Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Latest Affordable Housing Projects Still Enforce Compulsory Autoism

Recently the Housing Authority entered into agreements for affordable housing projects on Battle Creek Road and 27th Avenue SE.

"Car-dependent" and "minimal transit"

Very "car-dependent" and "some transit"

Most of each project is aimed at households at or below 60% of the area median income and each project will have around 100 homes.

The Staff Report on the 27th Avenue project claimed:

This area of Salem is quickly developing with the addition of a new Costco off Kuebler Road to the south and numerous single-family neighborhoods being developed to the west and north. With close proximity to Kuebler Road, residents of the 27th Avenue Apartments will have convenient access to multiple bus lines provided by the local public transportation agency Cherriots. Numerous grocery stores and retailers are located within two miles of the site, including WinCo Foods, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Walgreens, and Safeway.

The Staff Report for the Battle Creek Road project makes no similar claim.

But the observation that WinCo and Trader Joe's is "within two miles" would require walking down Kuebler Boulvard for much of the connection. That is not walkable in any realistic and practical understanding of the term. Even once the developments near Costco are built out, crossing Kuebler will remain a formidable barrier. Who wants to be walking across it with a bag or cart of groceries?

The "convenient access" here is by car

These housing projects for households making 60% of the area median income enforce an additional financial penalty of requiring a car, or a very real penalty in time and comfort for those who still must or choose to walk.

The vicious cycle - via TUMI

We are in desperate straits for housing, so any and all housing is helpful. The fact that these are not very walkable does not mean they should be halted. But we should be clear-eyed that these developments still reinforce our autoism and its vicious cycle.

1 comment:

Don said...

My hope is that with the new south Salem transit center going in they can have frequent service to that complex.

But that also means that groceries and carts will have to be allowed on the bus.

We tried going Costco shopping with a 4 wheeled cart to Costco and were told by the drivers that carts are not allowed on the bus if they are full