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January 31, 2019

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Brian, thanks for again making it clear what a fiasco this entire project has been. Time to kill this ridiculous boondoggle.

I was appointed to the Task Force to represent bicycling interests. Early on, I was asked by another member if I could participate in the process with an open mind and I assured him that I could. At that time, I had no opinion about the need for or viability of another bridge. As the process unfolded over the next 6 years, it became pretty clear that the citizens on the Task Force were just there to allow the bureaucrats to check a box. Our input was ignored and our questions went unanswered. The planning process did not allow consideration of more modest, reasonably priced alternatives. In the end, the impacts of all the build alternatives with their freeway style approaches and destruction of neighborhoods were too much and I voted with the other citizens for the no build alternative, no because I didn't think some improvements were needed, but because we were not allowed to consider any of them. Perhaps once the City Council kills the extravagant mega-project, the transportation planners will begin working on more reasonable solutions to address congestion that don't result in more pollution and the loss of livability in those neighborhoods that would otherwise be affected.

There is one, and ONLY one strategic plan for a 3rd bridge.
It is a plan that solves many of Salem's problems.
That plan involves connecting HWY 22 E with HWY 22 W with a bridge and fly over that terminates at 13th st S where HWY 22 returns to 4 lanes. At this time, ALL commercial traffic east and west must DUMP into downtown Salem. All lost tourist traffic east and west DUMPS into downtown Salem.
1) until this is solved, downtown Salem will remain as a traffic dominated design. Everything else comes in second.
2) When daily caravans of 18 wheelers are funneled through a bottleneck in downtown Salem, 100% man made and 100% man curable, global warming is generated.

The current 3rd bridge does what? Dumps a percentage of HWY 22 into Salem in n additional location. GREAT! Let's spread the traffic jams and global warming around for everyone!!!
We need to, once again, look into a 4 lane bridge connecting HWY 22 w at Rosemont, veering over the Willamette, over Brown's Island, and a flyover from the west Willamette bank extending to 13th st.

From there, Turner Rd and Lancaster would have clover leafs for unimpaired 55mph traffic flow AROUND Salem rather than the current disaster.

This plan is GOING TO HAPPEN!!! The only question is when. Your support will help.

Thank you, Blogger Brian, for reminding us of the "Task Force" vote.
Thank you, Doug, for summarizing the apparent role and function of citizen participation on the "Task Force". "... it became pretty clear that the citizens on the Task Force were just there to allow the bureaucrats to check a box. Our input was ignored and our questions went unanswered."

I fail understand how a plurality of 10 out of 22 members is a citizen endorsement when staff members are voting participants on the Task Force. Just who appointed staff members as voting participants? I would particularly like to hear about other regional Salem participating "citizen task forces" which included staff as well as elected officials and citizen volunteers as voting members of the task force.

Thankfully we learned the other evening at the City Council work session that the first paragraph if the Salem Weekly editorial is no longer accurate. If a majority of the Salem City Council votes to recommend the "No Build" alternative as the preferred alternative (which is bound to happen), that will be the conclusion of the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision by the Federal Highway Administration and no money will have to be repaid. That doesn't mean we don't need to hold some present and former elected officials responsible for wasting $10 million or so on this rigged process. I'm looking at you Salem River Crossing Oversight Team.

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