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City Launches Online "Safer Pedestrian Crossings" Program - 12/13/19

The City of Salem continues to place a high priority on improving bicycle and pedestrian safety measures in our community. 

The Safer Pedestrian Crossings Program now makes it easier than ever for Salem residents to share their concerns and help to guide these efforts.  Using the new online application, residents can quickly report particular street crossings of concern and submit a request for safety improvements. An interactive street map allows users to quickly call out a location of concern, view other safety improvement requests, see how each project request is prioritized, and track the status of each request.  

To address these recommendations, $125,000 has been allocated annually for the design and construction of pedestrian safety crossings in the adopted FY 2020 – 2024 Capital Improvement Plan. This Plan is reviewed and approved by City Council each year.  These funds come from the City’s share of the Oregon State Gas Tax.

The Safer Pedestrian Crossings Program was one of several recommendations that came about as a result of a Pedestrian Safety Study completed in March 2018.  A Project Advisory Committee, that included representatives from the City,  Salem’s neighborhood associations, the Salem-Keizer School District, Cherriots, and other organizations guided the development of this program.  

Those interested in learning more about the Safer Pedestrian Crossings Program, transportation safety improvement projects, or all of the other ways the City is working to make it safer for everyone who drives, walks, or bikes in Salem, please visit the City’s website.

***We’re investing in your safety

Through the FY 2020-2024 Capital Improvement Plan, we are making many improvements to Salem’s transportation system designed to make it safer for walkers, bikers and motorists. Brown Road NE reconstruction to include new sidewalks and bicycle lanes, is just one of the most recent examples. Examples of other additions include:

  • Rapid flashing beacons and median islands at busy crossings around the city
  • Buffered bike lanes for High and Church streets downtown
  • New speed signs and speed humps on the Winter-Maple Neighborhood Greenway
  • New, wider Court Street pedestrian bridge
  • Four new speed-monitoring cameras at high-volume intersections

We’re also installing 41 new streetlights around Salem through April 2020.  In this second year of installation, the majority of streetlight need, and greatest benefit are planned for north and northeast Salem. Your streetlight fees help fund infill lighting to help prevent crime and improve safety for motorists, bicycle riders and pedestrians. Request a new streetlight in your neighborhood to be included on a future priority list. 

***It’s still up to you

Despite the many new city safety mechanisms in place, nothing can substitute for personal caution whether you are driving, walking or bicycling.

It is particularly important during fall and winter months, when fog, clouds, rain and darkness reduce visibility. Here are some safety suggestions for all manners of transportation:

Be visible at all times. Wear light or bright clothing during the day, or reflective materials at night, and keep your lights on or a flashlight in hand any time visibility is poor, but particularly at night.

Be predictable. Don’t make sudden changes. Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.

Never assume you are visible to another party. Make eye contact to make sure you are seen.

Be alert at all times.

Celebrate the Season in Downtown Salem -- Enjoy FREE Customer Parking - 12/05/19

                Salem, Ore. – Enjoy holiday festivities in Downtown Salem – unique attractions, as well as diverse shopping and restaurants. The downtown district offers 3,500 free short and long-term customer parking spaces. More than 1,000 free customer spaces are available in well-lit, dry, and conveniently located parkades near Downtown shopping and attractions. 

During the holidays, Downtown offers visitors:

  • 3-hour time limits for free on-street parking from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday - Saturday
  • Unlimited free customer parking in Chemeketa, Marion, and Liberty Parkades
  • 30-minute on-street parking spaces for quick visits or drop-offs

More information about parking in Downtown Salem is available online.

Daily parking permits are available for part-time and seasonal employees for $3.00 through the City of Salem Permit Application Center at City Hall, 555 Liberty St. SE, Room 320. For permit questions, please call 503-589-2075.

For additional questions about Downtown parking, call 503-588-6178. Si necesita ayuda para comprender esta información, por favor llame 503-588-6178.

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Brown Road NE Will Open to Traffic on November 27 - 11/25/19

Construction of roadway and sidewalk safety improvements on Brown Road NE from Sunnyview Road NE to San Francisco Drive NE are nearly complete.  Improvements include new sidewalks, bike lanes, a dedicated left-turn lane at Sunnyview Road NE, streetlights, and stormwater and water system upgrades.  Crews anticipate the street will open Wed., Nov. 27, 2019.  Drivers are advised to continue to use caution in this area as construction activities will extend until mid-January 2020.

These improvements are part of the 2020 Capital Improvement Plan.  A combination of federal funds, city bond savings, transportation system development funds, and water rate funds will pay for the Brown Road improvements.

The City continues to make it safer to walk and bike in Salem.  Other pedestrian safety and bike improvements completed this past year include:

  • Speed bumps within the Winter-Maple Neighborhood Greenway;
  • Pedestrian safety crossing at the Commercial Street SE and Royvonne Avenue SE;
  • New speed signs along the Winter-Maple Neighborhood Greenway;
  • Rapid-flashing beacons on Portland Road;
  • Stop signs and radar speed signs along Fisher Road NE;
  • Stop signs at the intersection of D Street NE and Winter Street NE, and at six intersections along Maple Avenue NE;
  • Improvements to sidewalks and street lighting on 12th Street SE Southbound.

Additional information on pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements in Salem can be found on the City of Salem website. Please contact John Echeverri, PE, Senior Project Manager at 503-588-6211 or ri@cityofsalem.net">jecheverri@cityofsalem.net for additional information on this project.

Salem Selected to Receive Over $450,000 in Rental Vouchers to House Very-Low Income Residents with Disabilities - 11/22/19

Salem, Ore. – The Salem Housing Authority was recently selected to receive 75 Mainstream Rental vouchers valued at $450,927 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to assist very-low income households of persons with disabilities in our community. Salem was chosen as one of 22 housing authorities in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho to receive the new vouchers.

“In a time when new housing resources are so rare, Salem Housing Authority is thrilled to have received this award of 75 new Mainstream Vouchers, which will allow us to provide rental assistance and stable housing to non-elderly, disabled people in our community,” said Nicole Utz, Salem Housing Authority Administrator.

“These vouchers will be targeted to people experiencing homelessness, at risk of homelessness, or exiting segregated institutions. We will be working with our partners to link program participants to voluntary supportive services to help keep them stably housed,” continued Utz.

The awarded vouchers are provided through HUD’s Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program which provides funding to housing agencies to assist non-elderly persons with disabilities, particularly those who are transitioning out of institutional or other separated settings; at serious risk of institutionalization; currently experiencing homelessness; previously experienced homelessness and currently a client in a permanent supportive housing or rapid rehousing project; or at risk of becoming homeless.

The Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program helps to further the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act by helping persons with disabilities live in the most integrated setting. The program also encourages partnerships with health and human service agencies with a demonstrated capacity to coordinate voluntary services and supports to enable individuals to live independently in the community.

Salem’s voucher awards were part of a national HUD announcement of $131.3 million in additional Mainstream Vouchers to 325 local public housing authorities across the country to provide affordable housing to approximately 15,363 additional non-elderly persons with disabilities.

For any additional information, please contact Nicole Utz, Salem Housing Authority, Housing Administrator, at nutz@salemhousingor.com or 503-588-6459.  

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24th Annual Riverfront Park Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony - 11/15/19

The holiday season has arrived!  Please plan to bundle up and bring your family to the Riverfront Park Rotary Pavilion at 200 Water Street NE in downtown Salem to celebrate this free community event.  Festivities will begin at 6:00 pm on the evening of Friday, December 6, 2019, and will include:

  • A special visit from Santa
  • Free hot cocoa and cookies provided by Roth’s Fresh Market
  • Live reindeer
  • Holiday bell ringing
  • Letter to Santa station
  • Musical performances from the North Salem High School Choir
  • Holiday craft making
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Visits with Salem Fire Department and Salem’s Park Ranger

The tree lighting ceremony will be led by Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett and is expected to begin at 6:30 pm. One lucky child in attendance will be selected to help Mayor Bennett “flip the switch” to light the holiday tree.

This annual holiday event is sponsored by the City of Salem and Comcast.

Local Non-Profits and For-Profit Developers Invited to Apply for Funds; Federal Funding Application Cycle Opens Nov. 20 - 11/15/19

Salem, Ore. – Eligible non-profits and for-profit developers in Salem and Keizer are invited to submit proposals for approximately $1,400,000 in City of Salem Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership programs funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Applications will also be accepted for approximately $400,000 from the City’s funds designated for supportive services.

The online application portal at www.salemgrants.org opens Wed., Nov. 20, 2019 at 10 a.m. All applications must be submitted by Mon., Jan. 6, 2020 at 5 p.m. Applications sent by any other method, including, but not limited to, facsimile, email, postal service, hand delivery, or any method other than www.salemgrants.org, will not be accepted. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Federal and local guidelines for funding from the CDBG and HOME programs, as well as the City’s programs, are included in the online application. Applications for projects must comply with strict eligibility criteria. Applicable funds are for the 2020 Program Year, beginning Jul. 1, 2020.

The City will hold two application technical assistance workshops to assist potential applicants. The same information will be presented at each workshop. Interested persons need only to attend one session.

  • Tues., Nov. 19, 2019 at 3:30 p.m., City of Salem Urban Development Conference Room located at 350 Commercial St. NE, Salem, Ore.
  • Mon., Dec. 2, 2019 at 2 p.m., City of Salem Urban Development Conference Room located at 350 Commercial St. NE, Salem, Ore.

More about the funding sources:

Federal Community Development Block Grant Funding. The purpose of the CDBG Program is to benefit low to moderate-income households by funding projects that revitalize neighborhoods, increase affordable housing, expand economic opportunities, and/or improve community facilities and services. The estimated entitlement allocation available for programs/projects this year is $800,000. This published amount is subject to change based upon Congressional action.

Federal HOME Investment Partnership Funding. The HOME Investment Partnerships program funds a wide range of activities that build, buy, and/or rehabilitate affordable housing for rent, or provide direct rental assistance to low-income people. Priority funding will be for affordable rental housing projects awarded in recent HOME applications and need additional capital to address financing gaps due to increased construction cost or other applicable reasons. The estimated entitlement allocation available for HOME programs/projects this year is $600,000. This published amount is subject to change based upon Congressional action.

For more detailed information on HUD guidelines for CDBG and HOME funding, visit www.hud.gov.

City of Salem Funding. The City of Salem provides funds to support activities that provide supportive services to low-income residents of Salem. The estimated City of Salem General Fund allocation available for programs this year is $400,000. This published amount is subject to change based upon Salem City Council action.

For any additional information, please contact Shelly Ehenger, City of Salem Federal Programs Manager, at sehenger@cityofsalem.net or 503-540-2494.  

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