What's not to like about next Wednesday's rally against the unneeded, unwanted, and unpaid for $400 million Third Bridge that special interests want to foist on Salemians?
Us ordinary people, of course, would be expected to pay for it. Somehow or other. Bridge proponents haven't figured that out yet. Along with not-so-little details like why the bridge is needed in the first place.
The rally will feature nice weather, almost certainly. Soapbox for ranting provided. Plenty of sidewalk standing room. Opportunity to ask pointed embarassing questions of politicians and bureaucrats immediately after the rally.
So I plan to be there: June 11, Courthouse Square, 4 to 5 pm. Here's the press release from the No 3rd Bridge folks
June 6, 2014Contact Information:Jim Scheppke, Campaign Co-Coordinator503-269-1559NO 3rd Bridge Holds Sidewalk Rally to Coincide with Salem River Crossing Open HouseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASESalem, Oregon – NO 3rd Bridge will hold a public rally of opponents of the 3rd Bridge on Wednesday, June 11th to coincide with the Salem River Crossing Open House. The rally will be held outside the entrance to Courthouse Square, 555 Court Street, beginning at 4 p.m.The rally will feature a sidewalk soapbox for activists and citizens to voice their opposition to the 3rd Bridge. A NO 3rd Bridge position paper will be handed out to people attending the Open House. After hearing remarks on the sidewalk soapbox, rally attendees will participate in the Salem River Crossing Open House.NO 3rd Bridge has been actively working against the Salem River Crossing project since 2012. The group mobilized strong citizen opposition to Alternative 4D which was initially recommended by the project Oversight Team. Because of this opposition, the Salem City Council had to develop "the Salem Alternative," a less destructive version of Alternative 4D, but one that is still strongly opposed by NO 3rd Bridge.NO 3rd Bridge believes that a new $400 million bridge connecting North and West Salem is not the right solution to solve peak hour congestion problems. Traffic has declined about 5% on the Marion and Center Street bridges since 2006 despite continued population growth in West Salem. This is consistent with state and national trends of declining traffic. Vehicle miles traveled in Oregon peaked in 2004.There is a peak hour traffic congestion problem at the ends of the Marion and Center Street bridges that can be alleviated by making improvements to the bridgeheads that were developed in the 1998 Bridgehead Engineering Study, most of which were never built. Improving transit service in West Salem and encouraging more bike and pedestrian commuting using the Union Street bike and pedestrian bridge can also eliminate the need for a 3rd Bridge.The Salem Alternative, that will be presented at the Open House, is harmful to neighborhoods on both sides of the river. It would displace up to 65 homes and businesses. It would destroy the peace and tranquility of Pioneer Village and Wallace Marine Park.Building the Salem Alternative would require that exceptions be made by the Department of Land Conservation and Development to four Oregon Land Use laws that are designed to protect rural and agricultural land. The 3,200 foot bridge would be built outside of the Salem-Keizer Urban Growth Boundary and through the Willamette River Greenway. It would be built over McLane island in the Willamette River, a sensitive habitat for birds and other animals and a destination for recreational users of the river.These and other reasons why the Salem Alternative is a bad idea will be presented by speakers at the NO 3rd Bridge Rally. Everyone will be invited to use the sidewalk soapbox and explain why they oppose the 3rd Bridge."The NO 3rd Bridge rally is designed to send a message to ODOT and the City of Salem, that most Salem area citizens do not want a 3rd Bridge and we certainly aren't willing to pay for it," said NO 3rd Bridge Co-Leader Scott Bassett. "There are better, cheaper ways to solve our peak hour congestion problems."