Friday, February 26, 2010

Writer Suggests Improvements to 195-I90 On-Ramp

Spokesman-Review Letters To The Editor
Worst on ramp ever

I’ve read that the Washington Department of Transportation will be receiving federal stimulus money, and I have a suggestion for a much needed freeway project. The population in southwestern Spokane has increased greatly in the past few years and Highway 195 is our only real option when travelling downtown, to the north side or to the Valley. Where Highway 195 intersects Interstate 90 is the most dangerous on-ramp situation that I have ever seen.

The merge is immediate. There are not even a few yards of a dedicated lane for easing into 60 mph traffic. I cannot think of another on ramp where you are sometimes forced to go from a complete stop to 60 mph.

When the road resurfacing project was in progress last year, this spot had barrels prohibiting eastbound drivers from accessing this far-right lane, and the merge was safe and seamless. Last week there was an accident at this precise spot and traffic was backed up for miles on both 195 and I-90.

Please consider a longer merge lane, reinstalling the barrels, or signage requesting eastbound drivers to move left for merging traffic. It could save a life.

Rose Kelly Rhoades

So what do you think? Do you agree with Ms. Rhoades? I've never had trouble with that merge-point, but the only time I've actually used that on-ramp is late at night coming home from a friend's house off of 195, and there's never any traffic at that time of night.

City Switches To Re-Refined Oil In Fleet Vehicles

Did you know that the City of Spokane’s Fleet Services Department is now using re-refined motor oil for all City-owned vehicles, as part of ongoing work at the City to implement sustainable practices? I didn't either, but a news release just sent out says the City will spend an additional $2,300 a year to buy the re-refined oil, which typically costs about 25 cents more per gallon than new motor oil. The City has about 1,400 vehicles in its fleet and uses about 9,200 gallons of oil annually.

Less energy is required to produce a gallon of re-refined motor oil than motor oil directly from crude oil. According to the release, buying re-refined oil reduces U.S. dependence on foreign oil, conserves natural resources, eliminates a waste material, and helps create jobs.

Since Mayor Verner took office, the City has implemented a series of steps to be more 'sustainable.' Some recent examples include:

- Community Gardens in East Central and Hillyard opened last summer on vacant Water Department property.
- Recycled glass was used in the subgrade as part of the reconstruction of Market Street.
- A $100 rebate was offered to citizens who agreed to remove 1,000 square feet of lawn and replace it with xeriscaping or similar water-conserving landscaping.
- A Green Building Resource Center was opened in City Hall, and a sustainability collection was added at the Downtown Library.
- The addition of new technology that powers down employees’ personal computers when not in use.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Jobs Bill Update

There's a lot of confusion around the Jobs Bill. A lot of people think it already passed and want to know when money will start rolling in for construction projects. Well, we're not quite there yet. The Senate yesterday passed a $15 billion version of the bill, which is significantly smaller that the $154 billion Jobs Bill the House of Representatives passed late last year. As a result of the differences between the two bills, the $15 billion Senate version will now go back to the House for re-consideration.

House members could choose to vote on the Senate bill without any changes and send the $15 billion version to the president for a signature, or they could establish a conference committee to reconcile the differences between the bills.

A decision on how to proceed is likely to be announced late this week or early next week. The extention of the SAFETEA-LU transportation act expires at the end of February, and both versions of the Jobs Bills will extend it.

Besides the amount of money allocated to them, the big differences between the two versions of the bill are(provided by the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors):

1) Duration - the House version of the SAFETEA-LU extension runs through the end of September (Fiscal year); the Senate version runs through December, the calendar year.

2) Rescission - the Senate version restores the $8.7 billion rescinded from the states last fall. The House version does not.

3) State/Local Match - the House version waives the state/local match requirements for highway funds through the extension (September); however, the Senate bill does not.

4) Earmarked programs - The Senate version distributes 2010 funds through the formula programs, and adds the amount of earmarks awarded in 2009 to the states through the standard formula programs. Meanwhile, the House version instructs USDOT to distribute funds for the Projects of National and Regional Significance and corridors programs using the program criteria, and sends the remaining earmarked funds out to the states for use in the standard formula programs.

Airport Board Looking For Volunteers

Got extra time on your hands and an interest in how local air travel is run? Spokane County is looking for a volunteer to serve on the Joint Spokane County and City Airport Board.

The Spokane Airport Board oversees things to make sure citizens are provided the best possible airport administration, facilities and services. The Board consists of five members that meet on the third Wednesday of every month at 9 a.m. Members must have leadership qualities, experience in business, finance, construction, administration and civic affairs, knowledge in the field of aviation, and a willingness to devote a substantial amount of time and personal expense to the Board. Well that just ruled me out.

Applications can be downloaded here. They must be submitted by March 1 at 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Olympics Adding Traffic- And Incidents- To West Side Roads

Here's an interesting item from the Washington State Department of Transportation blog. Apparently they have put more incident response crews on the roads on the west side of the state to keep things moving with an increase in traffic headed up to Vancouver and the Olympics. And they're seeing an increase in 'incidents,' specifically abandoned cars and disabled vehicles. Here are the numbers.

Some Cities Accused Of Trickery Involving Red Light Cameras

This is going to get those of you that oppose the 'Photo Red' cameras going. Some people have accused the City of Spokane of using the red light cameras not to promote safety, but to drum up revenue.

Well, this article from CNET News says some cities are even using a sneaky trick to catch more drivers running red lights, which means they collect more money. They even named some of the cities, and no, Spokane is not on the list.

The money raised locally by the red light cameras goes toward 'traffic calming' measures, so if you have to pay a fine for running a red light, at least you have the consolation of knowing your money is going towards safety improvements.

Car Thefts Linked To Bigger Crimes

Did you know that right around 60 cars are stolen per week in the City of Spokane? Seems like a pretty big number, and police say there's a handful of career criminals behind these thefts. Here's the story from the Spokesman-Review.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

State Transportation Budget Unveiled

The Washington State Senate unveiled an $8.6 billion transportation budget yesterday, attempting to balance construction-job creation with cuts forced by less revenue. Here's an overview of the budget, from the Olympian.

Senate Transportation Committee Opposes Gas Tax Increase

The article below was in the Spokesman-Review today. Normally I would just provide a link, but it was one of those articles that you have to be a paying customer to read, so I used the office's subscription info to access it and post it here for you.

Leaders of the Senate Transportation Committee added their voices Monday to the chorus opposing a tax increase that could add 3 cents to a gallon of gasoline.

A proposal called the “Clean Water Act of 2010,” which would nearly triple the Model Toxics Control Act first imposed by voters in 1988, is being requested by Gov. Chris Gregoire and co-sponsored by 23 Senate Democrats. But instead of dedicating all the money collected to pollution control, two-thirds would be sent to the general fund for the next year in an attempt to help fill a projected $2.8 billion gap between expected revenues and expenses. The amount shifted to the general fund would gradually decline to zero by 2015.

Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island and chairwoman of the Transportation Committee, said such a strategy would almost certainly trigger court action on whether it’s constitutional.

“I’m sure if it passes it will be challenged, there’s no doubt about that,” Haugen said as the committee announced the supplemental transportation budget. “It is, in essence, a 3 cent gas tax.”

Sen. Chris Marr, D-Spokane and the committee vice chairman, said increasing the tax on oil and other toxic substances to pay for storm water cleanup is the wrong approach. Although oil products do wash down storm drains and into streams, rivers and the Puget Sound, he favors a more direct charge on pollution discharged into the waterways.

Later Monday, the Senate Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on the tax proposal and attracted some of the same comments as a hearing last week in the House of Representatives.

Managers and workers from the state’s refining industry said the increase could devastate them because the oil wholesale business is very competitive. They could pass on the tax to drivers in Washington state, which would cut demand, but they probably can’t pass it on to the other half of their customers in the surrounding states. Oil companies could close Washington refineries in Anacortes in favor of more economical ones elsewhere, costing thousands of jobs in Skagit County.

Proponents of the tax included officials from cities who are under pressure from state and federal agencies to clean up their storm water systems, and building trades unions whose members hope to be put back to work by pollution control projects funded by the extra tax revenue. Nick Federici of the Low Income Housing Alliance discounted the argument that the state shouldn’t take some of the money for other programs during the current budget crisis, saying not every tax has a direct connection to the programs it helps support.

Democratic leaders in the Senate and the House will announce budget proposals today to lay out whether they want to raise the toxics tax or any other tax in an effort to cover part of the budget gap.

Requirements Changed To Use Photo Red Money

Spokane City neighborhood councils will no longer have to come up with 'match' money in order to use revenue the city collects from red light camera tickets. Money raised from the red light cameras goes into a fund to be used for 'traffic calming' measures by the City's neighborhood councils. Last night, City Council voted to get rid of the match money required to use those funds. Here are the details.

There are a lot of people out there who don't like the red light cameras because they say they are simply a money maker. City officials disagree though, saying it is aimed at improving traffic safety. Now that there is no match required, more safety projects will probably move forward across the city. Does that make you feel better about this program?

Monday, February 22, 2010

NSC Stimulus Funding Puts McMorris Rodgers In Hot Seat

Some people are calling Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers hypocritical, after she voted against the stimulus bill a year ago and then blogged about how the bill hasn't stimulated the economy, yet sent out a news release last week saying how great it is that the North Spokane Corridor has received $35 million in stimulus money.

Others say it's McMorris Rodgers' job to solicit grant money on behalf of constituents regardless of how she voted on the bill. There have been numerous letters to the editor of the Spokesman-Review on this subject andtoday's 'Getting There' column is also devoted to it.

Read the article and let me know what you think.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I think I Saw This In The Movie Jumanji

I've seen some weird stuff when driving down the road before, but never a zebra. An Atlanta highway turned into a circus yesterday when an escaped zebra galloped along a busy section of interstate with police in hot pursuit.

The animal was exercising outside a downtown arena when something spooked him, said a Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus spokeswoman. The zebra broke away from his trainers and wriggled through a fence, leading his trainers and police on a 40-minute chase through downtown to the interstate highway that cuts through the center of the city. Police cruisers blocked off all southbound lanes of Interstate 75and were able to herd the zebra over to the right shoulder and off an entrance ramp, where they nabbed him. Here's some video of after he was caught.

Not Everyone Is For The NSC

A couple weeks ago, the Inlander published this editorial by Spokane resident John Covert on why Spokane doesn't need a north-south freeway and how the Washington State Department of Transportation is wasting taxpayer dollars on the NSC.

In this week's issue, the Inlander printed this rebuttal they received via email from someone going by 'abdsod1980:'

"Do you even live in Spokane? Have you ever driven north? While I wish they built it with light rail track running down the middle at the same time, but other than that, sorry, there is no argument that this is necessary. You are obviously from Seattle or live in Seattle and know nothing about Spokane, horrible article by the Inlander- totally disappointed."

Well, abdsod1980, thanks for the sentiment but it's not just people on the west side who think we don't need another freeway. You might be surprised how many people in Spokane are against building the NSC, even at this late date when construction has already started. A lot of people feel it will contribute to urban sprawl (even though the sprawl is already there without the freeway) and divide neighborhoods (this is a very real concern that the WSDOT has been working with the Hillyard and a few other neighborhoods to address). Even Spokane City Councilman Richard Rush hasn't been shy about voicing his displeasure regarding the NSC.

With the announcement of the NSC receiving $35 million in TIGER funds this week, and construction going strong this summer, I see this topic being in the news a lot in the near future.

Some Vacation Pictures I'm Trying To Pass Off As Work-Related

So it's Friday. You deserve a change of pace and my accountant says that if I want to write off any of my recent vacation I have to show that at least a small portion of it was work-related. So bear with me while I treat you to some transportation-related pictures from Hawaii. And feel free to ask questions, that makes it really seem work-related in case the IRS comes calling later.

This is SRTC Transportation Planner Bonnie on a scooter that the resort security officers use. How cool is that thing? We've asked about the possibility of getting a company car before here at SRC, but I think we should push for one of these instead.

If we can't get that scooter, maybe the boss man will agree to this little number. These were little mopeds that you could rent. Before embarking on our trip, we had discussed that we wanted to rent mopeds for at least one day. Once we got to Maui though, it became obvious that Maui traffic is too dangerous for bike or moped riding in most areas. The few mopeds we did see were operating in the bike lane and the even fewer bicyclists we noticed were weaving in and out of traffic.

That yellow writing on the car door says 'Abandoned vehicle' but who would abandon this beauty? It's a perfect island car. It was weird, while driving in the more rural areas, we saw abandoned cars all over. All I can figure is, being an island, maybe Maui doesn't have wrecking yards so there's nothing to do with old cars you can no longer resell? I haven't done the research on that though, and will have to look into it.

This was an unusual traffic sign that we saw on the famous road to Hana. Not state-sanctioned, I'm sure. So great, I was thinking; in Washington and Idaho you have to watch for deer and elk crossing the road. In Hawaii it's papayas! I don't even think I'd recognize a papaya if it crossed in front of me. I'd smoosh it before I'd realize what I'd just hit.

And finally, this is the not-so-famous Pilani Highway, but it should be much more famous than the Hana Highway. Most people make the famed trip to Hana, then turn around and come back the way they came. Not our group of stubborn, independent, tourists who all work in transportation and wanted to see how bad of a road it could really be. So, we decided we would take the long way, and it was really bad. And despite Pilani being a state highway, it was not only long but treacherous as well. The road was dirt in most places, only about a car-width wide and had tons of blind corners where you could easily fall off the cliff into the ocean if you were in the outside 'lane.' Way worse than the Hana Highway. Oh yeah, and the rental company had asked us not to take our rental car there, but we viewed that more as a suggestion than a mandate.

So any questions? I also have a picture of a submarine but since the majority of people don't travel by sub figured it probably wasn't appropriate for this post.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

NSC Gets $35M In TIGER Funds!

All the bigwigs were in town today for the North Spokane Corridor TIGER grant announcement. The NSC will receive $35 million in TIGER grant money to complete the southbound lanes from Farwell to Francis!

Senator Patty Murray, Governor Gregoire, Secretary of Transportation Paula Hammond, and Senators Lisa Brown and Chris Marr were in town for a news conference to make the official announcement. SRTC's Transportation Director, Glenn Miles, was also there and took these pictures.

City Of Spokane Obstructions

The City of Spokane will have the following obstructions in the coming week:

- Friday, Feb. 19, Jefferson St. from Second to First avenues from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m.

- Saturday, Feb. 20, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Riverside Ave. from Washington to Stevens streets; and First Ave. from Cedar to Madison streets. Additionally, in the afternoon Riverside Ave. from Stevens to Browne streets; and Bernard St. from Main to Sprague avenues will have intermittent closures and flaggers will be in place.

- Sunday, Feb. 21, from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Riverside Ave. from Lincoln to Wall streets; and Post St. from Main to Sprague avenues.

School Districts Use Bus Ads To Raise Money

School districts are just as desperate as everyone else lately to plug budget holes. And in their desperation, some are turning to an untapped resource to raise money; selling advertising on the sides of school buses.

Advertisements have popped up on buses in Arizona and Massachusetts and are set to appear in Michigan and Colorado soon. Here's a USA Today article on this new money maker.

What's your opinion on this? Does it give the impression that our children are 'for sale' or bombard them with even more advertising than they already deal with on a daily basis, or is it okay as long as the ads don't promote alcohol, cigarettes, prescription drugs or anything in the least bit sexual?

WSDOT Experiments With Animal-Vehicle Collision Prevention Methods

It's that time of year when animals are coming down to the lower levels to forage for food. And too often, they're interacting with traffic. In Idaho, motion detector signs have recently been installed that flash when large game try to cross the road, alerting drivers.

So what's being done in Washington to prevent collisions between cars and animals? A variety of solutions have been tried with varying degrees of success. Everything from vehicle-mounted deer whistles to radio collars on elk to wildlife fences have been given a shot.

The Washington State Department of Transportation blog has an article today on what has been proven to work and what hasn't when it comes to preventing vehicle-animal collisions.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

TAC Application Deadline is Friday

A reminder that if you wanted to apply to be a member of SRTC newly 'Transportation Advisory Committee' (TAC), you only have a few days left to submit your application.

TAC members will be responsible for advising Board members on recommendations regarding plans, programs, and activities conducted by SRTC. The purpose of creating the TAC is to promote transparency and provide an opportunity for the public to be involved in SRTC's programs.

The TAC will be made up of 13 members that meet on a quarterly basis. Selected members should reflect the diversity of geography, modal and policy expertise, local jurisdictions, agencies, and constituent groups with a direct connection to local transportation planning.

Here's a link to more information and the TAC application. The deadline to apply is this Friday, Feb. 19.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Special Board Meeting Scheduled For 3/5

Here's your advance notice that SRTC is hosting a special Board Meeting on March 5. Don't stress yourself out trying to attend though, as it looks like it will probably go straight into an Executive Session.

So far I have no idea what's on the agenda- I just have to post it here as part of our legal obligation. That's one thing I can cross off my list for today.

Tiger Grants To Be Announced Wednesday

Just a heads up that U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood will announce tomorrow the projects that will receive TIGER funding. Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) is a supplementary grant program included under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) from last year. It will provide $1.5 billion for projects. Funding was competitive.

Washington State submitted three projects for possible funding; the North Spokane Corridor, SR 520 in Western Washington, and I-5/SR 500 Interschange in southwest Washington. Here are the details.

I'll keep you updated when I hear if we got any money.

Weigh Station Move Project To Start In Spring

I was going to link an article here to a Journal of Business article on the move of the state line weigh station. The Journal charges to read their articles though so I'll just hit the highlights so you know what's going on:

- The weigh station, currently located on Interstate 90 near the Washington-Idaho border, is going to be moved about half a mile west and have its own dedicated freeway off- and -on ramps.

- The move will relieve traffic congestion at the nearby Idaho Road interchange and enable installation of sensors along the freeway that will monitor truck traffic.

- The low bidder on the project was Selland Construction out of Wenatchee, with a bid of $6.7 million- much lower than the engineers estimate of $10.3 million.

- The project is expected to start this spring and take about 18 months to complete.

- The new station will be equipped with a weigh-in-motion system that will allow trucks to be weighed while they are travelling at highways speeds.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I'm Already Making Summer Plans For You

Yes, it's early, but mark July 11 and August 22 on your calendar right now. Those are the dates of the first two 'Spokane Summer Parkways' events. And two traffic bills have passed the Senate and move on to the House now. Here's what's happening this week from the Spokesman-Review's 'Getting There' transportation column.

Early Warning- Appleway Bridge To Close In May

Spokane County wants to get the word out about the pending closure of the Applway Bridge over the Spokane River just north of the State Line/I90 interchange. The bridge is the primary access to State Line Village, Otis Orchards, and west Post Falls.

The bridge is structurally deficient and needs to be replaced. The project to replace the bridge will advertise for construction bids this month with bid opening scheduled in March. The bridge is expected to be closed to traffic in May for the two years it will take to build a new bridge.

Access to the Centennial Trail will also be affected by the project. Detour information will be sent out when routes are finalized and a firm date for closure is known.

If you have any questions about this project, you can contact Spokane County Traffic Engineer Barry Greene by clicking here.

EWU Students Could Get Paid For Wearing Seatbelts

For those of you who attend Eastern Washington University, or have children who do, you could be rewarded with money this month- just for wearing your seatbelt on campus!

The EWU Police Department and the Spokane County Target Zero Task Force (formerly the Spokane County Traffic Safety Commission) are treaming up for the “Click It AND Ticket Project” in February. The campaign is designed to increase seatbelt usage and raise awareness of the importance of seatbelts among Eastern students. The program is supported by a grant from State Farm Insurance.

EWU police officers will be stationed in the parking lots around campus and “ticketing” drivers wearing seatbelts. The mock tickets can be entered into a drawing to win a $124 pre-paid debit card.

Aubrey L. White Parkway Closed

If you drive this route, you probably already know this, but Aubrey L. White Parkway will be closed from Rifle Club Rd. to the Bowl and Pitcher entrance of Riverside State Park starting today. The closure is in order to replace PVC pipes under the road with more durable iron ones. Nine Mile Rd. is an alternate route.

No word from the City of Spokane on how long this project will take to complete. The $909,000 project is being funded by the City of Spokane Wastewater Department.

We're Back! On A Holiday

Yes, it's a holiday. No, SRTC isn't closed. While pretty much every other government entity will be taking the day off today, we're still in our cubicles, slaving away. So if you need to do business with the City of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Spokane County, WSDOT or anyone else government-affiliated, you have to wait until tomorrow.

If you want to take advantage of the holiday to buy a cheap mattress (why are there so many furniture sales associated with President's Day?) though, you don't have to pay parking meters today.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nothing to see here... move along, now...

Gotta love those CYA contracts that allow security guards to just stand by and watch things unfold even when a 15-year-old girl getting her head stomped in right at their feet. Check it out here. At least one guard had the decency to watch and ensure the entire beating and mugging went off without a hitch... the other two had to turn away. They must not have checked their conscience at the door when they signed on for their shift. This video made national news and moust be doing wonders for transit agencies in Seattle...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Blogging Hiatus 2010

You probably won't be seeing any new blog posts until at least early next week. I am headed off for vacation (hopefully not like the one in the picture) with a couple other SRTC staffers and former staffers and Jeff Selle is headed to the west side of the state for a 'Smart Growth' conference that a lot of other local agencies will be at as well. Jeff should be back in the saddle by Monday or Tuesday of next week and blogging away, but he's somewhat of a wild card so without me here to nag him, it's hard to say.

In the meantime, scroll down through past threads and enjoy some of our 'best of' posts.- Staci

Fog Slowing Things Down

Take it easy out there, because it's foggy, particularly in the outlying areas. I was driving along in the valley and it was clear, then two seconds later I was enveloped in a thick fog. This happened several times, so slow down as you may lose visibility within seconds.

Could Jobs Bill Mean More Construction For Spokane?

John Speare from the 'Cycling Spokane' blog has been kind enough to let me 'guest blog' on occasion, when I think there is something going on that would interest the average bicyclist or pedestrian. Well, I've been getting a lot of questions about the proposed 'jobs bill' and what it will mean for our area. Will we get transportation money from it? What kind of projects will it fund? Are local projects 'shovel ready' and eligible for these funds? There are a lot of questions floating around but few answers.

So, I thought I'd tackle it on John's blog. Here's a link to the few answers I have.

Implications Unclear From New DUI Laws

I guess I hadn't realized that new tougher driving under the influence laws in Washington require all offenders, even people arrested on DUI charges for the first time or those who blow just at .08, to install ignition interlock devices on their cars in order to get their drivers license back. And they have to have it in their car for two years, even if they do deferred prosecution.

A Spokane City police officer was fired recently after being arrested for drunk driving because the Police Chief said the device would hamper his job performance, and now the County is wondering how it will deal with a sheriff's deputy arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. Here's an article in the Spokesman-Review today about the implications of these new, tougher laws.

I'm definetely against drunk driving, but it seems a little extreme to me to require an ignition interlock device for TWO YEARS for someone who goes through deferred prosecution, meaning they pay substantial fines, attend intense (sometimes daily) counseling, attend AA or other meetings, and are closely monitored by the court. Seems to me that that's enough to scare you straight as I know people who have done this program and said it's a major phsycological, financial and time strain. But maybe I'm too lax. Anyone?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I stepped out of the office to run some errands around 11:30 a.m. yesterday. I headed for the Browne's Addition Rosauers and while waiting at the light on Second, noticed a woman pulled over on the side of the road, doing a sobriety test! At 11:30 a.m.! Okay, I guess there's nothing stopping you from getting drunk (or using drugs) at any time, but I've never seen a DUI stop that early in the day. Does anyone know how common, or uncommon, this is?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Editorial Says Reducing Red Light Fines Not Good Idea

Washington state senator John Kastama of Puyallup and Representative Christopher Hurst of Enumclaw have recently introduced bills to reduce the fine from red light cameras to just $25.

An editorial in the Spokesman-Review today says that if that happens, cities like Spokane that have the controversial red light cameras would pay more to install and operate them than they would bring in in revenue.

The red light cameras are a hot topic around here. Any insight?

Local Man Rides Thousands Of Miles For Commute

This week's 'Getting There' column in the Spokesman-Review is a profile of a local man who bicycle commutes. He's not just any bike rider though, this guy expects to log 6,000 miles this year, all commuting back and forth to work. Crazy, huh? But not so crazy when you consider the benefits. Here's the story.

Also, there's a mention in the column of SRTC's new 'Transportation Advisory Committee' and how you can apply to be a member if you're interested.

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.