City looking into speeding issues across town

The city is addressing traffic issues in Keizer including the installation of a speed table on Cummings Lane at Delight Avenue. The city is also planning a speed study on Claggett Street NE in response to resident complaints there.

At its Aug. 7 meeting the Keizer City Council authorized City Manager Adam Brown to enter into a agreement with Gelco Construction Inc. for more than $98,000 to construct a speed table near Cummings Elementary School.

According to the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), speed tables are midblock traffic calming devices that raise the entire wheelbase of a vehicle to reduce its traffic speed. They are longer than speed humps and flat-topped, with a height of 3–3.5 inches and a length of 22 feet. 

The speed table is expected to be completed before the start of the school year in September.

Hersch Sangster, a member of the Traffic Safety-Bikeways-Pedestrian Committee gave a report to the council. He shared that residents on Claggett Street NE have approached the committee regarding the speeding issue on the residential roadway. Keizer Police Department and the Public Works Department will conduct a speed survey there. 

Some speed reducing recommendations from nearby residents include painting street murals, which research shows reduces traffic speed. The city of Salem has a street mural project in place. Another resident recommendation was to make 10th Avenue NE a dead end. It is believed that some drivers use Claggett Street as a go-around to avoid the River Road-Chemawa Road intersection.

The Traffic Safety Committee will take up the speeding issue at a future meeting. 

In other government operations action the council voted to dissolve the Stormwater Advisory Committee (SWAC) after 15 years. A staff report said that the city’s stormwater programs are running successfully. Members of SWAC recommended ending the committee in its current state.

Three mandatory permits regarding Keizer’s stormwater are expiring with additional recycle and recycling modernization requirements coming soon. The staff overseeing stormwater and environmental issues will reevaluate future management strategies.

Public Works Director Bill Lawyer told the council that it is possible a new committee would be established in the future with a more wide-ranging environmental and sustainability focus.

The council also voted approval of a resolution to amend the purpose of the Traffic Safety-Bikeways-Pedestrian Committee, adding language about its interaction with state agencies.

The fees for use of the Conference Center at the Keizer Civic Center were waived for four groups by unanimous votes at Monday’s meeting. It waived $2,475 in rent fees for Lakepoint Community Church’s annual ServeFest on Sunday, Aug. 27.

Rental fees were also waived for a town hall meeting for U.S. Rep. Andrea Salinas on Thursday, Aug. 24. The public is invited to attend the meeting from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. that day. Fees totaled $400.

Two hundred dollars in rental fees were waived for Salem-Iyo International Exchange Committee for four days of use of the conference center for classes for 14 Japanese middle school students, who will be in the area to learn about American culture and government. The mayor of Iyo, Japan will accompany the students Monday-Thursday, Aug. 21-24.

The waiving of fees for use of the Keizer Rotary Amphitheatre at Keizer Rapids Park was approved for a Keizer Chamber of Commerce concert by the bank JFK.

Devon Kraxberger, a resident who lives next to Claggett Creek in southeast Keizer, returned to appear before the council to again address property damage caused by flooding from beaver dams in that area. Kraxberger said the flooding continues in the dry summer and she and her neighbors are concerned about what happens when fall rains return.

City Manager Adam Brown said that the city’s environmental staff will walk the affected area of the creek with a representative of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to develop a plan.

Kim Steen, chair of the Keizer Public Arts Committee reported that it will take up the issue of graffiti walls in the city. The sanctioned walls would become palates for street artists and taggers to use instead of public and private property.

The art committee will also discuss traffic calming street murals and a kiosk at Claggett Creek Park to inform the public of Rosalie’s Silly Cows art installation and a history of Rosalie Herber, owner of the original cows at the dairy farm above Claggett Creek.

The next regular session of the Keizer City Council is Monday, Aug. 21.