Friday, July 29, 2011

Signing Off. Just For A Week.

This is an actual scene from my vacation last year. And I'm happy to say I will be employeeing that boat driver again next week as I once again take a week off in the middle of the summer to do absolutely nothing. I'm so lazy on vacation I can't even be bothered to drive a boat. That's why I rely on neighbor children.

My point here is that Jeff will be taking over the blog next week. He's working on a big grant application though, so I'm guessing he won't be posting at the same alarming rate that I do. Play nice please so Jeff will cover for me again on my next vacation.

Mileage Deal Reached With Automakers

President Obama today announced an agreement with major auto makers to increase the average fuel economy by the year 2025- to over 54 miles per gallon!

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood writes about it in his blog today.

I90 Project Wrapping Up Early

The Spokesman-Review is reporting that a bridge repair project on Interstate 90 in East Spokane is more than a week ahead of schedule and should be completed by Sunday.

Road restrictions on I-90 from Altamont to Havana streets will be lifted in time for Monday’s morning commute, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The job involved rebuilding overpass bridges at Havana and Altamont. Incentives for early completion were included in the $941,000 contract, and Westway took advantage of those, Simonson said.

Alaska Picks Up Southwest's Dropped Flights Slack

You can stop with the panic now over how you're going to get to Seattle from Spokane once Southwest Airlines cuts that route in January. Alaska Airlines announced yesterday it's taking up the slack by adding two new daily flights from Spokane to Seattle and Boise. The service begins daily starting January 8, 2012, right around the same time Southwest will stop it's Spokane-Seattle flights. KXLY News has the details.

New Road Closures For Next Week

You knew it was coming and here it is: new road closures due to construction next week. They're posted on the home page of the website. New suggested alternate route maps are also posted on the 'Alternate Routes' page.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Even Al-Qaeda Criticizing Our Transportation System Now

It's Thursday and we're STILL slogging through this week that won't seem to end. I don't know about you, but I need a nap and maybe a laugh. Well, can't do much for you on the nap end, especially since the janitor stole my nest of shredded copier paper from under my desk, but this article from The Onion should provide the laugh. According to the (satirical) article, Al-Qaeda leaders criticized the U.S. government for its lack of foresight in failing to provide Americans with efficient and reliable modes of public transport to reduce traffic congestion, lower carbon emissions, improve air quality, and supply suitable targets for terrorists.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Good Samaritans Foil Bicycle Thief

Awesome video of a would-be bicycle thief being foiled in San Francisco.

Southwest Cutting Spokane-Seattle Flight

Can't talk now, I'm mourning the loss of the Southwest Airlines direct flights between Spokane and Seattle. The airline says they'll discontinuing the flight in January, in order to cut costs. Here are the routes they'll keep.

Got A Traffic Ticket? Just Take Care Of It Already

Here's some interesting trivia for you; about 25% of traffic tickets per year in Washington State end up in collections! That means 1/4 of us aren't paying, or taking care of, our tickets. You may want to amend that behavior, because there are a LOT of hoops to jump through to get your license back if you lose it due to unpaid tickets, as detailed in this Spokesman-Review article.

Thanks For The Thanks

To the nice lady named Jeanne who left me the voicemail thanking me for fixing Lyons and Nevada: I wish I could take credit for it, but it's the folks at the City who did that work. I have forwarded your thanks and your request for a right turn lane on to them. It's nice to hear a positive message rather than a complaint about construction now and then. Thanks for the call!

Bike Swap Sponsors Needed

Spokane's Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) program recently announced that they're partnering with the Friends of the Centennial Trail to host the 1st Annual Spokane Bike Swap Event in March of 2012, at the Spokane County Fair and Expo. The Bike Swap will provide a venue for folks to purchase affordable bicycles and bicycle-related products that can be used for recreation, health and fitness, and transportation for all. Proceeds from the event will go to the Friends of the Centennial Trail.

Sounds like a great event, but what it needs now are sponsors. CTR is looking for companies that are willing to provide financial donations in return for publicity.

If you or your company are interested, or have questions, contact LeAnn Yamamoto at the CTR program at (509) 477-7674 or email her here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bike/Ped Master Program Schedule Modified

To provide additional time for review, the schedule for consideration of Spokane Valley's proposed Bike & Pedestrian Master Program (BPMP) has been modified. Anticipated readings of the ordinance adopting the BPMP originally scheduled for August 9 and 23 have been cancelled.

A discussion of the BPMP has been added to the agenda for the regularly scheduled Study Session on Tuesday, August 30 at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers.

Community members are welcome to attend the August 30 Study Session. Because it is a Study Session, no public comment will be taken.

The proposed BPMP includes an inventory and assessment of current biking/walking facilities as well as recommendations for making Spokane Valley safer and more attractive for those modes of transportation.

Downtown Street Closures Wednesday

Washington and Stevens streets from First to Third avenues in downtown Spokane will be closed on Wednesday, July 27, as part of paving work on Second Avenue rehabilitation project. The south half of Second Avenue between Browne and Howard streets will be paved, and drivers should consider alternative routes, including the Division/Browne streets and Maple/Ash streets corridors.

The City is rehabilitating Second Avenue from Arthur to Howard streets. The first phase from Arthur to Browne streets was completed earlier this summer. The entire project is expected to be complete by mid-September.

City Council Press Candidate Calls Streetcar 'Sexy'

Spokane City Council President candidate Victor Noder had some... um... interesting things to say about transportation in Spokane when he sat down with the Spokesman-Review to explain why he's the best candidate for the position.

In fact, his answers to many of the questions, across a variety of issues, are interesting. Why does he feel he's the best candidate? His looks, for one thing. Would he support a tax boost for libraries? Noder feels libraries are a place for bums to 'crash out' among other things. In response to the question should a new Street Bond include money to pay for sidewalks, bike lanes, street trees or other improvements besides pavement from “curb-to-curb" Noder responded "Street trees conflict with yard gardens."

Do your homework before you vote folks and check out your candidates. The Noder interview is here. I'll post other candidate interviews as they're published.

Will Transportation Funding Go Away If Debt Deal Isn't Reached?

So the big question of the day is, if a debt deal isn’t reached and the government defaults, what will happen to transportation funding?

According to an analysis by the Bipartisan Policy Commission (BPC) there would be barely enough funding to pay interest, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, defense, and unemployment benefits. But another scenario suggests a “safety net” analysis swaps defense spending for some social program spending.

Either way, transportation funding would be at the bottom of the list, and payments to states and local agencies presumably would stop. Or would they? Larry Ehl at Transportation Issues Daily talked to some transportation heavy weights on what they think will happen.

Council Approves Trolley As Preferred Alternative

Spokane's City Council last night voted to approve the recommendation of an electric trolley system through the downtown area, but that doesn't mean it's a done deal. The decision means that’s the system that will be pursued in the coming years, but it would still need voter approval for local taxes needed to pay for the approximately $36 million system. The Spokesman-Review has details on when a vote would take place and where the trolley would run.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Council To Vote On STA Plan Tonight

Spokane's City Council will be asked to vote tonight on a plan to build a trolley bus line in downtown Spokane. The Spokane Transit Authority board unanimously approved moving forward with the plan, but now City Council gets a shot at it.

The electric trolley bus would carry passengers from Browne's Addition through downtown to the University District. No design plans have been officially made and it would be several years before a trolley would become a reality as the project would cost approximately $36 Million.

Various Transportation Happenings

A new business opens at Spokane International Airport, there's a new detour due to a construction project and Cheney's mayor is appointed to the Governor's Connecting Washington Task Force to develop a 10-year plan for building and funding transportation projects in the state. The Spokesman-Review's 'Getting There' column has a look at area transportation happenings this week.

Transportation Bill Contains Dedicated Funding For Bike/Ped Programs

At a hearing on Friday on a new transportation reauthorization, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) confirmed that dedicated federal funding for bicycle and pedestrian programs remains in the bill. StreetsBlog has the details on that as well as the debt ceiling debate and it's impact on a new transportation bill.

LaHood Gives Career Advice

Ever wonder how U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood got his start in transportation? Well, maybe you're not as much of a transportation nerd as I am. Those who read this blog regularly know that I have a fascination with Mr. LaHood. Specializing in public outreach, its hard for me not to admire what Ray (I like to pretend like I know him personally and call him by his first name) has done with his position; how visible he has made it. Can anyone name who preceded him? Yeah, me neither. That's because his predecessors never went to the lengths that LaHood has to get the word out there about the state of transportation in our country, the latest happenings in transportation, and what his office is doing to improve it.

In this month's 'On the Go' video, Ray answers some of your transportation questions, and talks about how he got started in his career field. Plus he has a little advice for those trying to get into the field. Who knows- maybe you could be the next Secretary of Transportation.

New Construction Projects Start Today

I was out of the office last Friday, so missed a couple construction updates that came in at the last minute:

- A project to rehabilitate North Nevada Street from Broad Avenue north to Decatur Avenue starts today. That section of Nevada (essentially between Wellesley and Francis) will be closed with traffic detoured to Division or Crestline. Local access to businesses will be maintained. This project is expected to continue into October.

- Construction on a sewer main on East Trent Avenue also starts today. Trent is closed to traffic between Julia and Myrtle. Traffic will be detoured to Mission Avenue. Local access to area businesses will be maintained. The work continues until at least Aug. 10.

Meanwhile, Mission Avenue between Hamilton and Napa reopened to traffic last week.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Construction Update For Next Week

There are new road construction lane closures scheduled for next week. The updated information is posted on the home page of the website.

Come On, We're Not Really THAT Bad

While this article from isn't necessarily accurate when it comes to SRTC, I still think it's important to put this out there to (hopefully) raise interest (and knowledge)in Metropolitan Planning Organizations. There are some points in the article I concur with, such as that MPOs have traditionally flown under the radar. In the five years that I've been with SRTC, we've been working hard to change that. With budget deficits and growing dissatisfaction with the government though, it's been a challange.

So did you read the article? Then I can point out what I agree/disagree with.

- I take exception to the title. Who is SRTC strangling? I believe we do a fair job of distributing money. We went through a major effort in recent years to develop a 'Priority Project List' with the help of our partner agencies. When money becomes available, we go through the list and fund them in order of priority. Since the partners helped make the list, no one can argue we're not funding the most important projects or that they're being neglected.

- The majority of SRTC's Board members are elected. Of 16 members, ten are elected.

- SRTC is not structured in a way that favors sprawl and undermines cities. The City of Spokane has three representatives on our Board, when you count Richard Rush who is a City Councilmember but on our Board representing the STA Board. The City of Spokane Valley also has a voting member on the Board.

- The article is right, most people DON'T know the name of their MPO or have any clue what they do. When I tell people I work for Spokane Regional Transportation Council, they usually respond with, "Oh, the bus company!" We are working on changing this though, through this blog, Facebook, Twitter, press releases, open houses, etc.

- Yes, we do disperse hundreds of millions of federal transportation dollars annually. There are several programs we receive money through, then it's our job to distribute it, fairly, to our partner agencies.

So here is where you decide to be proactive and do further research on what we do here at SRTC. Here's our website, so get reading. Any questions/comments?

Spokane Summer Parkways THIS Weekend

Okay, this time I mean it! I messed up and posted last weekend that the second Spokane Summer Parkways event of 2011 was last Sunday. Well, I was rushing things because it actually takes place THIS Sunday, July 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The City will close several miles of roadway to vehicles and open the streets to bikes, pedestrians, skaters, and other human-powered transportation. There will also be vendors and lots of activities to take part in along the route.

The course starts at Whitehouse St. and Dalke Ave., near Ruth Park, then along Dalke Ave. to Howard St./Stevens St. continue on to Rowan Ave. then back to Whitehouse St. to Princeton Ave. onto Stevens St. and then Walton Ave. ending at the Clark Playfield. Here's a map and more info.

STA Defends Choice To Place Athiest Ad On Bus

Posting two videos from local news stations in one day?? Crazy!! Well I couldn't pass this story up because I get mad every time I see the STA bus wrapped in the 'Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory' ad. What are they trying to do, blow my diet? So you have to figure, if an ad for chocolate angers me, an ad on a bus for an athiest group could REALLY get some people fired up. KHQ has the story on this free speech issue.

License Plate Reading Cameras Solve Stolen Car Cases

North Idaho law enforcement recovered a car last week stolen out of Bellingham, thanks to 'license plate recognition' cameras. While it's apparently a very effective device, I have a suspicion some people will be uncomfortable with the 'big brother' aspect of these cameras. Watch the video and let me know your thoughts.

Happy Ending To My Car Wash Story

I just got the word that there's a happy ending to an issue I was having so I can blog about it now. I recently bought a new used car. I call it my first 'adult car' because it's the newest car I've ever had and it's nice and respectable unlike my former beaters.

I never used to get my car washed because I didn't really care how it looked and didn't like blowing $7 on something I could do at home with the hose for free. With the new one though I thought I should keep the grime to a minimum and had a free car wash coupon, so I took it to a local car wash Tuesday night.

I followed the 'pull forward' sign as directed into the tunnel that makes up the car wash. The sign kept saying to go forward so I did. Just as I'm about to pull out the other side, the car wash kicks into gear and hits my car from behind! I started the car, jumped the little bump thing that's supposed to keep you locked in the car wash and drove out. Too late though, there was a dent in my car!

Happy ending though because I just talked to the car wash owner who was very, very nice and made arrangements to have it fixed. For some reason I was expecting to have a fight on my hands, but I guess customer service isn't dead after all. Yay, car wash dude! Thanks for your concern and making it easy to remedy the situation.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Abused Bicyclists

I'm hearing a lot of stories from bicyclists this week about abuse they've taken at the hands of drivers recently. Eve in our office said she was riding next to the white line on Cheney-Spokane Road over the weekend, when a car came up right behind her and laid on the horn, scaring the heck out of her. When she gave him the 'What do you want me to do?' gesture, the driver acted like he might hit her, then swerved around her violently and gave her the finger.

And Martin Beran just posted on Twitter that someone pulled up to him today and yelled, "You're not a &^%$# car, get off the road!!"

Yikes, folks. I know we're all testy about the return to fall weather but take a deep breath and count to 10. It's called Share the Road.

Why Are We Not Using More 'Green' Construction Methods?

Wow, I knew that driving on our roads creates pollution, but I didn't realize that building those same roads creates a large amount of pollution itself. SustainableCitiesCollective says that building our nation's roads emits roughly 38,760,000 tons of CO2 every year!

What to do?? Some innovative ideas have come to light lately that would make our roads more 'green' while blacktopping, but they're not widely in use. Here's the story.

Public Hearing On Electric Trolley Option

No plans tonight? How about attending a public hearing on the preferred alternative for high performance transit in central Spokane? The Spokane Transit Board of Directors will ask for public testimony on the topic tonight at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at the City of Spokane, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.

The Central City Alternatives Analysis study evaluated various methods of public transit and corridor options to serve downtown and adjacent neighborhoods with the goals to increase transit ridership and system connectivity. Stakeholders have agreed on a recommendation for High Performance Transit (HPT) using Modern Electric Trolley (MET) vehicles on a general alignment extending from Browne’s Addition to Gonzaga University via downtown Spokane and the WSU-Spokane Campus at Riverpoint. Love the idea? Then show up and testify! Not so sure and have questions? Show up and get some answers.

More information on the project can be found here.

Some Worried Transportation Bill Could Skimp On Environmental Reviews

Text hasn't been released yet, but a summary of the House Transportation Committee’s reauthorization bill has some people worried that repeated use of the term 'streamlining' in reference to project delivery may actually indicate a desire to gut environmental review processes and cut back on public input efforts.

The D.C. Streets Blog has a look at the bill.

Letter To Editor Condemns Spokane Drivers

Coeur d'Alene Press Letter to the Editor
Spokane: No Place For Drivers.

Next time you complain about our local speed traps, or taxes spent on our local Idaho police departments, please do a reality check. Take a drive over to Spokane and remind yourself why we live in Idaho.

Anarchy rules in Spokane. Traffic laws are not enforced; there is no need to signal a turn, stay under the speed limit, or follow any rules at all. If your house is burglarized the police don't come to your house to check on it; they tell you to get in touch with your insurance company. Crime and gangs run the roost. I challenge anyone to find a police officer in Spokane.

This is what happens when you cut police jobs every time there's a pinch in the budget. Spokane city leaders would rather lay off police than their own staff; God forbid they might have to do some work themselves. I don't think I have ever seen a city in more trouble and so mismanaged as Spokane is. I thank God that I live in a city that values its police department.

Coeur d'Alene

Wow Mr. Willard, next time tell us how you really feel, don't hold back. I've seen some blatant red light running, a lot of tailgating and some generally bad behavior, but isn't 'Anarchy rules in Spokane' somewhat of an overstatement? Besides, I've seen the same behavior in North Idaho. What do you think; are Spokane drivers animals behind the wheel?

Your Input Wanted On Truck Routes

More and more when I'm out in the community, I hear about trucks; People complaining that semi trucks are tying up the north south routes and slowing regular traffic. Engineers complaining that large trucks are putting stress on area roads that weren't built for vehicles that heavy. And truck drivers and freight company owners complaining that they have a hard time getting where they need to go often because of area road, and other, conditions.

Well, Spokane County Engineering and Roads is doing something about it by developing a Truck Route map. The map is intended to facilitate truck (freight) movement through the County more efficiently. Please take a look at the map and provide any comments you may have here.

Ask Council President Candidates Your Questions

Holy cow, it's election season already! The City of Spokane's primary ballots will be mailed July 28, with the vote on August 16.

Considering the state of the economy, there are a lot of high profile issues on the line with this election. To find out where the candidates stand on these issues, Greater Spokane Incorporated and the Downtown Spokane Partnership are hosting a Spokane City Council President Candidate Forum, with the focus on economic development and business climate issues.

Transportation very much plays into economic development, so this is your chance to ask those important questions on your mind. The forum is Aug. 9 from 3:30-5 p.m. at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture. It's free and everyone is welcome, but you're asked to RSVP if you plan to attend. You can do that here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Voters May Decide On Sprague/Appleway One-Way Issue

Spokane Valley City Council is debating whether to let the public decide whether or not to change Sprague Avenue and Appleway Boulevard back to a two-way arterials between University and Dishman-Mica roads.

The council will make their final decision whether to go forward with the election in a special meeting planned for Monday, Aug. 15. The Spokane Valley News Herald has the story.

Crash Stalls I90, Leaves Fuel On Freeway

This is odd, I was on the freeway when this happened last night and didn't even notice it. Of course, I tend to sleep on the bus so maybe I just slept through it. Anyway, the Spokesman-Review reports that a four-vehicle crash involving two tractor trailers spilled about 50 gallons of fuel on Interstate 90 Monday evening.

No one was injured in the accident, which blocked three lanes of eastbound traffic just west of Division Street beginning at 5:11 p.m. The crash fractured a diesel fuel tank, which spread the fuel over about 100 yards.

Hazardous materials experts with the Spokane Fire Department built dikes to stop the fuel from flowing into stormwater drains.

Philadelphia NOT Fining People For Walking & Texting

The City of Philadelphia says, despite reports flooding the media and internet, they are NOT going to fine pedestrians caught texting while walking, as part of their 'Give Respect, Get Respect' campaign. They said they WILL hand out educational information to people caught walking inattentively, but they won't try to get $120 out of them.

Here's the latest from As is often the case, the comments are interesting too.

New Valley Lane Closures

Spokane Valley has announced some new road work for this week. The updated information is posted on the home page of the website.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Free Downtown Spokane Bike Tours

Here's something really cool you may want to take advantage of; the City of Spokane will host a series of short bike tours and lunches to get people acquainted with their newly completed downtown bike loop.

It's happening Monday through Friday, Aug. 1-5 from noon to 1 p.m. You'll need a bicycle, helmet, and appropriate footwear. Click the flyer below to view it full size. Questions? Call Grant Wencel, Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator at
(509) 625-6694.

SRTC July Newsletter Available Now

It's been a busy couple of months here at SRTC. Want to know what we've been up to? The SRTC newsletter for July is available here.

STA CEO Named To Governor's Task Force

E. Susan Meyer, chief executive officer for Spokane Transit Authority, has been named to Gov. Chris Gregoire’s new task force on transportation planning, the Connect Washington Task Force.

The Spokesman-Review's 'Getting There' column has that and other transportation news.

Valley Council To Discuss Bike & Ped Master Program Tomorrow

A reminder that Spokane Valley City Council tomorrow night will consider adopting
the city's draft Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Program (BPMP). The meeting is at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers and there will be an opportunity for public comment.

The proposed BPMP can be read online here.

July TTC/TAC Meeting Cancelled

Two SRTC committee meetings for this month have been cancelled due to summer- the Transportation Technical Committee (TTC) meeting scheduled for this Wednesday and the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting scheduled for next Monday. We're kind of in a phase right now where we're getting caught up on things staff has been trying to accomplish for a while, so we don't have a lot of new subjects for those committees to tackle. Based on that, we thought it would be the humane thing to do to give them a breather for a month so the folks that make up those committees can (hopefully) get outside and enjoy some nice weather while it's still here.

Here is when the next meetings are scheduled in August.

House Proposed Transportation Bill Would Mean Some Big Cuts

Those of us in transportation are waiting anxiously for a new federal transportation bill to be auhtorized. It's kind of like my college days when I would try to pay my bills without knowing how much my paycheck was going to be because I didn't always work the same amount of hours.

We're definetely expecting a cut in transportation spending with the new bill, we just don't know how much. And that makes it hard to plan. A document released last week by two lead Senators on transportation issues says there would also be job cuts under the House Republican proposed transportation bill. 141,000 of them.

So what does Washington state stand to lose under that bill? Transportation Issues Daily has a look.

Who Are Your Children Safest With In The Car?

Quiz time- Who are your kids safer in the car with; yourself and your husband/wife/partner or their grandparents? Some surprising new study results say kids could be safest in vehicles where grandma or grandpa are driving. According to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, children's risk for injury is 50% lower when riding with grandparents than with parents. Why? Read this article from to find out.

Tourists Question CDA Parking Policy

If you're like me, you probably visit Coeur d'Alene at least a couple times per summer to shop, hang out at the lake, enjoy the nightlife, etc. Well, if you do, keep in mind that when they say two hours free parking downtown, they're going to hold you to it. A California couple visiting CDA are angry about a parking ticket they received, because they say they even moved their car to avoid getting a ticket. The Coeur d'Alene Press has the story.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Spokane Summer Parkways #2 NEXT Sunday

Don't forget the Spokane Summer Parkways event next Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the North Hill neighborhood. The City will close down the roads to vehicles and open them to bicyclists, pedestrians, skaters, unicyclists and any other form of human-powered transportation. There will also be vendors and lots of activities to take part in along the route. Here's the Summer Parkways website so you can learn more about it and see which roads will be closed.

Reception For HB 1922 Passage

Mayor Tom Towey and the City of Spokane Valley are holding a reception to recognize the efforts of Senator Jeff Baxter, and Representatives Matt Shea, and Larry Crouse in getting House Bill 1922 passed.

HB 1922 requires that cattle trucks weighing more than 40,000 pounds stop at a port of entry when entering Spokane County. The bill was designed to keep heavy trucks off Spokane Valley residential roadways.

Community members are welcome to attend the event, which will be held in the second floor lounge at CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place on Friday, July 22 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Please RSVP here to attend.

New Construction Projects For Next Week Posted

There are some new road and lane closures scheduled to start next week. They're posted at

Special Board Meeting Monday

The SRTC Board will hold a special meeting Monday, July 18 at 12 p.m., at SRTC, 221 W. First Ave., to consider the following:

1. Agenda approval.
2. Authorize Contract Negotiations with Executive Director
3. Adjournment.

Final action will not be taken on any other matter at the meeting.

Okay, Now I'm Begging

'Like' SRTC on Facebook NOW! Please, I mean.

I provided a link. What more do you want? Want me to do it for you? Okay, send me your login name and password and I'll take care of it for you. And they say customer service is dead. Sheesh.

Spokane Valley Traffic Update Hotline

Want help navigating traffic in Spokane Valley? Well, if you prefer to get your info online, the place to go is If you prefer your info over the phone though, the City of Spokane Valley has launched a new Traffic Info Line for your convenience. The 24/7 information line will provide community members with recorded weekly Traffic Alerts and information on traffic impacts.

The telephone number for the Traffic Info Line is 509-720-5311, the same number used to provide snow plowing updates during the winter season. It is updated weekly with the same traffic alert information that is provided to local media, including locations, delays, detours, closures, and more.

Job Candidate Interviewing

Along with our Board and the Transportation Technical and Transportation Advisory committees, SRTC staff had the opportunity yesterday to interview three candidates for the Executive Director position available here. We were VERY impressed with all three candidates and I personally feel we would be fine with any of the three. All are currently employed at other Metropolitan Planning Organizations and have extensive knowledge of the MPO's role, and the direction they would like to take it. Here are some things I picked up on:

- One candidate mentioned that SRTC's biggest drawback, and I completely agree, is our lack of visibility. The average person in the community isn't familiar with SRTC and some of our partners aren't even sure exactly what we do day-to-day. Luckily we're working on that through a variety of outreach methods.

- One candidate was extremely animated and cracked me up with a story of asking her current Board for a job review. She says she asked for them to provide some input so they could 'stop me before I run amuck.'

- I asked another candidate how he would move forward the recommendations in SRTC's
Transportation Vision Project as there are concerns that it will become just another study that gets quoted now and then. The candidate said he has a term for that. Familiar with 'shovel ready?' Well, his term for studies like that is 'shelf ready' and he would do his best to keep the Vision Project from becoming shelf ready by keeping it in front of the Board as much as possible.

Like I said, we were very impressed with all three candidates and pleased to hear some of our personal concerns addressed by them before we even brought them up. SRTC's Board is expected to make an offer to one of the candidates next week. I will keep you updated.

Embargoed New STA Route Info

Karl at Spokane Transit yesterday gave my co-worker Jeff and I a sneak peek at the new Spokane Valley/Liberty Lake routes that go into effect in September. Karl wouldn't let us take notes or photographs so Jeff was responsible for memorizing one side of the page and me the other.

The #74 route to Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake will still run, but in addition to that, a new route will also get you to the same places, and some additional ones, just in a more roundabout way. Unfortunately, Jeff and I are getting older and losing brain cells, so all we really were able to absorb was that the existing 74 route is going to run more frequently during peak hours, therefore being much more efficient for people like me who use it to commute to work, and the new route (I can't remember the number for it)will run much later, so if I want to have dinner after work or see a movie, I will no longer have to figure out how to get home afterwards.

While we're losing the #72 route that goes directly to Liberty Lake, I'm not complaining because these new options look like they will work with my lifestyle, and probably a lot of other people's, better than the old routes. Judge for yourself though, the new route information will be available on the STA website at the end of July. I'll post a link when it becomes available of course.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Interview Day At SRTC

A big day at SRTC today. All three candidates for the Executive Director position will be here today for a series of interviews. I'll report back, but it sounds like they're all well-qualified for the position. Two of the candidates are already managing Metropolitan Planning Organizations within Washington State and another at an Arizona MPO.

There was talk yesterday about each of the staff members adopting a 'character' for the interviews (someone has a tic, another person speaks only in pig latin, another asks repeatedly if the candidate has a cat, etc.) but in the end we decided we shouldn't scare off people who are this qualified. They could have our livelihood in their hands somewhere down the road.

More Bicycle Signage In Downtown Area?

Spokesman-Review Letter to the Editor
Need signs for safety

The safety of bicyclists on our streets is of heightened concern these days. One of the ways in which bicyclists are endangered is by not knowing where they may or may not legally operate their vehicles.
For instance, I understand that it is not legal for bicyclists to ride on downtown Spokane sidewalks. I presume this restriction is intended to make things safer for both bicyclists and pedestrians. But I’ve never seen a sign that would alert bicyclists to this law. Nor have I seen any signs which would inform anyone — bicyclists or motorists — that they are entering or leaving what is officially “downtown.”

If bicyclists know that they can’t ride on downtown sidewalks, they should also know that they therefore can’t assume the legal status of pedestrian and that they must not ride their vehicles in a crosswalk any more than a motorist may drive in a crosswalk.

As many injuries suffered downtown by bicyclists in accidents involving motor vehicles occur in or next to crosswalks, knowing that bicyclists are not to use crosswalks would go a long way to improve the safety of bicyclists. So, city of Spokane, how about some signs?

Joe Booth

Mr. Booth has a point. It IS illegal to ride your bike on sidewalks downtown, yet 9 out of 10 people that I talk to in the community are not aware of this law. Even a WSDOT employee that I know wasn't aware of this. A little signage might help the situation.

Patching Work To Take Place On Francis

I know, the last thing you want to hear about right now is MORE road construction. But more road construction there will be. The City plans to do a much-need rehabilitation project on Francis next year, but now says the street is so bad something has to be done before then. The Spokesman-Review has the story.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Council Considering Adopting Bike & Ped Master Program

Good news for Spokane Valley's Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Program (BPMP). Following a public hearing before the Planning Commission last week, Commissioners unanimously recommended that the Valley City Council adopt the program.

The City Council will review the Planning Commission recommendations during a presentation by staff at the July 19 Study Session at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers.

The first reading of the ordinance adopting the BPMP is scheduled for August 9 at 6p.m., with the second reading at the August 23 Council meeting at 6:00pm. Both meetings will be held in Council Chambers and public comment on the program is encouraged.

The proposed BPMP can be read online here.

Local Officials Climb On Statewide Campaign Bandwagon

Futurwise, a statewide smart growth organization, sent out a news release today saying an unlikely coalition of environmentalists, businesses, and labor unions are coalescing around a set of principles to guide the future of transportation funding and policy in Washington State.

Transportation for Washington is a statewide, multi-year campaign led by Futurewise and the Transportation Choices Coalition, partnering with more than 65 other groups, businesses, and public officials to set a new vision for transportation.

The Transportation for Washington campaign has laid out three core principles to reform state transportation policy and funding.

• Prioritize fixing broken infrastructure to save lives.
• Expand transit choices.
• Build great, healthy communities.

In Spokane, Futurwise says the following public officials have endorsed the three principles:

• Andy Billig, Representative for Legislative District 3
• Lisa Brown, Senator for Legislative District 3
• Tim Ormsby, Representative for Legislative District 3
• Gail Prosser, Spokane City Planning Commissioner
• Richard Rush, Spokane City Councilmember
• Jon Snyder, Spokane City Councilmember
• Mary Verner, City of Spokane Mayor
• Amber Walderf, Spokane City Councilmember

I'll be watching this campaign and keep you updated.

Letter Writer Condemns Urinating In Bottles, Littering

Letter to the Editor, Idaho Statesman
Drivers, use the bathroom

On recent road trips from Boise to eastern Idaho, central Oregon and southern California, I saw numerous plastic containers, soda bottles to gallon jugs, along the roadside, all filled with yellowish liquid.

Isn’t littering socially unacceptable? Is it OK to throw bottles containing urine along the road?

Public rest areas, gas stations, stores and other businesses with bathrooms can be found along all major highways. Don’t urinate in a bottle and throw the bottle out the window!

What health hazards from urine-filled bottles are public employees or volunteers exposed to during roadside litter collection?

Join me in a letter, e-mail, and Twitter campaign to our state health agencies, local legislators, the governor’s office, and the corporate offices of all commercial truck operations to stop this practice and hold responsible those that litter our roadways with urine-filled bottles.

When traveling, stop at a facility with a bathroom to urinate. If you have to use a bottle, empty the bottle in a bathroom when you get to one. Or empty the bottle in the dirt by the side of the road and deposit the bottle in the trash. Hold it, internally or externally, until you get to the can!


I couldn't resist this letter to the editor of the Idaho Statesman. So who wants to join Mr. Drew's campaign to put an end to urinating in bottles?

WSDOT Using 'Greener' Asphalt For Project

Generally, using hot mix asphalt is the standard in our area for paving jobs, except for patching potholes and cracks in the winter when asphalt plants are shut down for the season.

The Washington State Department of Transportation is trying something different though, warm mix asphalt, that they say is a greener way to pave. The story is on the WSDOT blog.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Team Thinks They Have Answer To Gas Tax Issue

A group of bi-partisan political veterans think they have the answer to the gas tax issue. For a while now there has been talk of raising the gas tax to pay for infrastructure. The concern though is that it's a bad idea to raise taxes during a recession.

Former Senator Bill Bradley, former Governor Tom Ridge and former comptroller general David Walker have an idea they think will work- set a new gas tax that goes up or down based on gas prices. When gas prices are high, the tax is low, and therefore more affordable to the average person. When prices go down, the tax would go up, and we wouldn't notice it much because we would have already been paying high taxes anyway.

Interesting idea but you're probably thinking it won't pay for much infrastructure if prices don't go down. Well the team thought of that too and suggested also placing a 5% per barrel tax on oil that the producer, not the consumer, would pay.

So how much money would this scheme bring in? has the answer.

Another Possible Vehicle/Pedestrian Collision

KHQ News is reporting that another pedestrian was struck by a car this morning. It allegedly happened around 2 a.m. in the area of north Jefferson and west Longfellow. KHQ says the Spokane Police Department's Major Crimes unit was called to the area because of the extent of the pedestrian's injuries. There is no further information at this time but I'll provide an update when I get one.

I-90 Construction Status Update

I Just made it through the I-90 construction between Havana and Altamont. It was slow at first, around the Sprague exit, with a lot of people getting off at the exit, but once everyone merged it wasn't bad at all, we flew right through the construction zone. I wasn't even late to work.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Smart Growth Groups Team Up For Transportation

This is interesting- apparently the smart growth organizations Futurewise and Transportation Choices Coalition are fed up with our transportation situation and teaming up to do something about it.

A news release from the two organizations put out this morning said that Washington State faces a transportation crisis: structurally deficient bridges, congested roads, inadequate transit choices, too much toxic runoff and global warming pollution, and not enough money to fix the problems.

That’s why they created the “Transportation for Washington” campaign to achieve real reform with new policies and funding. This Wednesday, the groups say they will announce a growing list of public officials in Spokane County who endorse the campaign’s core principles of fixing what’s broken, expanding transit, and building great, healthy communities.

I'll follow up on this and let you know that day who those officials are.

Runway Extention Half Done

Work to build a new segment of the main runway at Spokane International Airport is halfway done. The job is considered part of a broader investment in the region’s transportation system, including improvements to Interstate 90, construction of a North Spokane freeway and improvements to city and county roadways. The Spokesman-Review's 'Getting There' column has the story.

Monroe Road Project Public Meeting

A public meeting for the Monroe Road Safety Project is scheduled for tomorrow, July 12. The project will begin at the intersection of Monroe Road and U.S. 395 and extend along Monroe Road to Crawford St. where it intersects with U.S. 395 in Deer Park.

The project will evaluate safety along this section of Monroe Road. Enhancements may include an intersection flashing beacon, installation of new guardrails, additional or upgraded warning signs, and striping and guide posts where needed.

The meeting is from 4:30 – 7:00 p.m. tomorrow in the Wildrose Community Center located at 6100 W. Wildrose Road (approximately 10 miles north of Spokane and south of Deer Park).

SRTC Board Meeting This Thursday

The monthly meeting of SRTC's Board is this Thursday, although it's a very abbreviated one to make time for interviews with candidates for the Executive Director position open at SRTC. Here's the Board packet and agenda.

Officers Watching For Speeders

Law enforcement officers from the Washington State Patrol, Spokane County Sheriff's Office, Spokane Valley Police Department, and the Spokane Police Department will be distributing educational information to citizens about the dangers of speeding to kick-off the Washington Traffic Safety Commission’s Statewide Speed Enforcement Campaign. The statewide campaign goes July 15 through August 7.

Speeding is the second-most common driver error, after impairment, reported in fatal and serious injury crashes on Washington roads. From 2006-2008, over 40% of all fatal crashes and 30% of all serious injury crashes involved speeding. In 2009, 22 of the 44 traffic fatalities in Spokane County involved speeding.

Federal Transportation Bill Summary

The House Transportation Committee Republicans last week released a summary of their federal transportation bill proposal. Detailed legislative text and a hearing are expected later this month. Reaction from interest groups ranged from mixed to negative. If you want to see for yourself, here is the 22-page summary.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

MAJOR -Did I mention this is big?- Project Starts Monday

Don't forget, a MAJOR, MAJOR, MAJOR, MAJOR, MAJOR project starting on I-90 on Monday. Could seriously slow you down, so prepare for it. The info is at

Getting Friends The Old Fashioned Way

Okay, the shirt has a good home now so you can all stop rushing to like us. Or go ahead and do it, you can never have enough friends.

I can't imagine why, but SRTC is a little light in the friends department on Facebook. Shocking I know, what with all this facinating content I crank out on a daily basis. Hey, it's either do this or 'real' work, as the boss calls it. Think I'll stick with this.

Anyway, we need friends and I'm not above 'buying' them, so the next person to like us on Facebook gets this t-shirt and key ring that says 'Give 'em a break.' C'mon, you know you want them. Start 'liking' already!

Oh yeah, I apologize for the sideways pic. It's normal on my screen but shows up sideways on everyone else's and I can't seem to rectify the situation.

Stars Helping The Transportation Cause

My name is SRTC and I'm an Eric Estrada freak. I have loved Eric since I was a kid watching him on CHiPs. I thought I had my obsession under control until I saw this article on how Ponch- I mean Eric- is helping Los Angeles drivers avoid construction delays. Oh yeah, and some nobody named Lady GaGa is doing traffic updates via her Twitter account too but who cares, Eric Estrada is a REAL star!

Final U.S. 95 Paving Underway

If you drive in neighboring Coeur d'Alene, final pavement work is underway on U.S. 95 from Wyoming Avenue to Idaho 53.

Traffic has been shifted from a divided four-lane road to an undivided two-lane road and rerouted at median crossovers placed at either end of the project.

The southbound lanes are closed for paving for two to three weeks, and two-way traffic placed on the northbound lanes. When completed, traffic will be shifted again to the southbound lanes, and the northbound lanes will be paved.

Once paving is complete, the traffic signal at Lancaster Road will be activated.

Major I90 Project Starts Monday

I'm off tomorrow for my 'flex' day so am warning you today about a project starting Monday that could have a BIG impact on I-90 traffic.

Starting July 11, crews begin repairs on the Altamont Street and Havana Street bridges on the freeway. Traffic will be squeezed into two lanes in each direction, 24-hours-per-day, until approximately Aug. 4 for the 1.4 miles between the bridges.
Plus several on and off ramps will be closed.

More than 100,000 drivers a day drive that stretch of I-90, so this could slow you down significantly. What I'm saying is plan ahead. You can do that by checking out

Change Lanes Earlier Please To Avoid Congestion

Spokesman-Review Letter to the Editor
Drivers are Selfish

We have all noticed the construction on I-90. For whatever reason, one lane or the other is closed at some point between the Cheney on-ramp and the Maple Street exit. Unfortunately, there is no way to improve roads without inconveniencing driver so we are forced to cope.

I make the annoying drive into Spokane daily and every trip forces me to lose more and more faith in humanity. There are signs warning of the lane elimination for about three miles before the merging takes place; however, regardless of the warning signs, traffic seems at a standstill until the lane is completely taken away, when traffic reaches a normal speed once all the merging is over with.

This is because of the selfish drivers who race up to the barriers with their signal on waiting for someone equally as moronic to let them in. If people just merged over when they saw their lane was going to end, we would all be able to avoid the crawling speed and whiplash-evoking stops while everyone tried to merge at the same time.

Nicole Erickson

Ms. Erickson has a point; it's not only annoying and causes congestion to merge at the last possible minute, but it's also a safety issue. Only thing she didn't say that I wish she had was that if a lot of you folks heading to or from Cheney from downtown would get on the bus, it would relieve some of that congestion. There, getting off my soapbox now.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Valley Adding Bike Lanes To Pines & University Roads

The City of Spokane Valley starts construction on Monday on new bike lanes to be added to both Pines and University Roads. The project, meant to encourage citizens to commute by bicycle and reduce fossil fuel emissions while promoting good health, is expected to take about 4 days to complete.

When the project is completed, the lanes will run on University Road from Sprague to Mission Avenue and on Pines Road from 24th to 32nd avenues. The current configuration of the roads, one northbound lane, one southbound lane, and a two-way left-turn lane with sidewalks on both sides of the street, will be the same after construction.

The City received funding for the $40,000 project from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant of the Department of Energy.

Bike & Pedestrian Master Program Public Hearing

Don't forget- There's a public hearing tomorrow night on Spokane Valley's Bike & Pedestrian Master Program. The folks working on the Plan want to know if they're headed in the right direction, so come to the meeting at 6 pm in Council Chambers at 11707 E. Sprague Avenue, Suite 101.

'Stickman Knows' Campaign Launched

The Spokane Regional Health District has launched 'StickmanKnows,' Spokane's first comprehensive bike, pedestrian, and motorist safety awareness campaign. The goal is to reduce the number of bicyclist and pedestrian collisions, using humor.

Watch for Stickman billboard and bus advertising, TV commercials, print ads, promotional items, community events, law enforcement emphasis patrols, in neighborhoods, and in schools.

Here's where you can check Stickman out at. And he has a Facebook page, so be sure to 'like' it.

When Will We See A New Transportation Bill?

It's the same thing over and over around here; when will we see a Federal Transportation Reauthorization? First, the House and Senate said they’d have a bill marked up by Memorial Day. Then it was definitely going to come in June. Now, Streetsblog Capital Hill says we could see a House version tomorrow. Or maybe not.

Valley Council Approves Sprague-Appleway Study

The Spokane Valley City Council has authorized another study on the impacts of turning Sprague and Appleway into two-way streets. You can find the details in this Spokane Valley News Herald article.

Letter Writer Says Buses Should Run Longer

Run buses longer
Spokesman-Review Letters to the Editor

In many places, buses run until midnight or later. However, here in Spokane, the buses barely run, even on weekends when they are so desperately needed. By not having them run more, not only do people have to drive their cars when they could use public transportation, which saves gas, money, and the environment, but people don’t have the choice to ride buses after they have spent a night drinking, which is dangerous to everyone.

Sure, they could take a taxi, but many people don’t have the money to afford a taxi, so they end up deciding to risk it and drive drunk. This might be dangerous for the driver, but it also puts innocent people at risk of getting hurt or even killed.

Luckily there is a way we can save lives in Spokane and help the environment. All Spokane needs to do is make the buses run longer. Maybe they would run less at night, but they should run so people will have the option of taking them. By doing this Spokane will become less polluted and lives will be saved. Everyone should write a letter to the Spokane Transit Authority asking them to run their buses longer.

Rachel Hanville

In an ideal world, the buses would run longer, but in the world we live in, there's a major problem with the economy, meaning Spokane Transit can't afford to run buses all hours. As for not having bus service at night contributing to drunk driving incidents, I think we all know that it's a choice you make to drive drunk.

Bicycle Hit & Run Victim Still In Hospital

A local man hit while riding his bicycle back on June 23 is still in the hospital, and upset about the hit and run collission that put him there. Dennis Widener and his wife are looking for tips on who hit him then left the scene. The Spokesman-Review has the story.

UPDATE: Dennis Widener died today. His wife reported to the Spokesman-Review that he suffered a fatal heart attack, but it's not clear at this time if it's related to the initial hit and run incident.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Do Vanpools Hurt Bus Ridership?

Here's an interesting question posed by the Transportation Issues Daily blog: are vanpools hurting bus transit but benefitting commuters? The Washington Policy Center (WPC) thinks that the case for Ben Franklin Transit (BFT) in southeastern Washington state.

The WPC says that bus ridership there has fallen over the last decade, while vanpool ridership has doubled. The good news though- vanpools are a lot less expensive to operate. Here's the blog post.

Obama Administration Shooting For 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025

The Seattle Times reports that the Obama administration and the auto industry are locked in negotiations over new vehicle mileage and emissions standards that will have a profound effect on the cars Americans drive and the health of the auto industry over the next decade and beyond.

The Environmental Protection Agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the California Air Resources Board are proposing regulations that would require new U.S. cars and trucks to attain an average of as much as 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025! That's roughly double the current level. Here's the article.

Panel Developing Statewide Transportation Measure

Gov. Chris Gregoire is pulling together a statewide panel of advisers for the task of crafting a multi-billion dollar transportation measure to put on the ballot in 2012 that will generate enough money, fix enough problems and receive enough votes to pass.

The good news- the state is expected to poll state residents on what they view as pressing transportation needs and the best ways to deal with them, as part of the development of the ballot measure.

The Everett Herald has the story.

Construction Projects Started Today

Oops, I posted all the new construction projects that start today to the website on Friday, but in my haste to get a bunch of stuff done before the long weekend, forgot to click 'publish.'

So, if you haven't already gotten delayed by the new projects, check it out today so you know which areas to avoid, to steer clear of backups.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Small Blogging Hiatus

No blogging, answering emails, tweeting or Facebooking for a couple days. I'm out of here until Wednesday. Carry on.

New Construction Project Info Posted at

New construction projects start Monday. Descriptions are on the home page of the website and ways to avoid the construction are posted on the Alternate Routes page.

Editorial Calls For Creative Transportation Funding

The Spokesman-Review is jumping on the 'its time to find new funding sources for transportation' bandwagon. This editorial in today's edition of the paper says creativity is going to be a must in funding the maitenance and preservation of transportation projects in the next few years.

WSDOT Recognized For Vehicle Fleet Management

The Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) work to make its fleet of large equipment, trucks and other vehicles more efficient and sustainable has landed it on 'Government Fleet' magazine's list of North America’s top 100 public fleets. Yes, there really IS a magazine called 'Government Fleet.' No, I don't know who reads it.

Ranked on categories such as accountability, technology and environmental stewardship, WSDOT came in No. 83 from among 38,000. Only four state fleets made the list, so that's pretty impressive.

The Lake Stevens Journal has the story.

Bike & Pedestrian Master Program Public Hearing

Spokane Valley's Planning Commission invites you to participate in a public hearing on the Bike & Pedestrian Master Program (BPMP).

The BPMP will guide planning, development and management of existing and future bicycle, pedestrian and multi-modal connections throughout Spokane Valley. You can view it here.

At the hearing on Thursday, July 7 at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers (11707 E. Sprague Ave.), representatives from the Spokane Valley Community Development Department will present information on efforts taken over the past year to inventory existing facilities, conduct broad ranging public outreach and coordinate with outside agencies to identify unmet needs and potential bike and pedestrian projects.

That's where you come in. Your involvement is the key to making sure the BPMP reflects the needs and goals of community members of all ages and abilities.

Details Expected Today on TIGER III Transportation Funding

Details are expected to be firmed up today on a third round of the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) competitive grant program, which funds transportation projects that will create jobs and have a significant impact on the nation, a region or a metropolitan area.

$527 million is expected to be available this time around. If you remember back, it was the first round of TIGER funds in 2009 that provided $35 million for the North Spokane Corridor, to construct the southbound lanes from Francis Avenue to Farwell Road.

The Transportation Issues Daily blog has more.

City Investing In Hybrid Recycle Trucks

Here's a cool story that's not necessarily all about transportation, but is definetely related.

Spokane's current garbage and recycling trucks only get 2.6 miles per gallon! That's right 2.6 GALLONS PER MILE. To combat that terrible gas mileage, and take a greener approach in general, the City Council this week approved the purchase of four new hybrid trucks that are expected to get 30% better fuel efficiency.

If the hybrid recycling trucks perform well, the city will replace its 24 garbage trucks with hybrids. The Spokesman-Review has more details.

Spokane Valley Council Meetings Now Online

For those of you who just can make it to Spokane Valley City Council meetings, you will now be able to watch them online on the City's new SVTV Web Channel.

Viewers can watch Council meetings live as they occur on Tuesday evenings at 6:00pm, or select from an archive of Council meeting videos dating back to April 9, 2011. Selecting a video to view also provides an index of agenda items so viewers can go directly to the topic of interest, or access a copy of the background information included in the Council agenda packets. MP3 Audio and Video options are also provided.

Here's the website where you can watch them.

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.