|What is now the annual burning:|
Yesterday's front page in San Francisco
|Yesterday here in Salem|
|Interior page today here|
- "City Poised to Oversize Broadway at Pine Street; Engineer offers Counter" in July
- "City Council, August 11th - Broadway, Cemetery, Grant School" two weeks ago)
|We are still planning for more driving|
|From the Every Mile Counts brochure (highlighting added)|
A new turn lane goes in the wrong direction.
Generally there are other problems with the Supplemental Report.
|Mr. Obery is an expert, not some random neighborhood crank|
This is a real problem at the City. They have trouble admitting they are wrong. It sure seems like they dig in on every issue, every time.
|AASHTO says, therefore it must be true ("Benefits of Project")|
Strong Towns has mentioned problems with AASHTO often, calling this kind of proof-texting a "safety myth."
|Excessive deference to AASHTO via Strong Towns|
NACTO has a someone different position on turn lanes, and argues in urban contexts that we should generally have fewer turn lanes, not more of them.
|Adapted (red comments added) from|
the NACTO Urban Street Design Guide
|One of the City's turn lane deletions|
|Driver fragility - they get annoyed easily|
How about we extend this care and concern to non-drivers?
|We are failing badly on walking and biking|
(final Our Salem indicators, June 2019)
Some other items seem less important as arguments here on this particular project, but still interesting as a general expression of our autoism.
The City takes care to point out that the safety project for a new enhanced crosswalk where a driver struck and killed Caroline Storm in 2015 (before the crosswalk) is "not a traffic calming project."
|Enhanced crosswalks have no traffic calming function|
The City also claims for the proposed turn lane that "[t]he amount of new pavement is negligible." It would be interesting to see an actual number on that. If a turn lane is 50 feet deep and 10 feet wide, that's the same amount of pavement as a one foot strip on 500 feet of bike lane. At SKATS next week, we'll see the County counting pennies on a foot of bike lane. A single segment of a short turn lane is, in the big picture, not a huge burden, but it is symptomatic of the City's propensity for overbuilding on roads.
|Shaving one foot off the bike lane or sidewalk for savings|
(also the appeal to "AASHTO standards") via SKATS
This project is not-and never has been-associated with the Salem River Crossing project. The discussion for installing the right-turn lane began in 2010 to mitigate the traffic changes resulting from the proposed Broadway Street NE road diet.Sure thing, City of Salem. You bet. We know you always tell the truth.
In a separate note over the weekend, we'll look at the City's Safe Routes to Schools projects, which are also at Council for Monday, as well as a couple of other items.
Update, Monday the 24th
The City's published some additional responses, and one item in particular seems worth contesting.
|The City claims the turn lane would reduce right-hook hazard|
|But the weave and merge across a dashed bike lane segment|
mainly displaces the right-hook hazard away from
the intersection rather than eliminating it.
Just because the dashed bike lane segment will be "clearly marked" doesn't mean people driving honor it.
This is a "safety" feature wholly subordinated to a capacity increase in a turn lane, not a safety measure that can stand on its own.
Additionally, here's a couple of clips from the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide. What they show suggests the proposed treatment here is not best practice. They caution against weaving movements.
|The main drawing doesn't show driveways|
|And they add as a "don't" a caution against the weaving merge|
* At the New York Review of Books, Bill McKibbon reviews Our Final Warning: Six Degrees of Climate Emergency. After discussing first one degree of warming, which we have already hit, then two, then three degrees of warming, he moves on to apocalypse:
I’m not going to bother much with Lynas’s descriptions of what happens at five degrees or six. It’s not that they’re not plausible—they are, especially if humanity never gets its act together and shifts course. It’s that they’re pornographic. If we get anywhere near these levels, the living will truly envy the dead: this is a world where people are trying to crowd into Patagonia or perhaps the South Island of New Zealand, a world where massive monsoons wash away soil down to the rock, where the oceans turn anoxic, or completely deprived of oxygen. Forget the Cretaceous and the asteroids—at six degrees we’re approaching the kind of damage associated with the end of the Permian, the greatest biological cataclysm in the planet’s history, when 90 percent of species disappeared. Does that seem hyperbolic? At the moment our cars and factories are increasing the planet’s CO2 concentration roughly ten times faster than the giant Siberian volcanoes that drove that long-ago disaster....The review is worth reading in full. (And is out of the paywall at the moment, so read it now.)
The pandemic provides some useful sense of scale—some sense of how much we’re going to have to change to meet the climate challenge. We ended business as usual for a time this spring, pretty much across the planet—changed our lifestyles far more than we’d imagined possible. We stopped flying, stopped commuting, stopped many factories. The bottom line was that emissions fell, but not by as much as you might expect: by many calculations little more than 10 or 15 percent. What that seems to indicate is that most of the momentum destroying our Earth is hardwired into the systems that run it. Only by attacking those systems—ripping out the fossil-fueled guts and replacing them with renewable energy, even as we make them far more efficient—can we push emissions down to where we stand a chance. Not, as Lynas sadly makes clear, a chance at stopping global warming. A chance at surviving.