Wednesday, December 11, 2019

State Street Downtown Scheduled for Two-Way Conversion in June Next Year - Updated

There was a lull in publishing updates from the City Manager for a couple of months, but this week a flurry for October and November appeared. In them is very interesting news about State Street downtown: It is poised to go two-way next year!

State Street circa 1920: two-way travel,
back-in angle parking, streetcar in the middle
(unknown postcard source - our Strong Towns group has used it!)
The update refers to the project as "State Street Streetscape," which I read as a conflation of the Streetscape study for sidewalks and the Central Salem Mobility study. But when they say "two-waying," that signals we are talking about the Mobility Study's recommendation, not merely the sidewalk plan.

Latest on State Street two-way conversion, October 31st
The final plan, adopted in August of 2013, selected Alternative 2, for an old-school cross-section of two auto travel lands, one auto center turn pocket, and two standard bike travel lanes in the door zones of parallel parking along the curb.

State Street - Alternative 2 appears to be the choice
That's an important upgrade!

But not necessarily to 21st century best practices. It's very much a late 20th century design.

In the intervening time we've had the Streetscape/Sidewalk Study and also added this pocket for EV charging stations.

EV charging stations at Capitol, November 22nd
So it will be interesting to see what the final drawings look like. The project has been flying under the radar a little, and I suspect this signals that it will be a little disappointing, perhaps further reduced. If they were doing something magnificent, they'd probably be talking more about it.

It does not appear that Court Street is included yet, so it will also be interesting to understand how they compensate for breaking the couplet. That seems like it could make the project more complicated.

Update: City Staff write:
[T]here may have been an inadvertent error in Steve's recent update (from October 31st) about the State Street two-way conversation....

The plan for State Street is to change to two-way from Liberty Street to Church Street.
So yeah, this is another bit, a two-block increment, not the whole stretch to 12th. 

Addendum, Sunday December 15th

Here's the charging station site.

By the east wing of the Capitol

"Coming soon: A new Electric Avenue"


Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

On that postcard image, the date might be closer to 1925 than 1920. But it can't be later than 1926. The style of the cars is closer to 1920 than 1930, you can't see the Bligh/Pacific Building that is there today. That building (home of Table 508 et. al.) is dated to 1926, so that's why 1926 is the terminus ad quem.

There might be other clues, and if I can refine the date further, I'll add them here.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Also, it's a bummer about the Wednesday Market's decline and disappearance. That deserves also to be pointed out.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

(Added charging station images)

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Indeed, the plan for State Street is less ambitious. Updated with clarification from the City.