Friday, July 6, 2018

High Street Traffic Calming and Trees at the Hospital

Do you know anything about the "Drive like your kids live here" signs that have sprung up on High Street near Bush Park?

Though of course the underlying autoism remains problematic, it is nice to see more visibility to traffic calming, and perhaps even something of a campaign. Is it a spontaneous thing or is there a group behind them?
Sign on High Street at Cross near Bush Park
High Street has always seemed like a strong candidate for a traffic divertor to slow traffic and redirect people off the "High Street bypass" and back onto the Liberty/Commercial couplet, which they are trying to avoid. There are elements of road design that can help!

Speed Radar on Sunnyview
The City has also piloted a stronger signage program. Back in 2015 the City installed four of these speed radar signs around town. They announced plans to add a fifth (and sixth) on Fisher Road recently.

But you know what we haven't seen? I don't believe there has been any public formal assessment of the signs presented to Council. Has the City conducted speed studies since the signs were installed? What difference have they made?

If it is significant, why aren't we in a rush to install more? If they do not make a meaningful difference, what then is the next step for the streets deemed problematic enough for the initial installation?

As they say at Strong Towns, signs might not be enough
There does not seem to be an evaluation plan for the signs and we should have one. And if we have one, it should be more public.

Dying Trees at the Hospital?

Also back in 2015, criticism and an appeal to LUBA prompted the Hospital to revise the parking plan for the Blind School project and to save an additional cluster of older Oak trees.

The Hospital's revised site plan from 2015 for Blind School lot
This summer at least two of the Oaks look like they might be diseased or otherwise unhealthy. Large numbers of branches appear to be leafless and dead or dying.

Two of the trees that were "saved" may be dying
Does the City have any formal mechanism to assess tree preservation projects with a view towards improving them and also ensuring that developers and builders enter them in good faith? There were questions about the extent to which the Hospital actually respected the trees, and tree advocates circulated photos of what appeared to be careless practices during demolition and construction at and around large trees. It wasn't clear that the Hospital was very committed to the tree preservation goals. Any disease now might be a "feature" rather than "bug" from their approach, a welcome kind of demolition by neglect.


Jim Scheppke said...

Thanks for calling attention to the trees. Very sad. All Salem Hospital did was put little orange plastic fencing around the trees, as I recall, and not even at the drip line. The City should require the kind of protection I see at the State Capitol renovation — chain link fence at the drip line.

John Anderson said...

Not sure how the signs got started, but you can purchase them at -- I'm starting to see them other places around town other than High Street (such as in my yard...)

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

How did you find out about the signs? I left the initial question a little vague, it's true, but I am more interested in the way knowledge of them and their installation is diffused through Salem neighbors and neighborhoods, and less about how made them or sells them. Has someone gone to a neighborhood association meeting and talked about them? Cherriots, for example, has brought the Trip Choice program to neighborhood associations, and I think you can pick up a similar "Oregonian Crossing" sign from them. I hope some traffic calming campaign - and it may not matter which one - really picks up traction and becomes popular, and want to understand which messages resonate most strongly.

Susann Kaltwasser said...

There is one of those reader speed signs on Glen Creek road right in front of the fire station. At that point in the road drivers going east have just come up a hill and are going down a long hill, so it is very common to be exceeding the posted 30 MPH. Right there is also a strange and dangerous intersection of Parkway, Cascade, and Kingwood on to Glen Creek. It is the site of quite a few accidents.

It would likely be easy for the city to look at accident reports from insurance companies to see if the sign has made the area safer.

I for one know that it has helped me to remember to slow down coming into that intersection!

I look forward to anything that can make Fisher Road safer too.

Susann Kaltwasser said...

Years ago East Lancaster NA and Lansing NA joined forces to begin a campaign to lower speeds in neighborhoods called "Keep Kids Alive- Drive 25." It lasted about 5 years and I think we sold a couple hundred lawn signs. I'd love to see another campaign like that again! Thanks for the information on how to get signs. I am going to see if the NA is interested in the effort again.

Stephania Fregosi said...

The Walnut Grove neighborhood started buying those types of signs a year or two ago (Center and Rose). All other efforts to get people to slow down in this area have been identified as cost-prohibitive, so the neighborhood got together on facebook and started buying the lawn signs. Maybe the idea has spread.

John Anderson said...

I initially saw them on High Street, near Bush Park, and eventually ended up walking by one (instead of driving) and was able to see the URL on them, visited, and decided to buy my own.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Thanks for all the information everybody!

Anonymous said...

Cherriots Trip Choice does indeed have Oregonian Crossing yard signs available. If anyone is interested, please contact