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January 05, 2014


Don't forget that the Salem Revised Code is currently written to discourage food carts. Food carts have to be spaced 500 feet apart and have to be moved every six months. This makes food court "pods" like Portland has impossible here. Councilor Dickey is trying to change this and has asked for a staff study. Mayor Petersen is opposed to it, fearing harm to established restaurants. She voted against having the staff even study it. But, fortunately, she was in the minority and we should get some kind of report from the staff in the near future.

Jim, gosh, last I looked Portland is known for its vibrant restaurant scene and also for its vibrant food cart scene.

Restaurants could use food carts as an appetizer, so to speak, for their sit down location. Give 'em a taste; hopefully they'll come back for a full meal deal.

The Mayor needs to enter the 21st century. Or become a health-minded vegetarian, like my wife and I are. Salem has a few decent vegetarian restaurants with a few creative dishes.

But a blossoming food cart scene would multiply the creative possibilities, particularly in the ethnic and veggie cuisine area. I often am downtown, hungry, and can't think of a quick and easy way to get the sort of healthy vegetarian food I like to eat.

I don't want to go into a restaurant. I want to go up to a window, order, get my food promptly, and eat it. Food carts near downtown would be great.

I agree that a food cart area is what Salem is needing. Eugene and Corvallis are more cart friendly then us at the moment. How great would it be to have a dedicated food pod where people can enjoy the street food scene and hang out. The extra foot traffic would definitely help the downtown establishments as well.

There used to be two restaurants in the Civic Center. One was actually under the covered area and the other in the Library near the Peace Plaza. I think there is only a coffee shop there now.

With a few food carts and if they encouraged the restaurants to come back there would be a reason to go to that location. Connecting it with walking paths and/or bikes paths would also make sense.

I suggested at one point that the area near the Carousel should have a series of permanent stalls with water and electricity that vendors could rent. The perfect place would be near the Carousel, Earth Ball, amphitheater area.

OK, so let's kill off a flock of birds with one stone, so to speak.

Don't 'build-new" for the police and city council.

Give Mountain West a way out re: Boise Cascade property.

Address the Boise development issues re: railroad tracks / crossing / sky bridge.

Save Mirror Pond.

Add long overdue creek pathways.

1. City of Salem comes to a deal with Mountain West to purchase or land-swap (or, if $$ isn't right, pull an eminent domain play) all the Boise property.
2. City of Salem comes up with plans to take the existing Boise building and retrofit for Police (plenty of parking where the gravel piles are now) with a sky bridge over to the existing city complex.
2.a City of Salem continues to live in complex by updating and earthquake retrofit.
3. On West side of tracks, give the land to Riverside Park for additional space/events (did someone say Food Cart?).
4. (speculation on my part) There must be some sort of railroad bridge over the creek spillway that runs under the Boise buildings now so that the water can get to the river. Reinforce that and provide a pathway connected to the upcoming bridge to Minto-Brown to the west, and Mirror Pond to the east.
5. Mountain West wins; City of Salem wins; best of all, citizens of Salem win.
6. My dreams start to come true: a system of walk/bike paths in Salem begins to materialize.

Lew, I like your ideas. The City already owns some property behind the furniture store (whose name I'm blanking out on) adjacent to the empty Boise Cascade warehouse.

That warehouse building was proposed to be made into condos and parking. Sure seems like it could be refurbished into a Police Facility. No worries about it being secure. I've heard that the warehouse would be almost impossible to demolish, it is so strongly constructed.

The Pringle Creek multi-use path is key, as you noted. There's been some skepticism about whether it is possible to have the path go under the railroad tracks.

Yes, liability concerns and safety are an issue. But this web page shows paths under RR tracks are possible:

As you said, there's a win-win-win possible here. Just takes some creative thinking and community collaboration to make it happen.

There IS a Creek Walk on Pringle Creek from the Slough thru Bush Park. It's the Creek Walk Project. Call me, Ken @ 503-362-0873 or find us on Face book. Let's go Creekwalkin' all spring.

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