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April 24, 2020


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Less congestion = less exhaust related pollution. That is simply true. Convoluted explanations that propose that a future without a 3rd bridge would be environmentally superior is speculative, probably irrelevant in a quantitative sense, and politically unnecessary.
If every Councilor was a strong supporter of a 3rd bridge, the only effect would be that the City would go on to waste more resources unless the political situation evolves as I will soon describe.
The only practical plan, which ODOT thoroughly vetted and worked toward for decades, is the "straight shot" plan. There are 2 problems with that plan - Bush Park and environmental concerns at and along the river.
If the current ruler (or his heir apparents) holds power, Bush Park and river health won't matter. A delegation of ring kissers could get this project started sometime next year.

If you take some time and go back through Brother Brian Hines's posts over the years, you will find many posts pining and agonizing over his dream for narrowing downtown Salem's streets.
Dreaming and yurning for outdoor cafes and streetscapes.
His path to this utopian dream? Doesn't have one.
The Oregon HWY 22 East - West Straight Shot Solution has been on the drawing board for years.
And it is taking shape as we speak.
Take a drive from SaltCreek, several miles west of Salem all the way to Mill City several miles east of Salem and you will see that most, soon to be all intersections with HWY 22 converted to freeway style clover leafs. Now why is that?
Soon, semi truck drivers and tourists will see large signs as they approach Salem heading East that say, " Sisters - Bend, RIGHT LANES".
They will exit right at highway speed across the Willamette, Brown's Island and Mission ST and plug into HWY 22 East.
Then AND ONLY THEN will Brother Brian realize his dream of a downtown Salem minus the pollution and gridlock.
Sass away, all you want.
For the good of Salem, and the reduction of pollution, there is only one real answer that makes sense:
"HWY 22 East - West Straight Shot solution"
Time's 'a wastin!

Little known fact: Early in the century, ODOT, as part of their efforts to establish the straight shot route, tried to put an uninterrupted line of solid concrete dividers in the center lane of Mission Street, from 12th to 25th. When the City saw the plan, they opposed it. ODOT, risking loss of funds because they had a deadline, threw together an unworkable alternative, then scrapped that and ultimately formed a third plan, which they used.
Salem's transportation system is becoming overwhelmed and we cannot build our way out of it, but the benefits of this project are clear.
We should be thankful that we dodged the bullet when the Council stopped the recent plan from moving forward. That would have been a long term disaster.
In order to calm the 3rd bridge supporters, a Congestion Relief Task Force (Kaser, Lewis, Hoy, and Bennet) was formed with the purpose of improving traffic flow near to and radiating from the landing areas of the existing bridges. They were unable to reach a consensus so that mission is on hold.
If Reid and Jan are elected, there is absolutely no basis to believe that either one would be able to recognize the deficiencies of the last attempt or advance any realistic plan in a way that would not mirror the approach and actions displayed during the recently concluded 14 year long fiasco.
I 100% agree that, if Brian lives long enough and the straight shot is established, he will smack his forehead with an open palm while admonishing himself: "What Was I Thinking?"

I invite Kurt and Skyline to look at a map to see why the "Straight Shot" solution, which I understand to be a bridge from the west end of Mission across Minto Brown Park to Hwy 22, is a non-starter. The bridge would need to be nearly a mile long and would cost at least a billion dollars to build in what is probably an earthquake liquefaction zone. It appears to be a longer distance than the Salem River Crossing bridge would have had to span (about 3/4 mile). So that's one problem, and another is the fact that it would seriously harm a historic district (Deepwood, Bush House, Gaiety Hollow). Plus, it would do little to improve the commute for most West Salem residents. They wouldn't go that far out of their way to go to and from work and it would not take that many vehicles off the existing bridges at rush hour. Forget about it.

Jimmy Scheppke said, "Plus, it would do little to improve the commute for most West Salem residents. "
Removing the TREMENDOUS Oregon intrastate commerce and tourist traffic from flooding downtown Salem and our current bridge traffic wouldn't help? Really??!!!
Time to turn on some original thought. The straight-line, lock- step numbness isn't working.
Forget it we shall not!

This may seem a bit off topic, but, after viewing "Planet of the Humans" on YouTube, I have come to realize that the perspectives of the left approximate the religious convictions of the right. That is, informed decision making sometimes takes a back seat to long term devotion to positions that define a movement, even when changing circumstances dictate that fundamental dogma be re-examined.
In the movie, we see that the biofuel industry gained support from the left, even after it became apparent how harmful it is to the environment. Solar and wind had not lived up to expectations so, in order to maintain relevance and public support, the left promoted biofuels as a desirable replacement for other carbon producing forms of energy, which it is not.
Many of us, in the 60's and 70's, anticipated that we would live to see practical electric cars, useful and welcome public transit, and heavily used bicycle and pedestrian paths. That hope has proven to be overly optimistic.
Now that so many variables have changed, perhaps we now need to re-examine assumptions and question matters of faith that keep us tethered to unrealistic expectations.

I have spent much of my working life solving problems which later led me to an exciting time in Industrial automation.
Whenever the straight liners approached me with the "Can't be done, cant be done, can't be done" I always quickly grabbed a pencil and clip board and wrote down their perceived barriers.
These points are often the keys to unmasking success.
Jimmy said, " ....... it would seriously harm a historic district (Deepwood, Bush House, Gaiety Hollow)".
First of all, no it won't. You have no clue about number of fly-over designs.
But If THAT is your total objection, consider it duly noted.
I can't wait to see Brother Brian's dream of a livable city unfold in his lifetime.
Stay tuned....

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