Thursday, September 19, 2019

Join the Climate Rally Friday at 1pm

If you've been wondering about a concrete action here in Salem for better transportation, consider making Friday's climate rally as big as possible. It's 1pm on the Capitol steps, tomorrow, Friday the 20th.

via and Mona Caron
Until we have a new framework - and climate action and climate justice is a very good framework - better bike lanes will continue to be one-off fragments, disconnected from the larger system and system effects, nowhere near the scale that is needed.

Though some argue incremental change is a strong enough move, it's not. We need whole system changes.

Final pie chart from Our Salem: All about cars
In transportation we need a connected suite that includes things like
  • Transit priority with bus-only lanes, signal priority, and a plan for full BRT on key corridors
  • Parking reform with right-priced parking throughout the city and an elimination of mandated parking minimums in code
  • A full commitment to building out a complete all ages and abilities bike lane system, including protected bike lanes on key arterial corridors and other busy streets and neighborhood greenways on quiet, low-traffic streets
  • Decongestion pricing (if we price parking, which is a good first step, but do not price road access, the coming robot cars will proliferate and choke the streets)
  • An end to new automobile capacity
  • Better land use so that useful destinations are more often in walking and biking distance near homes - this means more density along commercial corridors, missing middle housing in established single-family neighborhoods, and neighborhood corner commercial clusters in residential areas of all kinds.
  • Safe Routes to School training and programming at every school 
  • End commuter benefit and parking subsidies for drive-alone trips, and add new incentives for walk/bike/bus commuting
Lending your support to something on the scale of a Green New Deal is what it's going to take.

Enthusiasm for the national scale of a Green New Deal then filters to support and then improve state-level steps like HB 2020, and all the way down to a Salem Climate Action Plan that is not just gaseous and aspirational policy language but has a detailed and actionable plan to string together all those incremental smaller steps into system-level change.

Make this one a lot bigger! (March 2019)


Susann Kaltwasser said...

Probably a stupid question for some, but is there a map of Salem that shows the streets that have bike lanes? I am interested in seeing where the gaps are located.

Then it might be nice if the City would actually enforce the 'no parking in bike lanes' ordinance. I live on an arterial that has bike lanes on both sides of the street. Daily I see people parking in the bike lane. I found out that it is useless to call it in, because I was told, we consider that a low priority....low priority for even the parking enforcement department. West Salem only has one police officer on duty, so I can see there is a lack of staff, but still....why have a law and then don't enforce it.

If you do ride your bike on an arterial in the bike lane and come across a parked car, you have no choice but to move into the car travel lane. Super dangerous.

I person made a good point about bike lanes. She said we already have a good system for bikes. We call it a sidewalk. It is legal to ride on a sidewalk in Salem everywhere but downtown.

Personally if I had the ability to ride a bike anymore, I would want it to be in a protested lane that is separated from the cars.

Anonymous said...

"Probably a stupid question for some, but is there a map of Salem that shows the streets that have bike lanes? I am interested in seeing where the gaps are located."

There are three sources:
1) The SKATS 2019-2043 RTSP has a map (4-6) in Chapter 4 (Existing Systems) for the regional bicycle system. It shows the the defined regional bicycle system and the gaps.

2) The Bike Maps that are produced by Cherriots Trip Options and MWVCOG show the roads with bike lanes. Available online here: and

3) The Salem TSP has the bike lanes a map of the Bicycle System (Map 7-1). The TSP is part of the Comprehensive Plan available here: and the maps are all in one PDF (not recommended for your phone):

And for those looking for similar data in Keizer, see also the Keizer TSP (available here as a big PDF, Part 1 has the interesting stuff: