Thursday, March 5, 2020

Safe Routes to School, Cordon Road, Draft 2021 TIP on Agenda at MPO

The Technical Advisory Committee for our MPO meets next Tuesday the 10th, and there are a few things to note in passing.

Last month at the February meeting they got updates on several planning projects, and one of particular interest is the Cordon Road plan.

Walking is a problem - February 2020
Last month a driver hit a person walking and you might also remember last year the horrific, high speed crash involving Christmas Tree workers.

End of November last year
The project will have a heavy emphasis on capacity and speed, but it needs also to include safety and provision for people on foot and on bike.

Update on the plan
Shifting to the current agenda, more happy to note are a couple of things in the Safe Routes update.

Though Safe Routes and MWVCOG/SKATS has made no formal announcement about the school coordinator hire, on the agenda is a Safe Routes to Schools update, and there it is indirectly. You might know McRae Carmichael from the Historic Landmarks Commission, a stint at the City of Salem, at Wandering Aengus, with Kidical Mass, or other places also. She'll be terrific in building out a program at area elementary schools.

Workshop for Safe Routes to School funding applications
On May 19th, there will be a workshop on funding applications, and as that date arrives ODOT will be publishing more information. The workshops are open to the public, so community advocates who have specific projects in mind should consider attending.

Overview of projects in the 2021 TIP
More broadly they are preparing the draft 2021-2026 Transportation Improvement Program for public release and comment. (The current TIP site hasn't been updated with the draft yet.) The projects in it have all been vetted and scored, subject to multiple layers of process, and there shouldn't be any surprises. Once the document is formally released there might be more to say - but hopefully not!

Pie chart on project categories
I know CMAQ is a Federal program, but it remains fascinating how the analysis of Carbon Monoxide emissions is just sitting there, and it seems like Carbon Dioxide reduction could be grafted into it. Why aren't we using it more? (Of course we'd have to rethink on the "congestion" part of it.)

CMAQ on Carbon Monoxide (yellow in original)
BikePortland had a very recent piece, "Metro: Region is failing to meet transportation safety goals," that may be linked to this February 27th deadline. SKATS should also have a report, and I am not sure they have published anything. (The performance measures part of the website is vague. Here are some notes from the January meetings that are related, but they lack the specificity of the Portland Metro comments. Maybe Portland's comments were supererogatory, but they at least represent a clear institutional statement that we aren't making enough progress.)
Does SKATS have a report on Safety targets?
Finally, there is a bullet point that says "SOV capacity is only added if other activities have been shown to be ineffective" and we know this is Potemkin policy for show and not taken seriously. There is no real effort to implement alternatives and then to evaluate them before planning for capacity increases. But this is available policy language if we wanted to take it more seriously.

When will be get serious about this?

Look for the historic sign
next to the entry
You can download the agenda and meeting packet here.

SKATS Technical Advisory Committee meets Tuesday the 10th, at 1:30pm. SKATS is at 100 High St. SE, Suite 200, above Table Five 08 and Epilogue Kitchen.

1 comment:

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

(Edited to make clear that the update on Cordon Road was at last month's meeting. I messed up the time references.)