Salem City Council Approves Winter-Maple Neighborhood Greenway: Salem’s First Family-Friendly Bikeway
Last night the Salem City Council approved the Winter-Maple Neighborhood Greenway - the first family-friendly bikeway in the City of Salem! The 2.5-mile route passes near and directly by several schools where, currently, students do not have access to safe routes to walk, bike or roll to school. The Winter-Maple Neighborhood Greenway will transform the area and provide these new opportunities to students and people of all ages & abilities.
Many advocates turned out to speak in strong support of the plan, with a few additional requests. During the planning phase, we heard a strong community desire and need for the inclusion of both a reduced speed limit and the installation of speed humps throughout the proposed route. A decrease in posted speeds, paired with the self-enforcing speed humps, provides the comfort and safety appropriate near a school campus and through neighborhoods.
Together with the Director of the Oregon School for the Deaf (OSD) and OSD students, we were successful in advocating for the inclusion of both speed humps and a reduced speed limit to 20 mph near the OSD Campus, which was not included in previous drafts of the plan. We will also see a reduced speed limit to 20 mph throughout the route, and according to City Staff comments last night, we can expect to see installation of self-enforcing speed humps in the neighborhood area as well. Rather than delaying speed humps or a reduced speed limit, the Mayor and City Councilors referred to this approach as “belt & suspenders,” and spoke strongly in favor of ensuring immediate safety of people who walk and bike on the route.
“Finally we’re seriously talking about this bikeway, and I hope we can find a way to get this going this year so that your kids have an opportunity to ride on it.” - Mayor Chuck Bennett
Advocates were also successful in adding necessary stop signs throughout the route, including near the OSD campus, and re-naming the route to be called a Neighborhood Greenway. A big congratulations and thank you to Salem Bike Boulevard Advocates, other community advocates and City Staff for all of the hard work and time dedicated to this exciting project, which has been in the planning phase for several years. Mayor Bennett congratulated advocates and said, “Finally we’re seriously talking about this bikeway, and I hope we can find a way to get this going this year so that your kids have an opportunity to ride on it.” Hopefully we can all look forward to an early construction date!
March '18 Draft of Winter-Maple Plan (not including last night’s amendments to add speed humps, reduced speed limit + stop signs)