Thursday, November 4, 2010

Writer Says Safety Spending Is Silly

Silly Street Spending
Spokesman-Review Letter to the Editor

The city is loading up on us. Recently, we’ve heard the rumblings of adding bike lanes downtown that will take car lanes away. Right! Let’s suppress what 99.9 percent of what our citizens want in order to appease the 0.1 percent who ride bicycles through downtown.

Now, the city, coerced by the special interests represented by the program manager of the incredibly rich University District, is hoping to use $2 million in increased property taxes just for planning and design of a complete makeover called “The Division Gateways Corridor.”

How many millions will the taxpayers be forced to put out for construction of these “necessities” – new street trees, artwork, and bike racks! But, wait, it’s for pedestrian safety!

If pedestrians use the crosswalks legally, why would they need ultra-safety at the cost of millions? Meanwhile, we don’t have enough in the budget to pay for proper police protection.

Michael Wiman
Deer Park

Apparently Mr. Wiman doesn't try to cross downtown streets everyday like I do and has either some very close near-misses with cars or gets yelled at on a daily basis for slowing traffic down. The sign says 'walk' so I walk. What's illegal about that?


Not said...

How thoughtful of Mr. Wiman to be concerned about Spokane taxpayers, even though he pays property tax up in Deer Park.
- Ventura

Anonymous said...

Having worked in the downtown core since 1992 I can vouch for the fact that pedestrians cannot depend crossing safely, even when using the crosswalks correctly. I've lost track of how many close calls I've had. Too many drivers seem to only pay attention to other cars and not other objects (i.e. humans, bicylists) in or on the street.

SRTC Staff said...

It's not just the close calls that bother me (okay I guess it does bother me when I have near-death experiences), but that every time someone almosts runs me over, they then feel they have to yell at me for having the audacity to be in the crosswalk. Every once in a while I'll get someone who apologizes and says they didn't see the walk signal, but in almost six years downtown, that's only happened a couple times.

vanillajane said...

It's too bad motorists are so entitlement minded. It's too bad policies have encouraged this way of thinking for a long time.

It's well known that the safer you make cycling and walking areas, the more people participate. Many avoid these healthy activities because of safety risks.

Besides that, did EVERYONE play the game, yet? You know, the whatsedoesit transportation game? Bike and ped infrastructure is SO CHEAP to build and maintain compared to ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING!

Anonymous said...

Haha. "Not" has a very good point!

SRTC Staff said...

In answer to your question Holly, I think there are three people in the county who haven't played the game yet, so I'll be driving to their homes with my laptop this afternoon and sitting down with them to get them to play. But seriously, I'm hearing from a LOT of people how surprised they are at the cost of bike/ped infrastructure.

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.