Saturday, September 7, 2019

Bush Park Terrace Concept should Revive Historic Carriage Way

Over at the Mission Street Parks Conservancy, they just announced a proposal to
make several improvements to an area immediately east and south of the Bush House conservatory, including the nearby parking lot.
From the concept announcement (carriage way note added)
They identify "the neglected area between the conservatory and the parking lot" and propose changes to make it more attractive, more active, and more useful.

For connectivity, the concept appears to focus on the path skirting the parking lot down to the derby track. (Mainly phase III on the site plan map.)

But one tantalizing note asks if a different path segment should be continued.

This path segment could easily connect with the historic carriage way. Currently there is a curving flat spot in the hillside lawn that marks the way. The existing path from Church Street up to the house and parking lot is exceedingly narrow, not even wide enough for two people on foot to pass in opposite directions, and is also very steep. In both respects it is almost certainly not compliant with ADA standards.

The old carriage way could connect better to Church & Mission
(Salem Library Historic Photos, note added)
The Conservancy and City should give strong consideration to reviving the carriage way as a paved path for rolling self-powered conveyances like wheelchairs and bicycles. A new path would also direct people past any improvements to the area of the conservatory and any new terrace.

The Conservancy says they
submitted part of this proposal to the City earlier this year. The City declined to consider the proposal outside of the imminent master plan process.

The master plan process is expected to begin in January 2020 or shortly afterwards and conclude before the end of 2020.
Including and reviving the carriage way, then, should be a topic for that master planning process.


Cc said...

Interesting idea. Would the revived carriage route connect with the driveway near Bush House, in your view? I'm not certain whether BPP is "exempt" from the ADA or not, but I have heard someone say it's not covered. Don't remember why. But, as you say, the paved walkway to the front door of Bush House is pretty nearly impossible for someone in a wheelchair. Too steep, for one thing.

MikeSlater said...

MSPC is considering that very point, primarily to reduce conflicts between bikers and pedestrians in that area, but also to invite people in to the area immediately east of the conservatory and the large beds. You can still see the line of the carriageway in the topography.