Our Neighborhood

Priorities for 2024

In January the SESNA board had its yearly retreat, to discuss and decide on priorities for 2024.

Continuing projects

  • Promote and support the Vision Zero – SESNA has done a study of, and been talking about, Vision Zero years before it was fashionable. We believe it is the best way forward to a more livable city, where people and not cars are the first class citizens. We keep hearing about lowering speed limits and more stop signs. Although lowering speeds is a good move, it is only a very small part of the Vision Zero concept and arguably not effective by itself. While adding more stop signs is just counterproductive, as it invites retaliatory behaviour from car drivers. Vision Zero, instead, promotes slow but steady traffic, so everybody can feel they are moving forward. We hope this year, especially with street refurbishments, will show more forward thinking and a more faithful adaptation of Vision Zero as has been proven effective in many countries and cities over the past three decades.
  • Street art – In 2023 we had the opportunity for a grant to install a large piece of street art on one of our intersections. As explained to us; such art slows down traffic and uplifts the area, making it safer for slow traffic such as pedestrians. We identified a dozen places that could benefit from such treatment. Sadly enough, we were told that every single useful spot was either “the wrong kind of street” or “a street in need of repairs”. So we caved and let the city choose a spot of their liking. The process of designing and installing the art is ongoing in 2024.
  • Multigenerational playground equipment – That’s a mouth full to say that we have found partners willing to fund the addition of one more piece of outdoor exercise equipment to Richmond School Park. Installation is expected in 2024.
  • Tree of Heaven/Chinese Stinking Sumac: A beautiful name for a terrible plant. It grows anywhere, is hard to kill, destroys everything around it, can release a foul smell and leave a rash. The Tree of Heaven/Stinking Sumac is spreading fast in Salem. [@Arnaud > Milan]
  • Salem Airport expansion – The expansion and commercialization of the Salem Airport has taken place without involvement of the neighborhoods surrounding it. Concerns about noise, vibration, air pollution and wasting funds stay as the City of Salem and the commercial lobby group “Fly Salem” unilaterally decided how touch is too much for our residential neighborhoods dealing with a rapid increase in private and commercial jet traffic.
  • Improving the area at 14th St. and the Mission St overpass. – More to come.

New for 2024

  • Light Pollution – The kind of pollution that, although less talked about, immensely affects a green state such as Oregon.
  • Short Term Rentals – Now the AirBnb and like have become mainstream we see a consolidation from investment companies taken residential housing to put only the market as short term rentals. A complex topic with many angles.
  • Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) – An opportunity to prepare and train as an emergency response member.2
  • Re-Wilding – As part of our continuing efforts to increase livability, the concept of re-wilding our own yards is being explored.