Friday, September 27, 2019

Wooo! The SRC Record of Decision is Finally Out: No Build

It and the rest of the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision are here.

I don't think there's anything else to add. (If a closer reading of some of the ancillary documents turns up anything over the weekend, I'll update this post.)

Go have a beer, glass of Champagne, soda, cider, whatever celebratory gesture suits.

(And if you're new here and wondering what is an "SRC," you can read about the whole thing here.)

Addendum, Saturday

What all is included in
"previous approvals are vacated"?
(From the "Reevaluation of the SRC DEIS")
I haven't finished reading the materials, but some questions remain. While the ROD is for No Build, the City has never made explicit what other things the LUBA decision for a remand unwound:
  • What is the status of the UGB expansion? Has it reverted to the outline of pre-2016?
  • What is the status of the TSP amendments? Ones directly about the SRC should be deleted. Some of them were not directly about the SRC, but harmed non-auto transport generally and should also be deleted.
  • Are there other code or regulatory amendments in the package from December 2016 that need to be deleted or revised?
And while formally there is a Final Environmental Impact Statement, in substance it is empty. They revised the traffic model from 2031 to 2040, concluded there was no meaningful difference, and then said, "this FEIS does not include individual responses to comments on the build alternatives found in the 2012 DEIS for the Salem River Crossing project."

In choosing not to respond substantively to critique and comment, they left intact the framework for a giant bridge and highway. All the ingredients for a Zombie remain.

Council should undertake a more thorough extirpation of SRC remnants and its virus!

Addendum 2, Monday the 30th

Well, here's a remnant bit. The MPO just announced an amendment to the TIP, and it is an acknowledgement that Marine Drive will remain a collector and will not be supersized to a minor arterial to connect with a future SRC. (We may come back to this in October in comments on the TAC or PC meetings.)

Update 3, October 10th

ODOT sent out a press release today about the FEIS and "no build" record of decision, and boy is it snotty! Again, they grant none of the critique. It's all the fault of a defiant Council.
ODOT and FHWA selected the No Build alternative because the Salem City Council chose to not respond to a Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) remand of their 2016 land use actions in support of the project. Without the City addressing the LUBA remand, the project team could not complete the Final EIS for the preferred alternative.

Earlier this year, in a Salem City Council work session, 6 of the 9 council members opposed responding to the LUBA appeal. This decision had the net effect of reversing the 2016 land use actions and withdrawing City support for advancing the FEIS with a build recommendation.

The project officially started in 2006 after the City of Salem and other regional partners approached ODOT and FHWA with a request to begin the environment process to build a 3rd bridge. The partners comprised of the cities of Salem, Keizer, Marion and Polk counties, the Salem Area Mass Transit District and ODOT.

In 2014, the partners endorsed the “Salem Alternative,” which Salem City Council had recommended as the preferred alternative. The necessary land use approvals were granted by the partners and the Salem City Council adopted its final ordinance. However, project opponents appealed the City’s land use approvals to LUBA. LUBA considered the issues appealed and remanded the City’s previously approved land use actions back to the City to address.

Without the city addressing the technical issues required by LUBA, ODOT and FHWA could not publish the FEIS for the identified preferred alternative. The only option was to file the No Build Alternative thereby ending this effort to build a 3rd bridge.


Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

(Added an addendum with a few comments on vestigial elements to root out.)

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

(Added second addendum with note on Marine Drive)

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

(Added third update with extract from ODOT press release and a couple of comments.)