anything makes rental mobility in general a rapidly evolving field. Public bikes seem like they are accepted and will continue to be refined, but are no longer very novel at all. The new vanguard - which won't last very long probably! - is scooters, and there's a piece in the paper today rather sensationally headlined "scooter wars."

The piece is too short and misses a great deal. Just some bullets:
  • But in a way it's nice to see attention directed away from bikes, like they might finally be normalizing.
  • On the other hand, is the "arrogant Gilded Age-style approach toward public space" actually from scooters and their users? Or is it from cars and their users? The framing of the piece makes invisible the hegemony of autoism, and deflects problems and blame onto other road users. 
  • It becomes part of a conversation about gentrification and displacement and inequality. A conversation about emblems and signifying rather than mobility itself.
  • At the same time, scooters on sidewalks, just like bikes on sidewalks, really are a problem. Because of the hegemonic dominance of cars, we shunt everything onto the sidewalk, and of course the sidewalks get crowded. In these pieces, we always need to be aware of the ways we privilege autoism and make all other travelers fight over the margins. Autoism employs divide-and-conquer tactics, and things like "scooter wars" are a feature, not a bug, of our current and autoist transportation system.
  • (But as long as auto advertising is an important revenue stream for imperiled journalism, we are not likely to get much analysis of our auto-industrial complex. Dairy and cheese are not funding much advertising, and it is easier to devote investigative journalism to industrial dairying and its manure than to our autoism and its pollution and fatalities.)
As rental scooter mobility develops this will be interesting to watch. And of course our public bike system seems likely to evolve also. Just some things to be aware of.

Addendum, July 1st

And here's a piece that also evades the central fact that it is driving itself that is dangerous, instead trying to carve out the special act of "distracted driving," as if "regular driving" was perfectly fine and safe.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Ongoing Struggle with Greenhouse Gases: At the MPO

Our local Metropolitan Planning Organization meets today, Tuesday the 26th, and they continue to fight the rising tide of sentiment and science on greenhouse gases.

Last month's discussion on the prospect of including a goal about greenhouse gas emissions in the 2019 Regional Transportation System Plan elicited a lot of foot-dragging. So much boils down to "don't tell me what to do!" It's about autonomy and home rule, the freedom to make and even relish mistakes, rather than about the proper - or even just a "good enough" - policy response to climate disruption.

From the minutes:
The committee next considered the seven options for the wording of Goal 7. These options were developed based on last month’s Policy Committee discussion, input from the public survey, and the letter from the Salem City Council. Paul Kyllo said his preference is Option D. Mayor Tiffin said he could support Option D but also likes option E, because it leaves the option of local governments to have these conversations as needed, and Option E partly names the issue without using a trigger word that potentially stops the conversation. Mayor Clark supported this idea of a goal that allows jurisdictions to do what they want to do and be self-determinant. Commissioner Brentano said he is okay with individual jurisdictions pursuing policies on their own, but he has concerns about a regional goal that binds this group and Marion County. Commission Brentano said that Options A or B (or the original goal language) would still allow local jurisdictions to have the flexibility to have local policies on this subject. Mayor Clark suggested in Option D substituting “according to” with “with flexibility for.” Sean O’Day suggested substituting “according to” with “without interfering with.”

Councilor Jim Lewis commented that the Salem City Council has directed him, as their jurisdiction’s representative, to support Option C: “Planned to minimize the impact(s) to the natural and built environment and to reduce greenhouse gases “ - per 4/23/18 letter from Mayor Bennett on behalf of the Salem City Council, and anything else he’d want to discuss with the full city council. Kathy Lincoln reiterated that local and state residents do consider reduction of GHGs a critical issue.

[Discussion of current process requiring unanimous votes]

Mr. Jaffe noted that other MPOs do not adopt by unanimous vote but rather by majority or supermajority. There was also discussion of how the Cooperative Agreement could be revised, but that would take time and may not result in a better process. Mr. Jaffe also mentioned that the jeopardy of not having an adopted plan is that projects in the TIP would eventually be stopped without an adopted Plan.

Chair Clark said that this committee has had difficult issues to decide in the past. She thinks that what makes this MPO stand out and makes it stronger as an organization is that they find ways to reach agreement. She would hate to lose that by eliminating the unanimous process and moving to a majority vote on SKATS. She said there is a space for local jurisdictions to try things that are in the best interest of their communities, but they need to recognize that they don’t have jurisdiction over their neighboring jurisdictions. Regional planning is best done by best practice and collaboration. If a jurisdiction wants to add an overlay for greenhouse gas as part of their planning that is fine, but the city of Keizer won’t accept a resolution passed by the city of Salem as mandatory on Keizer.
Perhaps Chair Clark should give more thought to the nature of "best practice" - is it more about amity on a committee and between local governments? or is it about policy itself and the actions it prompts?

(See last month's post for more on goal 7, as well as posts from this winter and spring tagged SKATS for more of the on-going debate.)

Meanwhile, DLCD is considering new formal Rules for Transportation Planning, and they have several options that include greenhouse gas emissions. It is difficult to be optimistic that we will make the needed strong actions in time, but action is coming, and what may be optional today seems likely to be mandatory in the future.

On this SKATS seens sure to object and delay as they can.

Friday, June 22, 2018

City Council, June 25th - State Street Study

Council meets on Monday and they'll start considering the recommendations from the State Street Study.

Ordinarily there has seemed to be a clear path to adoption, but because of a major autoist change recommended by the Planning Commission, as well as particularly vocal dissent from residents in the Court-Chemeketa Historic District, the Study has been contested and it's not obvious what Council will decide. The Staff Report lists four options:
  1. Set a public hearing before the City Council on the proposed amendments;
  2. Proceed straight to second reading for enactment;
  3. Refer the proposed amendments back to the Planning Commission for further deliberation; or
  4. Decline to advance the proposed ordinance.
The right thing to do is a full 4/3 safety conversion the full length of State Street.

Bowing to neighborhood politics, Staff Recommends only a four block section of conversion from 13th to 17th, but the Planning Commission didn't support even this and instead wants to maintain a set of four full auto travel lanes.

So the process still remains in thrall to our autoist appetite.

Separately, some residents from the Historic District tried to insist on an additional layer of Federalized process because of indirect effects from State Street onto Court Street properties.

The State of Oregon said, "Nope, not necessary."
On March 29, 2018, the City of Salem asked for a determination from the State as to whether a review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act is required as part of the State TGM grant to the City of Salem for the State Street Refinement Plan (SSRP).

The Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) has researched the issue and advised us that such a Section 106 review was not required as part of the TGM Grant. The provision of funds from TGM to the City did not require a Section 106 review as the project is planning-level only and does not involve bricks and mortar activities or ground disturbance or excavation.
There's nothing new to say on the subject unfortunately.

For more detailed comment on the State Street Study, see these main posts:
(For all previous notes on the State Street Study see here.)

There's an update on the Age-Friendly initiative, and it points to our problems with the State Street Study:
The group will continue to gather more information for the remainder of the evaluation process with the primary goal of assessing: How does the community support people moving freely around Salem to connect to goods and services without the reliance on personal automobiles? [italics added]
Those with an interest in trees should pay close attention to the proposal at what had been our "sustainable" office park. The City proposes to make new lots to protect some trees, but cut down others in order to facilitate development.
Currently, proposed development, and potentially oak removal, on this property is subject to City Council (Council) review prior to approval of development plans. This adds complexity and uncertainty to the site plan review and permitting process. To provide greater certainty to potential developers, the proposed lot configuration will create two lots that will be platted and retained under City of Salem (City) ownership to protect the majority of Oaks on the property (Attachment 2). The City land use process will be followed to modify the existing approved subdivision for the property to create three large lots available for development.
This just looks a little funny, kinda greenwashy, and like more retreat from our "sustainable" goals. Maybe it's a good solution, but it deserves scrutiny.

And out at the airport there's a street vacation for a new access drive near 25th & Madrona. 

It looks like a nice weekend for the first one of Summer, and so enjoy it! Maybe we'll come back to this and think more deeply on these, or think about other items on the agenda. (Maybe not!)

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Rear Views Subtract Harmony at Fairview Addition

The Homebuilders Association annual Tour of Homes kicked off this week, and it is always interesting to see what's at Fairview Addition.

For the third year Olsen Design has a home on the tour, and in one important way it's a big departure from the other houses and the rest of the development. In another way, it offers continuity, and shows an unattractive trade-off for one of the project's big ideas.

It's got a great front porch! But it also has a driveway and garage
The first phase is filling in nicely, and this may be the first house that has a driveway in front. It's the first one I've noticed, anyway. All the other houses have garages and driveways on alleys. Emphasizing the front porch and putting the garages in back was one of the big ideas for the whole development. So it was surprising to see a front driveway and garage.

Flling in: From Leslie Middle School and across Pringle Creek
Since the porch is so nice, and the proportions from front look generally a little like those in a "pyramid cottage" circa 1900 (plus some Craftsman detailing), the driveway is not terribly jarring. Still, it breaks some of the rhythm and harmony of the neighborhood and its houses.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Revisiting Roger Shimomura at Hallie Ford

Tuesdays admission at Hallie Ford Museum of Art is free. Today's a good day to consider how great it is, and to revisit an important show from 2015 of Roger Shimomura's work.

Classmates #1, Roger Shimomura
(via Hallie Ford Museum of Art)
Former First Lady Laura Bush in the Washington Post:
Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso. These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history.
(Roger Shimomura)

(Roger Shimomura)
From the museum:
A number of Shimomura's early works address his childhood experiences at the internment camp of Minidoka during WWII...
More images at his Seattle gallery.

(Comments are closed on this post.)

Monday, June 18, 2018

Veterans Hall Litigated, Abandoned Before Bergs Market at New Howard School Site

It turns out the proposed site for Howard Street Charter School was messy and contested!

As World War II was beginning to wind down in 1945, Salemites planned for a memorial to disabled veterans at Church and Marion. The project went sideways, and after a decade, as well as a major shift in urban form because of autoism, the Berg Market opened and retreated to the back of a large parking lot.

A friend of the blog with an interest in the site shared their research over the weekend, and thanks to it we can trace out a little more of the site's history.

Back in March of 1945 the Disabled American Veterans announced a campaign for a Memorial Hall at Church and Marion. The main entry would be on Church Street, and a side entry would be on Marion Street. It would have an auditorium, banquet hall, meeting rooms, and a Gold Star plaque listing the dead. George Weeks was the architect, and the first estimated budget and fund-raising goal was for $50,000.

December 1st, 1946
The Capitol Mall at this time had not grown very far. In this aerial photo from 1948 you can see only the State Library. The houses in "Piety Hill" are still mostly intact. This was the immediate neighborhood for downtown, and when we eliminated them for the single-use government buildings, we took away many customers from downtown. It wasn't just competition from the shiny new malls on the edges, it's also that we strip-mined the residential core of downtown and eliminated the immediate customer base. (More on that here and here.)

Capitol Mall Area (Church & Marion with arrow)
May 1948, Salem Library Historic Photos
In 1948 note things still standing: Old Salem High School (Macy's/Meier & Frank site), Sacred Heart Academy, the old site of First Presbyterian. Other downtown churches are also still intact. (The full image shows more of the WU campus and many other interesting details!)

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Old Grocery for Howard Street School, Airport and Spinning Folly - Newsbits

You know we have a thing for old grocery stores here, and it was a nice surprise to see the front page story about a serious plan for relocating Howard Street Charter School to an old grocery store downtown. The building is identified as "First Christian Church’s extension building," but long before the Department of Energy used it, it was a QFC Quality Food Market. Maybe it operated under other names, too. (We may come back to more on this!) The site is near the transit mall, and is more centrally located, and would add a chunk of weekday activity to this often quiet edge of downtown. Maybe housing or a different for-profit enterprise would still be a higher use, but even a non-profit school seems like a decent use also.

Earlier in the week there was an editorial about commercial air service, and while it identified bigger problems we need to work on and fund, it missed a big one: If we are serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we will have to reduce our use of jets and air travel.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Harry Scott Drafted, Closed up Shop 100 Years Ago

Exactly 100 years ago today, Harry Scott and Charles Piper announced they were closing the store.

Closing out Sale, June 15th, 1918
They'd been drafted and ordered to report June 30th for Vancouver Barracks.

Drafted with orders to report June 30th
June 18th, 1918
As it happens,  the Armistice was signed on November 11th, and Scott didn't stay in the Service for very long.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Court Apartments and old Rigdon Mortuary Costs of New YMCA Building

Lot's of interesting things in the YMCA piece on the front page today.

That looks like a nice, active corner treatment
and modernist, too - via CB|Two
I'm glad they are shifting the main entry and focus to the corner of Court and Cottage. That mid-century modernist arcade looks to make for a lively entry and sidewalk.

But about some of the cost, I am less sure.

You know already that the Court Apartment building, just barely a century old, will be demolished for this new corner building.

Court Apartments - Jan 1st, 1916
The IKE Box building, Rigdon Mortuary ad, circa 1930
But the IKE Box building looks to be demolished also.

Monday, June 11, 2018

New Stop Signs and Small Changes on Winter-Maple Greenway

Over at SBBA there's a very nice announcement from the City about new stop signs going in on the Winter-Maple Greenway:
By the end of June 2018, the City of Salem will finish the first phase of the Winter-Maple Neighborhood Greenway project to create a safe and convenient route for biking and walking between the Oregon State Capitol and Salem Parkway. This phase of the project will install stop signs at the following intersections:

D Street NE at Winter Street NE (all-way stop controlled)
Academy Street NE at Maple Avenue NE
Highland Avenue NE at Maple Avenue NE (all-way stop controlled)
Hickory Street NE at Maple Avenue NE
Spruce Street NE Maple Avenue NE
Tryon Avenue NE at Maple Avenue NE
Johnson Street NE at Maple Avenue NE

The Winter-Maple Neighborhood Greenway Project is the result of a year-long collaborative effort between the City of Salem, Oregon Department of Transportation, the Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization, and the Grant and Highland Neighborhood Associations. The new stop signs are the first step in creating a Neighborhood Greenway that improves safety, encourages a healthy lifestyle, and prioritizes bicycle and pedestrian travel. This phase of the project costs approximately $4,500 and will be paid for from the City’s general transportation maintenance budget as funded by the Oregon state gas tax.
Earlier in April they had said:
The Winter-Maple Plan was approved with the inclusion of:
- additional stop signs (to enhance safety and comfort for people on biking and walking)
- speed humps (as shown in the plan and near the OSD campus to provide self-enforcing speed control)
- a Neighborhood Greenway designation (so as to align with the national leaders in bike boulevards).
If you aren't in the neighborhood regularly and on the street, it's not always easy to envision the project. Let's look at the stop sign installation a little more closely. We'll go from south to north, mostly following the list. Some of the "additional stop signs" will become clear.

At D Street, Winter only is currently stopped
The new stop signs on D Street will also stop east-west cross traffic, which sometimes is difficult and zoomy for people going north or south on Winter Street. Maybe this will encourage through-traffic to use Market Street more.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

City Council, June 11th - Planning Fees and Music

Council meets on Monday, and it is very nice to start with a proclamation for Make Music Day on the 21st. There is also a proposal on development fees that is interesting.

Official Make Music Day!

Sites all over downtown
See the Salem Weekly piece for more on Make Music Day.

Because there is more building and more permitting, there is a proposal to increase planning fees.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Summer Crosswalk Education and Enforcement Campaign to Start

A crosswalk reminder at an unmarked crosswalk
in an area of Salem without sidewalks

"Pedestrian sting" is probably not the best description
for a crosswalk safety enforcement and education project

And a well-timed LTE today on the same topic
These crosswalk education and enforcement actions are always welcome, but because we tie them to special grant funding, they also get framed up as extra enhancement or amenities, and do not get framed up as protecting a core part of mobility. It would be interesting to know if the Police report internally on approximate age, gender, and ethnicity in these stops. Does the laudable project for crosswalk safety get tangled up in less laudable profiling bias?

Also, the Police discusses the compliance rate as a matter of knowledge of the laws. But it may also, may even instead, be a matter of our autoism: The cultural bias for car travel and the belief that people on foot need to stay out of the way. It's a matter of power, not just knowledge.

In a separate release, the Police shared their monthly traffic summary:
As an agency during the month of May, Salem Police officers arrested 52 people for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, issued 144 citations for Driving With a Suspended License, 66 citations for driving without a seatbelt, and issued another 1521 citations and warnings for various other offenses.
A week ago there was another LTE about lawless bicyclists, and when I read these summaries from the Police, I'm rather struck with the scope of lawless motoring.

(Here's an updating summary, and month after month, there are several tens of DUI and Suspended License, and 1000 or so other citations and warnings. Every month. And that doesn't account for speed studies, which as we saw at Commercial and Vista should result in over 4000 speeding citations each day! The Police interact with only a very small proportion of speeding and other infractions. Lawless and potentially lethal motoring is a much bigger problem than bicyclists behaving badly.)

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Toxic Water or Toxic Streets and Cars?

The water advisory's back on. And stories in today's paper again pose the question: Which is more dangerous, our public water system or our autoist public road system?

Maybe it's those other things in the photo that will kill

It's not mysterious! A driver hit the girl with her truck

This is more neutral and accurate
Maybe Salem officials should offer a "do not drive" advisory for vulnerable populations? We tolerate way more death and injury on our roads right now than we seem prepared to tolerate with our water system! Why this disproportion?

Two of the three pieces also have the driverless car. The most interesting is the caption on the "toxins in water" piece: "cars wait to receive bottled water." People in cars are waiting, not the cars themselves. But even here we displace agency onto the inanimate car. That is a measure of how thoroughly infected we are by this rhetoric of the driverless car.

Columbia Journalism Review

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

1920s Deed Restrictions as Precursor to Single Family Zoning

One of the things that all transportation advocates have to think about eventually is land use. If things aren't close enough for convenient walking and biking, no network of world class paths and lanes and sidewalks will actually induce meaningful numbers of walking and biking trips that replace drive-alone trips. Even in the best Dutch and Danish cities, bike trips fall off dramatically at distances of three miles. Sure, trips of 10 and 15 miles are not difficult by bike, but even in the best of circumstances they are not widely popular and common. The sweet spot is for short trips. And that means useful things clustered together, not forced apart in single-use districts at car-dependent spacing.

You might recognize Michael Andersen from his journalism at Portland Afoot, at BikePortland, or at People/Places for Bikes. Recently Andersen moved on from Places for Bikes to join Sightline as a Senior Fellow, and his first work there is about residential zoning. He'd been writing about housing at Portland for Everyone, and this is a logical continuation in his thought.

That piece, "Maps: Portland’s 1924 Rezone Legacy Is ‘A Century of Exclusion’," is very much worth reading - and it's got zippy cartography, to boot!
It was in 1924 that Portland voters approved the city’s first zoning plan in a citywide vote, four years after having narrowly rejected the idea.

It was a turbulent moment in Oregon politics. In 1922, the resurgent Ku Klux Klan had swept to electoral victory across the state, putting its members in the governor’s mansion, the House speakership, and controlling the Multnomah County Commission. In 1923, the Klan-backed Alien Land Bill, banning Japanese nationals from owning property in Oregon, sailed through the Klansman-led state legislature with just one dissenting vote.

A parallel national movement was afoot. A White House task force convened in 1921 was pushing US cities to pass zoning codes. The task force’s official documents never mentioned race, but its members were “outspoken segregationists” who (as documented by Richard Rothstein) wrote elsewhere that zoning could help segregate people by race.

This was the political environment when Portland’s real estate brokers brought a revised zoning plan back to voters for another try. Authored by H.E. Plummer, who served as a planning commissioner and head of the city’s bureau of buildings, the 1924 plan was approved with 60 percent of the vote, and formally separated industrial and residential development. And it introduced another idea, too: “single-family” zoning, which required households who wanted to live in certain parts of town to be able to pay not only for a home but for a certain minimum amount of land around it—at least 5,000 square feet in most cases. Other sorts of homes would be banned. [link to Rothstein added to citation]
There is no history of zoning (or of any redlining also) in Salem at the moment. It seems to be completely undiscussed and essentially unknown. But it's hard to believe that Salem didn't follow along to some greater or lesser extent.

So it was very interesting to come across some clippings from this same time period in Salem that seem relevant in this context. These are about deed restrictions rather than municipal zoning, but the goal seems to be the same: To create a floor in housing cost and thereby to keep the riff-raff out.

(House Bill 4134 was passed and signed into law this year to provide  a "specific procedure for petitioning for removal of personally discriminatory restrictions from title of real property." A century-old cost floor is no longer discriminatory, but there are surely instances of lingering racist exclusionary language in deeds around the city.)

Advertorial, August 23rd, 1925
(Note also the car-related ad!)

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Anthropologist David Lewis on Local Indigenous History Worth a Read

There's not a lot of transportation news right now, so let's take a side trip into history.

You might remember some testimony about McLane Island to City Council with regard to the SRC a couple years ago. Anthropologist and Grande Ronde member David Lewis suggested it needed more archeological assessment. (So far as we know, only a cursory assessment did happen.)

Last month a reader sent in a link to a note on Lewis' blog, a "Journal of Critical & Indigenous Anthropology & History."

"Bits for Breakfast," Statesman, June 12th, 1934
In the piece, "Chemeketa Creek becomes Mill Creek," Lewis argued that an earlier name for what we know as Mill Creek was "Chemeketa Creek," drawing on native place names, and that the development of industry by settlers, and the concomitant displacement, in the 1850s resulted in the name change. He draws on mid-19th century sources mostly, and a different researcher turned up this clipping from 1934. USGS agreed with the argument, and the name has been added to the Geographic Names Information System.

(As we think about public art and a path along Mill Creek at the new Police Station site, this lost name is something to consider.)

The blog has got all kinds of interesting articles, most of them about native peoples, but many of them touching on Salem history also, and a few that touch on transportation history. The framework and project to decolonize our history and write a more inclusive one is important. We may come back to some of them in later posts, but here's a sampling of posts relevant to Salem history and transportation history. The whole blog, and all the shorter posts and reproductions of longer articles and talks, is worth browsing.

Monday, June 4, 2018

In the Neighborhoods: Open Streets Salem and Costco out South

The Grant Neighborhood Association meets on Thursday the 7th, and at last month's meeting they learned more about the September Open Streets event that will use the Winter-Maple Greenway again.

Final Report for 2017 - Mayor's Ride
The discussion was notable in no small part because it was the first public announcement, as far as I know anyway, of its new director (job announcement here):
Emily Loberg, the director of the event, was present to present information about the September 22nd program. Open streets is observed internationally and the Portland Open Sundays Parkways is part of it. Streets are closed to motorized traffic and activities, food and entertainment at various venues invite participation from bike riders and pedestrians. The goals are to support diverse modes of transportation, make the streets safe and accessible to all , and to play, create and celebrate neighborhoods. It promotes community connections with new ways to meet up and participate in the arts, theater and dance. It supports and encourages local businesses.

The event will begin at 11:00 am and continue through 3:00 pm. The route will be along the Maple-Winter Street Bikeway, through Highland, Grant and Cando neighborhoods. The busier intersections will be monitored by professional flaggers or police officers. There will be four activity hubs at: Highland School, Broadway Commons, Grant School and the Salem Saturday Market. Each will also have information booths.

Volunteers are needed for planning, including: activities at each hub; food and refreshments; food truck outreach and participation; school parent club involvement with fundraisers, perhaps by selling snacks; organization of activities, such as ping-pong, basketball, soccer, yoga, lawn games; performances by choirs, bands, dance troupes, theater groups; traveling events along the route; and, providing transportation to the event. Neighbors are encouraged to think outside the box for ideas of what to include. Volunteers are also needed to distribute fliers, set ups the night before and morning of and, of course, as always, cleanup. The event is pet-friendly and will have activities for all ages.

More information is available at
This is great news. You might remember Emily from the news story about her cross-country trip back in December 2016.

Friday, June 1, 2018

City Council, June 1st - Cyanotoxins and the Water Supply

Even with cyanotoxins, our public water system is almost certainly safer than our autoist public road system.

Back in 2015 death by car seemed "troubling"
City Council meets today at noon for a special emergency session occasioned by the water advisory issued earlier this week. (There is no published Staff Report at the moment.)

In the furor over cyanotoxins in our tapwater, our risk assessments of driving and of drinking slightly contaminated tapwater are interesting to compare. So far as we know, no one in Salem has been killed by the elevated levels of cyanotoxins. But we tolerate an amazing amount of death and injury on our roads. Drinking water and moving around the city should both be routine and safe - but it does not seem we apply the same standards to both. We see one as a clear public health matter, but struggle to see public health in the other.