Council convenes on Monday and they will initiate planning for the $33 million from the Biden American Rescue Plan.
|Salem will have $33 million
The first two tranches are mostly back-filling the gaps caused by the Pandemic. (The City's subdivided the two Federal tranches further, it looks like.)
But the third tranche looks very interesting and a real opportunity for vision and creativity. It's supposed to be something new.
Projects funded here have to be shovel-ready or the equivalent, with funds able to be spent by the end of 2024.
It would be nice to see the City choose something legitimately "catalytic" and selecting one or more climate initiatives to jump start might be the best choice.
|Three headlines all in Friday's paper
|Cherriots consultant, via twitter
While the Staff Report is supportive of the appeal and the improved doctrine of 50th percentile analysis, it also strangely undercuts part of the appeal and clings to the older 85th percentile, saying
Studies suggested posting speeds near the 85th percentile speed (the speed at or below which 85 percent of the vehicles are traveling) minimizes crash occurrences and provides better driver compliance.
We might also say
Studies suggested bedtimes near the 85th percentile bedtime (the bedtime at or before which 85 percent of kids want to go to bed) minimize tantrums and provide better compliance.
This is the autoist logic we use on our roads!
The 50th percentile will be a help. But we should still do more, altering the design so that the design speed is lower. Instead of adjusting posted speeds to driver behavior, we should adjust road design until we see the desired driver behavior. Our framework is still backwards, even with the improvement of the 50th percentile doctrine. (It's also messed up that the City doesn't have more authority over its own streets, and has to defer to ODOT so much.)
|We could instead shift the curve and
reengineer the road for a slower speed
For more detail see:
- The first time it was at Council, "City Council, March 8th - Speed Zones and our Autoism"
- And yet more in "Latest Dangerous by Design Report is Good Context on 17th and 45th Street Speeds"
Clean water and poop management are super important, and the City's got a couple of projects for them. I don't know exactly how to analyze them; clean tapwater and sanitary sewer drainage are basic needs, and we should not deny them. But the two projects are likely because of annexation and obsolete systems now crapping out and needing replacement.
The Sleepy Hollow Water System (Sleepy Hollow) is an independent community water system located within the Salem city limits. Sleepy Hollow serves 41 homes with drinking water from a community well. Since 2012, the system has been experiencing elevated arsenic levels....[It will] connect 41 homes to the City water system at an estimated cost of $1,120,000...[from] FY 2020-21 Water Non-Assessed Construction Fund 255, funded with utility rates.
Six residential properties within the City limits along Boone Road SE, east of Stroh Lane SE, have no ability to connect to the City of Salem’s sanitary sewer system. One of the property owners has a failing septic system and requested that the City construct a sewer main in Boone Road SE so they can connect their home to the new sewer main....The total estimated project cost for planning, design, and construction of the sanitary sewer extension is $310,000...[from] FY 2020-21 Wastewater Non-Assessed Construction Fund 255, funded with utility rates.
This looks a lot like substandard development on the edges of the city being subsidized by the center of the city. The houses probably sold at a discount because they were not hooked up
to city resources, and now city resources are going to subsidize that
discount. (This may be a small example, a subset, the general problem Strong Towns calls the "growth ponzi scheme," in which the development pattern does not generate sufficient tax funds for ongoing maintenance and then replacement in the second phase of the lifecycle.)
As we consider Our Salem, and planning for development on the edges, we should think more about problems like this. It's not that all subsidy is bad, but that we need to be more strategic about what we subsidize and what public goods we expect from those subsidies.
The City's added Legislative Positions to Council agenda, and it is a little surprising to see them oppose civilian review of photo traffic enforcement.
|These arguments are pretty lame
They say "slippery slope toward privatization" and "I do not have the data [and may not want to look for it]" on cost savings. Neither of these are compelling reasons to oppose the bill, especially when we have a documented speeding problem.
But reviewing the prospective citations is a bottleneck and is costly when it requires sworn officers.
At Willamette Week see "Police Unions Will Oppose Changing Law to Allow Civilians to Review Fixed Speed Camera Tickets" and at BikePortland see "Bill would remove photo radar hurdle by allowing non-police agent to review citations" for more.