Thursday, November 1, 2018

Studded Tires, Tree Removal Appeal, Our Salem Background - Newsbits

Yesterday ODOT sent out the annual press release on the season for studded tires.

Studded tires damage roads
Studded tires harm roads and we don't recover that cost. We should have a tax on studded tires. This is one of the ways we subsidize road use. The ODOT number of $8.5 million per year does not include city road systems, and I don't think the City of Salem has ever estimated what studded tires cost us in road maintenance on city streets.

According to a story from 2011, the Oregon Department of Transportation said
studded tires cause close to $50 million damage each year on city streets, county roads and state highways, according to the department. About $11 million is spent each year repairing studded tire damage.
Studded tires contribute to our maintenance deficit.

We also tax the wrong things, like taxing bikes, but not studded tires.

This is a clear instance of the ways our incentives are misaligned with outcomes.

Oak Tree Removal at Bush Park

Appeal of Tree removals
This is very interesting. A group of tree advocates have appealed the Planning Adminstrator's decision to approve the City's request to remove four trees at Bush Park earlier this summer.

The trees are gone, can't be undone, so as I read it, this is a procedural maneuver designed to elevate these tree removals into a full Public Hearing Process - to make them go from a "minor" administrative review level to a "major" level requiring more public process with opportunity for public comment. The appeal letter is handwritten and very short, and other elements of the appeal may be developed more. Probably the Staff Report and other materials for the Historic Landmarks Commission meeting of the 15th will offer more detail. It will be a debate and conversation to follow!

Our Salem

Just some quick-hit, archival links in advance of the first Our Salem meeting next week.

In thinking about the Our Salem process, it is interesting to see now that the consultant firm the City engaged has already studied one of our notable failures.

A post-mortem case study via 1000 Friends
Back in 2009, Fregonese Associates (whose founding principal, Jim Fregonese, it should be noted passed away this summer) wrote an analysis and post-mortem of Salem Futures. 1000 Friends has links to a scan of the relevant chapter and the overall concept map.

The section on Salem Futures
Fregonese is also the firm conducting the Our Salem process, and perhaps the institutional familiarity with "Our Futures Failure" is hoped to inform Our Salem and guide it to success.

The University of Oregon has a memo on housing prepared by ECONorthwest for the Salem Futures project team.

Housing report (2000) via U of O
And the University of Utah has what is apparently the only published chapter of Salem Futures.

The only available published portion
(via University of Utah)
(Other materials may turn up, and I'll probably repost these links separately and create an "archive" page for historical planning documents that might be interesting to consult as Our Salem moves along.)

1 comment:

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Hmmm... The agenda for the HLC says that the November 15th meeting is cancelled. Whether that means the appeal hearing is deferred or if there is a negotiated agreement and the appeal has been pulled is not clear.