Bennett didn't have good news for proponents of building a third traffic bridge over the Willamette River, saying the proposed crossing is "teetering on the brink of failure."Earlier live tweets suggested the misrepresentation might be worse, but it turned out mostly to be spin rather than falsehood.
"Council action on the project’s environmental impact statement will occur in the next couple of weeks, and it will either be build or no-build," Bennett said.
"If build does not move forward and no-build becomes the preferred alternative, we will have to make a whole new set of plans for resiliency related to our connectivity between West and East Salem if there is a major disaster," he said.
At last year's State of the City, he said the project was "stalled." This year, the prospect of building the third bridge has become "increasingly unlikely," Bennett said.
|live tweets from the State of the City address|
A "no build" Record of Decision almost certainly avoids the need to repay the Feds. There is a direct way out on that problem. "Could" is by implication doing a lot of fear-mongering here.
Finally, the SRC would harm bicycle connectivity throughout the whole city, induce more driving throughout, increase speeds, and in no way helps us "nurture" bicycling. The Mayor plainly does not know what he is talking about. The SRC is in most every way harmful for bicycling. The SRC would also suck up huge amounts of discretionary transportation spending and eliminate important funding sources for sidewalks, bike lanes, and crosswalks. (Update - See "Salem River Crossing Whopper: Bait and Switch for People who Bike," "Salem River Crossing Memo on Bike Connectivity Potentially Misleads Task Force," "Happy Pedestrians Show Absurdity on Proposed Third Bridge," and "SRC no help for People on Foot and on Bike" for more on how the SRC harms connectivity for those not traveling by car.)
If a transcript is published, or if the reporting on it goes more in depth, there may be more to say later.
But it looks like the Mayor is trying to bikewash the SRC, and people should not fall for it.
And the Original Update
In Salem Reporter's fuller version, the Mayor does misrepresent or misunderstand the geometric realities:
"As we create more congestion in downtown Salem by failing to deal with another river crossing, that kind of congestion creates problems trying to get bike lanes put in," he said. "It's just one of those kinds of issues. We have to do it. Where are we going to put them? Because it's just packed full."Packed full?
|Liberty Street's 99 feet "Packed full"|
Three days into the first workweek without the Viaduct, the Times summed up the new commute as “some delays but no crises.” Five days in, traffic remained “average.” Suburban commuters barely noticed a change—except, perhaps, a slight easing of demand at park-and-rides. Even Seattle school bus drivers found that things went “better than expected.”The Mayor and autoist apologists have a completely wrong-headed notion about a supposed hydraulic nature of traffic. We don't need larger pipes, and traffic is not a fixed quantity of fluid.
We'll come back to this because the problem here is not just trying to spin the SRC, but is the misunderstanding of traffic that has become "common sense" as well as traffic engineering dogma. Rooting out the errors of hydraulic autoism is a system problem, not merely contesting isolated facts or empirical observations.
Addendum, January 25
Here's the worksheet Doug references in his comment below.
|An "assessment" for walking and biking|