Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Is One Area Getting More Street Bond Money?

Seems like there's a disagreement as to where City money is going to fix streets. A letter in the April 26 Spokesman-Review said that south Spokane streets are in much better shape than in north Spokane, so the money must be being spent there. Two letters in today's paper beg to differ though.

Here's one of those letters, and here's the other.

Here's the City's 10-Year Street Bond map of all projects to be completed. It's small but gives you an idea of where construction will take place or already has. Check out the map and tell me if you think the streets chosen for reconstruction (chosen with the help of citizen input, by the way) are divvied up equally among the districts or if you have a problem with the roads chosen.

Bloomsday Street Closures

Street closures will take place today, tomorrow, and Sunday in preparation for Bloomsday. Parts of the race route will be closed today and Thursday for sweeping, and starting at 6 a.m. Sunday, officers will begin towing cars that have not been moved from the race.

Police officers today will work today to get cars removed from the south side of Broadway and Maxwell avenues in the 1700 to 2500 blocks.

Residents can get a copy of the race route by visiting

And for those trying to get downtown from the north side on Sunday, better leave early. Because Ash Street is closed for reconstruction, Division will be the only route into downtown heading south.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Campaign For a 4-Day Work Week

I heard a story on the radio this morning about a groundswell of companies studying the advantages of changing to a 4-day work week due to high gas prices. I did some research and found that, while there doesn't appear to be an actual full-scale campaign underway to get all U.S. workers switched to a 4-10 schedule, many companies are taking it on themselves, or trying to get lawmakers in their city or state interested.

The 'Industrial Workers of the World' website says that there have been no reductions in the average U.S. work week in the more than sixty years, since the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed. They say changing to a 4-day work week would not only cut gas consumption by 20%, but also cut pollution from carbon emissions, improve worker morale, cut energy prices to light and heat/cool buildings, and promote time spent with families, thus strengthening the American family.

The Town Manager of one Phoenix suburb is lobbying for the change for all local government workers. Closing Fridays would mean the town would offer extended hours Monday through Thursday, such as 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. And a recent story done by KING 5 News out of Seattle says several petition drives for a shortened work week are circulating on the internet. They say there are already a handful of cities in Nevada, California, Arizona, and Florida experimenting with the idea. Marion County Florida recently switched to a four-day work week for county workers and expects to save $250,000 in energy costs this year alone.

Locally, the County's Commute Trip Reduction program encourages a 'flex schedule' to decrease cars on the road. A flex schedule is where an employee works 44 hours the first week of a pay period, then 36 hours the second week, allowing them to take one extra day off, while still working 80 hours in two weeks.

What is your company's policy? I think I'm going to start my own campaign and start lobbying for a 4-day work week here at SRTC. Let me know if you work for a progressive company that already does this.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Valley Chapel Road To Close Next Monday

A reminder that Valley Chapel Road will be closed, starting next Monday 1/4 mile north of Spangle Creek Road in order to replace the bridge. Construction is expected to be complete by November '08.

'Skidmark' Is In The Lead

In honor of this week being Traffic Awareness & Pedestrian Safety Week, here's a play-by-play of the 2007 'Pedestrian Crossing Championships' out of London. I think I saw this re-enacted outside of the Intermodal Center last week after the Greyhound came in from the Tri-Cities.

Transportation Roundup

People are changing their habits due to gas prices, Bike To Work Week is coming, and it's Traffic Awareness and Pedestrian Safety week in our area. Here's the wrapup from the Spokesman-Review's 'Getting There' column for the week of April 28.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Let's Give A Hand To Pedestrian Safety

News release from the City of Spokane.





The City of Spokane’s Pedestrian, Transportation and Traffic Committee invite you to celebrate the 10th annual Traffic Awareness & Pedestrian Safety Week, April 26 to May 4. During the week, drivers are encouraged to slow down and obey speed limits, making Spokane neighborhoods safer and more livable.

To remind motorists of the speed limit on neighborhood streets, many residents will post yellow and black signs with the phrases, “Neighbors Drive 25,” “20 is Plenty,” and “Heed the Speed 30.” Also, pedestrians are encouraged to participate in the “Hands Out For Safety” campaign, extending their hands out to show drivers of their intention to cross the street. Finally, the Spokane Police Department’s Traffic Unit will schedule extra enforcement officers in the Garland Business District during the week.

Special this year will be a tree planting ceremony in the Red Wagon area of Riverfront Park. The event begins at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 29. The tree will be planted in honor of all pedestrians who have been hit or killed in traffic accidents. Nancy MacKerrow, whose daughter died in a pedestrian-related accident, will introduce the event. Between the hours of 6:30 and 10 a.m., people will be able to write messages that will be placed in the tree. Everyone is welcome.

Contact information for the tree ceremony is Nancy MacKerrow at 624-3407. For all other questions regarding Traffic Awareness and Pedestrian Safety Week, please contact Gail Prosser, Chair of the Pedestrian, Transportation and Traffic Committee, at 456-7588 or Rod Minarik, of the City’s Neighborhood Services Office, at 625-6737.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Intersection Project Could Cause Some Delays

Here's a news release from the WSDOT regarding a construction project that could be high impact. People who drive this stretch already know that it's extremely difficult to get onto Trent from either direction of Starr during the peak drivetimes, and now there's going to be this to contend with.

That intersection has seen a lot of accidents over the years though, so I'm sure the improvements will far outweigh the inconvenience.

SR 290/Starr Road intersection improvement project getting underway

SPOKANE-Contractor crews will begin work on Monday, April 28th on State Route 290 (Trent Road) where it intersects with Starr Road near Newman Lake .

Several improvements will be made at this intersection that is located about 13 miles east of Spokane. A right turn lane from westbound SR 290 onto northbound Starr Road will be added with curbing and gutters. In addition, the illumination system will be upgraded.

The added right-turn lane should reduce the potential for westbound rear end collisions.

Spokane Rock Products of Spokane, WA is the prime contractor on this project with a construction bid of $146,348. The project should be completed by mid June.

Information on the project is available on the internet at:

Bloomsday Route Sweeping

The dreaded Bloomsday route street sweeping is here once again! I say 'dreaded' because everyone always complains that they have to park their cars on side streets and walk home, or get ticketed or even towed. The City puts out notice every year, but every year someone forgets. Well here's your notice once again:

Riverside Ave. from Maple to Hemlock streets and Broadway Ave. from Maple to Lindeke streets will have obstructions and street parking will not be allowed from 7 a.m. on Tuesday, April 29, to 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 30. City Street crews will be street sweeping in preparation for the Bloomsday Run the following weekend. Cars parked on the street will be towed.

'Virtual Wall' The Crosswalk Of The Future?

I heard a 'tease' on the radio for a news story that was coming up about a 'virtual plasma crosswalk.' I was late for a meeting so I didn't get to hear the story, but my curiosity was piqued, so I googled it. I wasn't able to find any actual stories written by news agencies, research companies, or anyone else I would consider legit, but I did find a lot of blogging on the virtual wall concept.

Basically, the virtual wall is an idea from designer Hanyoung Lee. It is a barrier made up of plasma laser beams to show drivers that pedestrians now have the right to cross. Everything I read said that the 'lasers' that make up the wall won't stop a car from entering the crosswalk or damage the car, but they will 'definetely cause a driver to hesitate before going through it.' I'm not sure what that means, but I would think that after a while we'll get used to it just like everything else and take a chance on driving through it if we're in a hurry.

If you have more info on these Virtual Plasma Crosswalks, please let me know. I'm curious.

County Says Raceway Park Purchase Not Affecting Road Repairs

Spokesman-Review Letters to the editor
Roads give way to raceway

It didn't take long for the raceway park backlash to affect services of the Spokane County taxpayers. Road department supervisors were informed that there is no money for much-needed repair and maintenance of the county roads. Instead, they will be cutting brush and sealing cracks in roadways for the remainder of the year. I hope the taxpayers will keep in mind what $4 million would have done for our roadways in the upcoming commissioner elections.

Terry Weeks
Spokane County road department maintenance worker

I saw this letter in the newspaper today and thought, 'Hmmm... could this be true?' Seemed to me like the money to buy Raceway Park wouldn't be coming out of the same pot of money that pays for street maintenance. So, I checked with the County and was told that the above is not the case, that the money to buy Raceway Park will be provided by general obligation bonds over the long term. These bonds are backed by the general fund. I was also told that, under no conditions, would the reserve fund be dipped into for the purchase money.

As for the lack of money for road repairs, it's due to the harsh winter. The County says the increased cost of snow removal depleted road maintenace funds.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Everything You Wanted To Know About STA Sales Tax Reauthorization

May is almost here, which means that, if you live within Spokane Transit Authority's Public Transportation Benefit Area, you will soon be voting on a reauthorization of the three-tenths of one percent sales tax that voters approved in 2004.

Many people I have talked with recently don't seem to know much about the reauthorization though. So here's your primer. Check out the reauthorization update, the official ballot language, frequently asked questions, and a public information flyer about the sales tax measure then let us know your thoughts on the subject. Do you plan to vote for or against it? Does the fact that the measure no longer includes a sunset clause bother you? Are you willing to risk service cuts and vote 'no' on it?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Have You Changed The Way You Get Around?

Our friends at the MetroSpokane blog site are taking a poll. If you've changed the way you get around because of gas prices, let them know. Here's a link to the poll (scroll down, it's the second story on the page)which will just take a minute. Plus you can look at the results so far and see how many other people have bought mopeds or ponies to cut gas prices.

Monday, April 21, 2008

What Do Monkey Masks & Bike Riding Have In Common?

Monday mornings I usually try to cheer you up by posting something funny on this blog. Well today's selection is more creepy than funny. It's a 1963 film on bike safety and it's unusual to say the least. To start with, the children in the film are wearing monkey masks. And they get picked off one by one when they make bicycle-riding mistakes. And the title is 'One Got Fat,' which you will understand by the end of the film. Happy viewing!

From the Spokesman-Review

Police are reporting several wrecks from Sunset Boulevard to Cheney because of this morning's snowy weather. Interstate 90 westbound was delayed as a result. A four-car crash at Third Avenue and Thor about 7:50 a.m. appeared to be the most serious, with two people possibly injured, police said.

A crash in the northbound lanes of the Maple Street Bridge slowed traffic this morning, as did one at Second Avenue and Browne, said Spokane Police Officer Teresa Fuller.

Earlier on Highway 395, two cars were stuck on the roadway near Dragoon Creek Road because of the ice, Fuller said. No serious injuries were reported in the other crashes, police said.

Drive slow, don't follow too closely and leave plenty of time to get to your destination.

No Way Out Of North Spokane

More north Spokane construction, motorcycle safety reminders, and a sting on truckers violating weight restrictions. There's a little of everything going on transportation-wise in our area.

Here's the wrapup for the week of April 21 from the Spokesman's 'Getting There' column.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Mountain Pass Driving Conditions Warning

News release just received from the WSDOT. When will it end????

April 18, 2008
11:15 a.m.

Rapid weather change will make mountain pass driving a challenge
Drivers need to be prepared for winter driving conditions

SNOQUALMIE PASS – Weather forecasters are still predicting heavy snowfall in the mountain passes this weekend, which could make driving a challenge. The latest forecast calls for up to a foot of snow to fall on Snoqualmie Pass by Saturday night.

“It’s April, but winter just isn’t letting go,” said Snoqualmie Pass Maintenance Superintendent Al Minerich. “Drivers heading over the passes this weekend should allow more time to get to their destinations and prepare for winter driving conditions.”

Although it may feel like springtime in the valleys of Washington, the mountains are still experiencing winter like conditions. WSDOT Avalanche Forecasters will continue to monitor the storm, and if necessary conduct avalanche control work.

“If more than six inches of snow accumulates above the passes or if there is a sudden rise in temperature, avalanche control work will be needed and that will delay traffic,” said WSDOT Avalanche Forecaster Lee Redden.

US 2 Stevens Pass and US 12 White Pass

The forecast for Stevens (US 2) and White Pass (US 12) isn’t promising either. Crews expect up to six inches of snowfall by Saturday morning.

To find out the latest information about mountain pass conditions before you go, call 511 or visit our Web site:

While traveling over the pass, tune your radio to AM 1610 or AM 530 for the latest traffic updates.

Investigation Says No Price Gouging At The Pumps

The Attorney General says a year-long investigation shows Spokane drivers aren't getting gouged at the gas pump. He says it's not Spokane, the entire state is being taken to the cleaners.

Here's the story. What do you think? Do you believe that the 230% inflation is caused by Washington's gas tax, the price of oil, and supply constraints or do you believe it's the man trying to keep us down?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

SRTC Planner Eve Nelson's TV Debut

You've heard the saying 'sink or swim' when it comes to learning something new in a short time? Well, that's basically what I did to Eve Nelson after scheduling her with no less than six media interviews this week, then bailing out and attending to other matters instead of helping her with her busy media schedule. She did a great job though and a lot more people are now aware of the Regional Bike Plan because of her efforts.

Take a look at this story she did for KHQ last night.

And if that wasn't enough for you, Eve also did interviews on KHQ's morning show, and with KXLY (all of which I'm working to get links to). And be sure to check out this week's (April 17) Inlander and the May issue of 'Out There Monthly' for more on the Regional Bike Plan.

Spokane Valley Cleaning Up After Winter

From the Spokesman-Review
Road repair work now under way

Spokane Valley crews have begun permanent repairs of winter street damage, including temporarily patched potholes.

The work began last week in the Greenacres area.

City officials said street sweeping had been completed on arterials and was moving to the Ridgemont, Ponderosa and Carnahan areas, and to the Beverly Hills neighborhood near Park Road and 12th Avenue.

For more information and to report potholes in need of repair, call 921-1000 or go to the "Hot Topics" link on the city's Web site:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Where Can We Get Our Own 'Road and Bridge Fairy?'

Gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi will be in Spokane this afternoon to hold a press conference regarding the transportation financial plan he will implement if elected. That plan includes $2.2 billion for work on the North Spokane Corridor, eliminating sales tax on hybrid, electric and alternative-fuel vehicles for the next decade and having the state motor pool filled with those types of vehicles by 2015, putting $500 million toward 27 "unfunded, underfunded or delayed" projects, and $368 million into the account that pays for ferry construction and terminals.

Read the details in thisSpokesman article and let us know if you agree with detractors who say Rossi's plan isn't feasible and our transportation problems won't be solved overnight by a 'road and bridge fairy.'

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Watch SRTC's Eve Nelson on KHQ News

Tune in to Q6 News bright and early tomorrow morning. Starting at 6 a.m., SRTC Senior Planner Eve Nelson will be doing live shots for the morning show on the topic of the Regional Bike Plan that was recently developed and is out for public comment. She will also be promoting an open house tommorow night to provide the public with a chance to view the plan, make comments, and ask questions. The open house is from 4-6 p.m. in the SRTC conference room at 221 W. First Avenue on the third floor.

And if you're a bicycle commuter, use the Centennial Trail through the Gonzaga campus on your way to work tomorrow. That's where Eve will be doing her live shots, and we want the viewing public to see just how many people ride to work each day.

License Fee For Bikes?

Spokesman-Review Letters to the editor

To help the environment, the city keeps adding bike lanes. While well-intended, I believe it has a reverse result. Arterials are cut from four lanes to two lanes, causing traffic jams with resulting auto pollution. Road wear is double on the remaining lanes. Add to this the enormous cost of paint and signs for bike lanes that are rarely used.

Since I doubt there is any way to stop this trend, at least bicycles should be licensed to pay toward the cost. In 1948, I paid 50 cents as a child to license my bicycle. Today, a $33 fee for an adult bicycle license would be appropriate.

Bob Korkus

I'm going to ignore the part about the bike lanes being 'barely used' and skip right to the issue of licensing bikes. This is the second time in a day that I've heard this suggestion. A caller commenting on our Regional Bike Plan made the same suggestion. And no, it wasn't the same person as this caller was a woman. So what are your thoughts on licensing bikes?

Council Votes To Repave Bridge Avenue

It's mostly used by City workers accessing the City parking lot and drivers trying to find the shortest way between Monroe Street and downtown, but Bridge Avenue will be repaved after several months of utility work. It took a City Council vote to get it to happen though. Here's the story. What do you think, repave or wait?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Songs About Pedestrians

Not only is it Monday, but it's also raining and windy outside after a weekend of 70 degree temperatures. Well here's something to cheer you up. It's not exactly transportation-related, but it is songs that David Letterman's band made up about pedestrians they saw while out on the streets, so I guess it counts.

Ash Street Construction and Jaywalkers Beware

Lots going on locally this week in the transportation world. Here's the roundup for the week of April 14 from the Spokesman-Review's 'Getting There' column.

One of the articles deals with a sting operation to bust jaywalkers (insert dramatic music here). I walk downtown all the time and I have to admit, if you want to get anywhere on time, you kind of have to jaywalk. So do you agree or disagree? Are you morally opposed to jaywalking?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Leave your car at home to reduce 'carbon footprint'

This Spokesman article showcases how one Spokane resident, who we work with frequently here at SRTC, rides her bike as far as Airway Heights sometimes for work appointments.

April is 'Travel Green Month' and May is 'Bike to Work Week.' And while not everyone will go to the extremes that Barb Chamberlain does, let us know if you will make any extra effort at all this month or next to get to work some way besides driving alone.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Two regional infrastructure projects among ten worst in the country

If you were to guess which two projects made it into Popular Mechanics "The 10 Pieces of U.S. Infrastructure We Must Fix Now" list, what would they be. You might want to say the north/south corridor in Spokane, but it's not.

You would be correct if you said the Al ska Way Viaduct. It ranked #5, but the most surprising project on the list is the Dover Bridge near Sandpoint, Idaho. Stunningly, this $25 million replacement project ranked 7th in the nation.

It's nice to be known for something I guess...

New York Legislature turns down $354 million for "congestion pricing" pilot

Despite New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's "fight like heck" to implement a congestion pricing pilot project in Manhattan, Democrat Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver refused to give the issue a hearing in his chamber on Monday, which effectively killed the issue for another year.

The move will cost New York $354 million in federal funds that was appropriated to help the city implement the project. The original appropriation for new york city was $500 million, but the original amount was cutback when the legislature refused to implement the program last year.

The state of Washington, on the other hand, is moving forward with its congestion pricing pilot on the 520 bridge corridor in Seattle. WSDOT will receive $134 million in federal funding to implement its plan. You can read about Seattle's pilot on the thread we posted below yesterday.

You can read the whole new York City story here.

Rail Road Crossing Sting Called 'Entrapment'

Spokesman-Review Letters to the editor

Re: "Sting at railroad crossings nabs tanker driver, others," March 28: I have some questions regarding the situation that occurred on March 27 at Mission and Perry. Are people aware that there are no swing arms at this crossing? Exactly how many drivers risked colliding with a 412,000 pound railroad engine if this is permissible by law after you stop and determine it is safe to proceed (RCW 46.61.340) similar to the flashing red light at traffic intersections?

The video, "Officer on a train," shows the engine to be stopped, or moving very slowly. Are people aware that fuel truck drivers are under a more stringent law? Would this many drivers really make this extremely ludicrous decision after the traffic signal turned green if it was deemed dangerous by them? How many accidents or fatalities have happened here of the 47 statewide?

It appears that the multitude of officers concluded every driver going through the intersection deserved to be ticketed for making a law-abiding decision. If BNSF's "top priority is safety," then why don't they install swing arms at this location? How many BNSF trains have been cited for blocking intersections for more than 10 minutes? This "sting" reeks of entrapment, and I hope the unfortunate drivers will seek legal assistance.

Ray Moss

Off the top of my head, I can't picture the layout of this particular crossing. Anyone out there have more insight on it? Does Mr. Moss have a point or have you noticed blatant risk taking at this location in the past?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Your Monday congestion solution: Dublin thinks outside the box

Heads Up: Bike-to-Work week is coming in May; you can win a new bike!

Okay, I've been thinking about this for awhile now. I quit smoking 141 days ago (November 19th), and pledged to regain my health this year. Part of my plan is to get more active and return to biking. But, man, biking in from Post Falls everyday seems a bit daunting. Heck, for me, I think it would be easier to kayak to work.

I wonder if I rode my bike to the park-n-ride lot and took the bus in from Liberty Lake if that would count for Bike-to-Work week? I'll have to call Barb Chamberlain (who is featured in the video above) and check the rules. If you participate, you could win a free bike from REI -- now, that's a pretty good incentive.

You can register to participate at the Bike to Work web site.

Secretary Peters visits Seattle to push tolling

U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters was in Seattle last week advocating for a pilot tolling program on the 520 bridge. She said the new tolling process, called "congestion pricing," will eventually supplant the federal gas tax as the primary revenue stream for transportation on the federal level.

Congestion pricing is basically charging higher tolls during the high-demand periods on congested roads. For example, a $6-toll may be charged during the morning and afternoon commute hours and then it could be reduced to a $2-toll during the low demand times. Obviously, this is pricing scenario would deter drivers during the commuter hours and likely increase the use of public transit.

Peters was in Seattle to encourage the State Department of Transportation to fast-track the 520 bridge project, as it is one of the first pilot programs for this type of tolling in the country.

Read the Associated Press story on the Northwest Cable News web site here.

Thanks for the tip, Brian

Brian, who linked to us from , wants to remind commuters that can help you find a carpool partner in our area simply by singing up for this free service. This will come in handy for some who are considering participation in "rideshare month" this April.

BTW, if you have tip for us (and it's related to transportation). Send it along and we'll make you famous like we did for Brian here.

Bicycle, bicycle ... I want to ride my bicycle; I want to ride my bike...

The City of Spokane and the state are hitting the road this month with new and improved bicycle master plans. The city's plan, which directs spending priorities for bike facilities, hasn't been updated since the 1960's. The public will have three opportunities to comment on the city's plan. For more details on the plan read Thomas Clouse's "Getting There" column in today's Spokesman Review.

By the way, if you're into biking and you haven't seen the bike boulevard video that was shot in Berkley, you have to take a couple of minutes and watch the video above.

Spokane City officials will host three open houses later this month to get public ideas and comments as it works to update the Master Bike Plan. The first open house will be from 6 to 8 p.m. April 22 at the Southside Activity Center, 3151 E. 27th Ave. The next open house will be from 7 to 9 p.m. on April 24 at the West Central Community Center, 1603 N. Belt St., and the final open house will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Northeast Community Center at 4001 N. Cook St.

The state Department of Transportation will join the April 24 open house at the West Central Community Center, 1603 N. Belt, to get input on the state's Bicycle and Pedestrian Walkways Plan.

More Ice And Mayhem Caused By Mother Nature

I know I sound like a broken record here, but when will it end?? it's April and icy roads are still causing accidents and delays. Here's the latest mayhem report from the Spokesman-Review.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Blogger Seeks Position In Warm Climate

Read today's weather report from the Spokesman-Review then refer to the previous posting regarding snow tires. Then repeat after me: '*&^%$#$#!@)(*&^%$!'

Snow advisory predicts 1 to 3 inches tonight
Staff reports
April 4, 2008

The region's strange spring weather will continue this weekend with rain and snow expected.

A snow advisory from the National Weather Service predicted 1 o 3 inches could fall around the Inland Northwest, with some areas getting as much as 6. The overnight low should be about 34 in Spokane and 27 in Coeur d'Alene.

Snow is likely before 11 a.m. Saturday, followed by a chance of rain showers.

So, I need some help keeping my sanity. Tell me what you're doing to keep your spirits up until the real spring arrives.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

From The WSDOT

We mean it this time, studded tires must now be removed no later than midnight this Saturday, April 5th (The normal removal date would have been Monday, March 31 at midnight).

Drivers who are not planning mountain pass travel are encouraged to remove their studded tires now. Motorists planning mountain pass travel after that date should carry chains.

Idaho drivers should note that, although studded tires are legal in that state until April 31st, Idaho vehicles entering Washington cannot have studded tires after April 5.

April Is Rideshare Month, How Are You Doing Your Part?

Yesterday, the Spokane County Commute Trip Reduction program held a news conference and event to kick off their 'Travel Green' campaign to encourage commuters to take an alternative form of transportation at least once a month in April, which is 'Rideshare Month.'

Today the Spokesman's 'A Matter of Opinion' blog is asking for your bike/ped/bus stories. So get on there and tell 'em, I'm interested to hear how many of you do something besides drive alone to get to work.

I may even contribute my story about the bus driver who finds yellow lights an affront to his sensibilities, which means every time we encounter one everyone's belongings end up in the back of the bus.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Public Comment Period Extended

Do you have input to share with the City of Spokane Valley's Planning Commission on the proposed Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan? The period to submit written public comment has been extended to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 4. Call 688-0050 for more infomation or email

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Bike Plan Mania

It's that time, time to get a Bike Plan together if you're a government agency. The City of Spokane is soliciting input on their City Bike Plan, SRTC has just put it's Spokane Regional Bike Plan out for public comment, and now the Washington State Department of Transportation is updating its 2008 – 2027 Washington State Bicycle Facilities and Pedestrian Walkways Plan.

The plan will include strategies for improving connections, increasing coordination and reducing traffic congestion.

A draft of the Plan is available here The period to submit comments extends through the end of May. Comments can be submitted by calling the toll free number 1-866-375-6729.

In addition, WSDOT will host a public hearing on April 24 from 7 – 9 p.m. at the West Central Community Center, 1603 N. Belt Street.

Google adds street view for Spokane and Kootenai counties

Our friends at the MetroSpokane Blog discovered recently that Google has added an very cool new feature called street view. Just go to Google and click the "Map" link at the top of the page. Type in any address in Kootenai or Spokane county. Then click on the "Street View" button and prepare to be amazed. Be careful it is addictive.

About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.