Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Council Will Let Voters Decide On SARP

At a special meeting last night, the Spokane Valley City Council agreed to let voters decide whether to change Sprague between Argonne and University and Appleway from Dishman Mica to University back to two-way streets. KXLY has the story on the decision and public reaction to it.

A lot of people have asked what will happen with $300,000 in federal funding from the Surface Transportation Program that was dedicated to the corridor years ago if the scope of the project changes. The question many want to know is if the Valley will have to pay it back. Well, it's hard to say at this point. According to my sources, the Valley has about a year timeframe in which to complete an environement assessment (EA) on the project. If they don't get that done, then the money will have to be paid back. So why wouldn't they be able to get an EA done in that time? Because you can't do an EA on a scenario if you're not sure what to plan for. They have to wait to see what voters decide when it goes to a vote in November and after that the EA can start. They take time though so it could be a tight squeeze.


vanillajane said...

So... I've been an outsider since the change, but have visited regularly. My mom lives right by that interchange. My question is... What is the problem with the one ways? Traffic seems to flow really smoothly. I guess I just don't see why anyone would want the hassle when it doesn't seem like the change would really make any difference or could actually be worse.

SRTC Staff said...

The concern is about businesses along the corridor. Business dropped at some places after the couplet was implemented and some business owners say it's too hard for people to reach them so the business never bounced back. There is also the concern that there are a lot of empty storefronts and new businesses aren't moving into them because of the roadway setup so it's starting to look like a ghost town on parts of the corridor. Some people feel switching it back to two way would get the traffic to the existing businesses more efficiently, thereby encouraging new businesses to move in.

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.