Here, the most interesting item is the proposed master plan for the new Brown Road Park.
|Crosswalk and on-street parking at Brown Road Park|
Additionally, the best place for an interior parking lot would impact a wetland area.
For these reasons the preferred alternative is a widening in Brown Road with a pocket for on-street parking. (There's no striping plan, but it looks like parallel stalls. Some thought should be given to a bus stop also.) This offers better visibility for "eyes and ears" on park activity, at least on the streetside edge, as well as traffic calming from the median and crosswalk refuge.
This seems like a good plan, and is similar to what has been done at Bryan Johnston and Hood View parks.
The parking area, sidewalks, and crosswalk median are specifically called out as pieces in a separate transportation project rather than any parks project. I have not followed progress on all the Brown Road transportation projects, but I don't think they are all done yet, and if the City has lined things up right, it should be possible to fold this into one of the Brown Road phases, and not have to do anything twice. (I wish the Staff Report and Master Plan was a little more detailed on aligning the streets and parks projects.)
Because the park itself is a kind of cul-de-sac, wholly enclosed by back yards on the east end, no additional path connectivity is possible. There's a nice loop, but just the single street connection at Brown Road. Hopefully that won't be a problem. Corner lots, like with the recent purchase at Battle Creek and Reed Roads, are better. (See this discussion of edges at Bryan Johnston, Hood View, and a few other parks and this discussion of edges at Orchard Heights and Bush parks. The City can't always pick and choose its lots for park land, but we may not give adequate attention to perimeters and edges.)
And as a footnote, the Safe Routes Partnership has recently widened their scope a little, and they are talking a lot about connections to parks now. They just published a "Safe Routes to Parks Walk Audit Toolkit" and that might be worth a look, especially as a focus for neighborhood advocacy and the new "Safer Crossings" committee.
|Access only off Brown Road|
The City also proposes to extend the Enterprise Zone property tax abatement for a firm from three years to five years. The Staff Report doesn't say anything about how much this costs the City, only that "the firm intends to expand operations at the Salem facility by investing $5.6 million in equipment and increasing the number of employees from 69 to 79," so of course it must be a wonderful thing. There is no way to evaluate how much of a good investment this might be. The reporting on these is so cavalier.
The City and Employees also came to an agreement for a three year contract.
And, of course, the plastic bag ordinance, which will be the main event for most people.
Addendum, Sunday the 21st
Here's a picture of Brown Road at the park site.
|Park site at right, via Streetview|