As new comment has come in, mostly it's a rehash of support or opposition, trading more on sentiment than fact or probability. There's a lot of fear and anxiety around change.
A couple of new items might be worth noting, however.
|The current study repeats a lot of themes!|
A group of Salem Area Realtors seems to echo this, but crucially they display our autoist incoherence, supporting the zoning changes but not road design.
We support the adoption of the two new mixed-use zones (Mixed Use-1 and Mixed Used-2) to encourage a more vibrant, pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use development area....State Street should be itself a place, as Stong Towns puts it, "a platform for creating value." Realtors should understand this. Any emphasis on regional traffic flow denies the there there. High speeds and volumes harm a place's livability, and at best benefits only the livability of remote places. The Realtors could easily document the price penalty I-5 imposed on nearby lots!
[But] As a major-arterial roadway, State Street is a “high capacity” street, which the Transportation System Plan (TSP) recommends a minimum of four travel lanes and a center turn lane. Any adopted plan should take into consideration State Street’s accommodation of serving regional, and not just local, traffic.
Traffic flow contributes greatly to a community’s livability. We want the residents of Salem to be able to easily commute to and from their homes to their jobs or to school without having to sit in gridlock traffic if it is unavoidable.
|(Ian Lockwood, via Public Square)|
|Rhetoric: "4/3 Safety Conversion" more appetizing|
than "a diet" - But the myth-busting is still useful
In a nut shell, State Street has serious problems. The area is not pleasant for pedestrians or bicyclists. The sidewalks are in disrepair and pose a danger to pedestrians. Tree roots have pushed them up thereby creating tripping hazards. Traffic is heavy and drivers often exceed the speed limit. There is no bicycle lane and it is extremely uncomfortable to ride a bicycle on State Street once you are east of 15th street. I rarely see bicyclists or pedestrians on this section of State Street.For more detailed comment on the State Street Study, see these main posts:
State Street seems disjointed and unplanned. Despite the strength of our local economy, there’s been little interest from the private sector in purchasing the vacant lots or the empty buildings. I have two other offices located in Portland and Beaverton. I also had an office in downtown Gresham for 5 years. I have spent a great deal of time in these cities. The proposed amended changes seem to track what has been done in these cities. I have personally witnessed the transformation of these areas. From a situation similar to what we have on State Street to a thriving vibrant area redeveloped with private money.
- "State Street Study Already Hamstrung by 20th Century Mobility Standards?"
- "Draft State Street Plan Disappoints"
- "Understanding Safety: Crash Rates vs Counts on State Street"
- "Prospects for State Street look a Little Dim"
- "State Street Study at Planning Commission Tuesday" and "State Street Plan Continues at Planning Commission Tonight"
Update, July 16th
|First page of 27 page complaint|
filed in Federal District Court
a) A Declaration that defendants, collectively and individually, have violated the NHPA, and that the funds granted under the Intergovernmental Agreement were unlawfully disbursed,Plus attorneys fees and costs, etc.
b) A preliminary injunction prohibiting defendant City of Salem from enacting in law the current MU-1 and MU-2 zones until a federal Court’s ruling on whether a Section 106 review is required becomes final, and if so holding that a Section 106 Review is required, that the court retain jurisdiction for the duration of the Section 106 Review period,
c) In the event the proposed zoning ordinances become law by defendant City of Salem’s actions before a federal court has issued a final decision that a Section 106 is required in this matter, a writ of mandate to the FHWA direct ing the returns of monies from ODOT to FHWA, including $289,950, but not limited to those spent in connection with the Intergovernmental Agreement,
d) A writ of mandamus directed to Defendant ODOT to initiate a Section 106 Review in accordance with the NHPA and 36 CFR 800...
Separately, several residents of the Historic District call for the creation of a new MU-3 zone that has more buffer/setback on the alley and slightly lower height limits on the portion of State Street immediately adjacent to the Historic District (basically between 13th and the creek on Court Street.)
Maybe Council should do some trading! Full 4/3 safety conversion on the road and create the MU-3 zone on the north side of the street, and maybe raise heights on the south side of the street.
Anyway, the demand for a Section 106 evaluation looks like roadblocks, but some creative maneuvering and quid pro quo on the zoning and road design could point the way to a "legislative" compromise that's actually an improvement.
So yeah, things will be testy and loud, but the conflict also creates some space for negotiation and maybe the total package can even be improved.