Sunday, July 24, 2022

Checking in on the Fairview Projects

With construction underway on Reed Road this summer, it seemed like a good time to check in on the projects at the former Fairview.

While the New Strong Road is not yet connected and finished, Lindburg Road is complete except for the connection at Reed Road which is blocked and torn up a little.

And on Lindburg Road the crosswalks are substantial. They connect from the new residential areas to the forthcoming park area.

Enhanced crosswalk on Lindburg at Shall

At a T-intersection with a new local street, Shall Street, one crosswalk is fully marked and has a center refuge median.

There is no marked crosswalk on the other side, and Lindburg here is not stopped. Only Shall is stopped.

So the downside is that drivers on Lindburg do not stop automatically, but would only stop for a pedestrian in or at the crosswalk. But a person on foot only has to contend with one direction of auto traffic at a time.

Still, the lack of a signed stop on Lindburg might make it more difficult for a blind person. Hopefully the medians exercise a calming function and slow speed on Lindburg.

Enhanced crosswalk on Lindburg at path connection

At the crest of the small hill, as Lindburg swoops down a little to the primary intersection with New Strong Road, there is a second enhanced crosswalk at a ramp and path connection.

From the path connection in the other direction
Looking across to The Grove apartments

There is no "village center" yet, and we may find that concept for a commercial hub is pretty well abandoned. We'll have to see.

Upper parcel for sale

Up at the very top of the hill along Battle Creek Road, the upper parcel next to the forthcoming natural area, "The Woods," looks to be for sale (still, or again). A mid-hill section had an approved plan, but I don't think anything has ever been formally proposed and filed for this upper section.

Along that upper section of the hill, Reed Road will remain unimproved until there is development.

Unimproved section, looking uphill
towards T-intersection with Battle Creek

The lower section, abutting the new developments on the north side of the road, and as a condition of the new developments, looks to have a full-length rain garden and stormwater detention system, replacing the ditch that had been there.

A continuous raingarden
on the north side of Reed

I had been thinking it was only a half-street improvement, and forgot they are doing both sides and the full width of the street. (See here for a note on bundling funding to do more of the street.) On the Hillcrest side, there is just plain curbing with no rain garden. There is a ditch or seasonal waterway on that side also, I think, and it will be interesting to see how that is handled as that side of the road develops. Some have advocated for a linear park, but that is not in the works at the moment.

Plain curbing on the south side of Reed Road

And swinging back along Old Strong Road, there was a new bark mulch path up the hill into the forthcoming park area. Exploring that will be for another time!

Bark mulch path into new park from Old Strong Road

There might be more to say another time about the housing, also. There is a consistent patterning for front porches, and the work at Fairview Addition, where front porches are a central part of the brand, may have influenced the other, neighboring developments, which don't have the same focus on the retro and modernized forms of early 20th century housing types.

From 2019

But so many cars. The focus on walking and biking and busing is not yet fulfilled. It's very pleasant for a stroll, for a recreational loop, but there are no new destinations. A person could walk or bike to Gilgamesh, but that's across Madrona. Getting to Winco or Trader Joe's is a real trip. At the moment, the area remains utterly car-dependent for any errands or commuting. An article from 2019 that was mainly about a disagreement with the Heritage School over balconies touched on some of this, and the wider questions are worth more attention, especially from City Staff and Council.

Lots yet to accomplish (Master Plan, 2004)

As Council looks to ratify Our Salem on Monday, and we now have the new Climate Friendly and Equitable Community rules to enact, it has seemed like we really ought to look more closely at the Fairview projects. 

So many of the goals and values in the Master Plan from 2004 anticipated what we now seek to accomplish in more widespread fashion across the city. But many of them are wholly unfulfilled or only very partially realized. There are likely lessons here, and suggestions for ways to improve and refine rather than simply doing more of the same.

In order to maximize our odds for success across the city, we should give stronger consideration to analyzing what has worked and what has failed at the Fairview projects and leverage them as experiments and trials.

Recently see:

1 comment:

mark said...

Volunteers put in the Fairview Park wood chip trail over two Saturdays. The 1,000-foot-long trail bisects the park. Over a dozen neighbors worked the first Saturday and two dozen Church of Latter-Day Saints Missionaries worked the second Saturday. Other improvements could be made by volunteers. The area has some short hills that could be fun for BMX and mountain bikes. Other low-cost improvements could also be completed with permission from City staff. Please send suggestions for improvements to Robert Romanek at the parks department. The parks master plan allows some developments such as trails prior to full development. The city does not have money for full implementation of the Fairview Park Master Plan, but many projects can be completed by volunteers.