|A new map of gaps in the regional bikeway system|
At the same time, the map has functional limits. It may be the best a regional agency can do from an overview and aggregate level. There are fairly clean definitions and metrics here that can generate the binary yes/no on a map. But the map's binary scheme does not always match practical riding experience on the road.
|Bicycle system gaps in red - downtown detail|
First Consider the Commercial/Liberty couplet. Commercial Street between Marion and Mission is in grey. The map legend calls this part of the "Existing Bicycle System." Those are sharrows only, were supposed to be a temporary measure, and should not be considered something built to a finished state. They are part of the system more in name than in usefulness. This stretch remains a key gap for most people who might like to ride, and only practiced riders will take the lane with confidence here. Liberty has a one block "gap" in red between Front and Trade, but the rest of downtown is also a gap. Since Commercial/Liberty function together as a one-way couplet, it is incoherent to have one section considered part of the "system" and not the other. Additionally, the charlie foxtrot, especially southbound, at Division/Front/Commercial is a huge gap, and the map's grey elides this.
|Bicycle project priorities (City of Salem TSP, 2017)|
|The end of the bike lane at a bus stop and start of right-turn lane;|
people on bike have to merge left (see the yellow sign)
The dataset the MPO map draws from also hasn't captured the new stretch of bike lane along Church St at SAIF. The regional bikeway system is focused on busy roads - those classified as "minor arterial" or higher? - and may not include this section of Church Street, which I think is a "collector." But because High/Church here is also a one-way couplet, and functions as a corridor, the way it connects is important, and the "existing system" doesn't just terminate at Trade Street. That's also an incoherence arising from lines on a map, not responsive to how people actually move and ride in town.
And who rides on the Parkway downtown, on Bellvue/Trade/Front? Even though bike lanes are striped, it's an unpleasant experience in inferior, dicey conditions. On the curving sections you can see where the striping paint is worn off by vehicles encroaching on the bike lane.
A regional map like this probably can't be generated by fieldwork and subjective ratings, but surely there are ways to refine it that will make it more representative of practical gaps, and not show merely lines on a map. Map is not territory!
A Digression on Safe Routes
This is not part of the draft chapter 5, but it is convenient to mention it here. Also on the agenda is the full list of area Safe Routes to School projects.
|From a letter of support written by the MPO|
- A crosswalk on State Street at Elma Avenue
- New sidewalk on Herrin Road NE
- New sidewalks on Arizona and Utah Avenues NE
- Path and sidewalks on May Street and Dearborn Avenue NE
- Path on Delight Street N
As part of the gaps, there is a section on seismic retrofits of bridges, but the list is all about I-5, and does not adequately discuss all our creek bridges, not all of which will be standing after a quake.
|Brief section on bridges and quake|
|Crashes: Mostly it's about driver error|
- Drive less often
- Drive fewer miles
- Drive more slowly
|Wait, are we really done with Goal 7?|
Again, we are in a kind of emergency now on climate. You will recall that The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just released a report, "The Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC," and said
Transitional changes are already underway in many systems but limiting warming to 1.5°C would require a rapid escalation in the scale and pace of transition, particularly in the next 10-20 years. While limiting warming to 1.5°C would involve many of the same types of transitions as limiting warming to 2°C, the pace of change would need to be much faster. While the pace of change that would be required to limit warming to 1.5°C can be found in the past, there is no historical precedent for the scale of the necessary transitions, in particular in a socially and economically sustainable way. Resolving such speed and scale issues would require people’s support, public-sector interventions and private-sector cooperation. [italics added]
|Debate and uncertainty back in August|
|Look for the historic sign|
next to the entry
SKATS Policy Committee meets Tuesday the 23rd, at noon. SKATS is at 100 High St. SE, Suite 200, above Table Five 08.