Thursday, July 26, 2012

Francis Avenue Project Wrapping Up

A project to rehabilitate Francis Ave. from Freya to Havana streets is nearing completion and will reopen to traffic early next week. Until then, traffic remains reduced to one lane in each direction. Paving will take place tomorrow and Saturday with final detail work taking place early next week. The project widened Francis Ave. to a five-lane roadway with a continuous center turn lane and installed sidewalks, bike lanes, and a swale/planting strip.

The $1.3 million project was funded by the Transportation Improvement Board and Real Estate Excise Tax money.

Blog On Vacation

The boss has found it in his heart to release me for a week of vacation, so you won't see any blogging here for a little while. Check back August 6 and I'll try to catch you up on everything you missed in one day.

Spokane Valley Bike/Ped Improvements

The City of Spokane Valley has some Bike and Pedestrian Capital Improvements they're working on that they'd like you to know about:

Construction Projects:

Sprague Avenue Reconstruction - This project will reconstruct the existing pavement section and modify the striping to provide a wide shoulder lane to accommodate bicyclists. The Adams Rd traffic signal will be replaced and include pedestrian countdown timer displays, accessible push buttons, and bicycle detection loops.

Evergreen Road Rehabilitation - This project will take advantage of a water line replacement project by VERA Water & Power to grind and inlay Evergreen Road from 16th to 24th and reconstruct Evergreen from 24th to 32nd Avenue. Enhancements to sidewalks and striping for bike lanes will be completed as part of the project.

24th Avenue (Adams Rd to Sullivan Rd) - This project will complete the gaps in the sidewalk between Adams Rd and Sullivan Rd with a new 6-ft wide sidewalk and barrier curb.

Sidewalk Infill Phase 1 - This project includes the extension of sidewalks at different locations throughout the city. Some of the locations will provide sidewalk connectivity from residential areas to schools. Phase 1 includes the construction of sidewalks on Pines Road from 23rd to 16th Avenues near South Pines Elementary School.

Sidewalk and Transit Stop Accessibility Phase 1 - The proposed project will complete gaps in sidewalks serving transit routes and construct concrete pads, curb ramps and related improvements at transit stops that currently have accessibility barriers to disabled residents. Phase 1 includes Montgomery Avenue near University Road, Park Road from 8th to 12th, and bus shelter pads.

Sprague Avenue Stormwater and Overlay - This project will upgrade pedestrian curb ramps to meet current ADA standards, improve sidewalks, and install a buffer for the bike lane from Park to Thierman Roads.

University Road Overlay- This pavement preservation project includes the addition of bike lanes from 4th to 16th Avenues.

Dishman-Mica Road Overlay- This pavement preservation project includes widening the existing bike lane/shoulder from 16th to 32nd Avenues.

Fancher Road Overlay- This pavement preservation project includes the addition of bike lanes from Sprague Avenue to Broadway Avenue.

Design Projects or Studies:

Mission Avenue ( Flora Rd to Barker Rd) - This project will design Mission Avenue to a three-lane urban arterial from Flora Road to Barker Road including curb, gutter, new stormwater facilities, sidewalks and bike lanes.

Mansfield Avenue - This project will fill the gap between Mansfield Avenue east of Pines Road and Mansfield Avenue west of Mirabeau Parkway completing the east-west collector arterial. The improvements will include a three-lane urban section with curb, gutter, sidewalks, bike lanes, and stormwater improvements.

Sprague Avenue ADA - This project will upgrade pedestrian curb ramps to meet current ADA standards along Sprague Ave from Havana Street to Fancher Road. This project is funded by CDBG. Construction expected in 2013.

Spokane Valley / Millwood Trail - The project will provide the planning and design of a 6.5 mile non-motorized trail from Spokane Community College to the Spokane Valley Mall. The trail would be located on Spokane County owned railroad right-of-way that was once the route of the Great Northern Railway.

Greenacres Trail (postponed) - Consultant design of Greenacres Trail from Riverview Corporate Center to Hodges Rd. approximately 2.2 miles of non-motorized trail from the Centennial Trail just east of Sullivan to the east Spokane Valley city limits.

Sidewalk Infill Phase 2 - This project includes the extension of sidewalks at different locations throughout the city. Some of the locations will provide sidewalk connectivity from residential areas to schools. Phase 2 construction scheduled for 2013.

Sidewalk and Transit Stop Accessibility Phase 2 - The proposed project will complete gaps in sidewalks serving transit routes and construct concrete pads, curb ramps and related improvements at transit stops that currently have accessibility barriers to disabled residents.

Phase 2 construction scheduled for 2013. University / I-90 Overpass Study - This project will evaluate the need, feasibility, traffic impact, and estimated costs for constructing an overpass over I-90 in the vicinity of University Road that would draw traffic away from the extremely busy Argonne Road and Pines Road corridors.

Wellesley and Adams Sidewalk- This project funded through the Safe Routes to School program will construct sidewalk on Adams Road and Wellesley Avenue in the vicinity of Trentwood Elementary and East Valley High School. Construction scheduled for 2013.

Citywide Safety Improvements - This safety project includes the installation of countdown pedestrian heads for many City signals, signing of bike routes, and improvements to crosswalks. Construction scheduled for 2013.

WSDOT Work For Next Week

  • Beginning on Monday, July 30th, I-90 may be reduced to one lane in each direction just west of Four Lakes to the Geiger Blvd. Interchange and the speed limit reduced to 60 mph. Crews will be grinding down the existing pavement and resurfacing with asphalt.
  • On or around Wednesday, August 1st, Hawthorne Road between Market and Parksmith will be closed for about a week for work to construction interchange ramps and other facilities for the North Spokane Corridor. Traffic will be detoured on Parksmith from Market to the west. Stoneman Road is still closed to through traffic east of Market to the BNSF tunnel. Through traffic is detoured to the north via Parksmith Dr. to Peone Rd. then back to Market.

No More Transportation Planning Until Someone Bails The Boss Out

The poster says he's accused of  'having a big heart' but around here we suspect the boss was picked up for jaywalking. Yep, that's the man in charge at SRTC, Mr. Kevin Wallace. He has graciously agreed to take part in the Muscular Dystrophy Association fund raiser that puts local folks 'behind bars' to raise funds to fight muscle diseases.

If he doesn't raise $2500 by August 16, Kevin goes to the big house. And frankly, our staff is concerned that Kevin isn't cut out for life behind bars, what with that baby face and all.
Normally, we'd ask you NOT to contribute to the boss' bail so we can continue to wear shorts around the office and finish every sentence with "dude," but because it's for a good cause, we're good with it this time.

Please consider donating, not just for Kevin, but for the kids. Here's a link to his personal MDA website, where you can get more information and donate whatever you can afford. Our office collection so far has come up with $13 and one IOU, so we challenge you to at least double that. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide. And don't worry about Kevin, the 'jail' in this case is actually the Davenport Hotel so we're not feeling too bad for him.

Mayor Says Women Not So Great At Parking; Designates 'Easy' Parking Spots to Them.

The mayor of a German town has sparked controversy by introducing special "easy" parking spots for women. He says men are better at parking than women, so the new spots, marked by female symbols and better lit and wider than most parking spots, will make driving a little easier for the ladies.

Here's the story.

Presidential Motorcade Leaves Traffic Jam, Darkened Traffic Cams Behind

President Obama left the Seattle area yesterday morning after a visit for a fundraising event– and his motorcade left a huge traffic jam behind. And, just when they were needed the most, the Department of Transportation made the unprecedented decision to black out traffic cameras on the motorcade route, at the request of the Secret Service.

King 5 News has the story, and the resulting traffic mess.

Fragrance Dispensers Spread Scent Of Coffee Throughout Buses

You know those scent dispensers in public restrooms that periodically spit out a spray of air freshner? Well, Seoul, South Korea installed something similar on their buses, only the scent they emitted wasn't lilac or orange blossom- it was the smell of coffee.

Yep, Seoul says they're so into coffee that they even put Seattle to shame and, in attempt to bring in even more coffee drinkers, Dunkin Donutes paid to have the coffee sent sprayed into the faces of transit riders every morning.

Here's the story from BostInno. If you don't want to actually have to read, there's a video posted there, but the cadence was a little wonky that I couldn't even watch the whole thing. In the meantime, gotta go, someone has apparently installed one of those scent machines in our office.

Sandpoint's New Sand Creek Byway To Open Tomorrow

I know, this isn't within Spokane County but there are plenty of folks recreating in North Idaho that I thought it was okay to post here tht the long-awaited and highly anticipated opening of the Sand Creek Byway is set for tomorrow (Friday) morning.

Crews will prepare the road and remove barriers for northbound traffic on the roadway by about 8:30 a.m. By 9 a.m., north- and southbound lanes of traffic are expected to be open.

Crews will then turn attention to the bike and pedestrian trail along Sand Creek. Everything is expected to be open for use by mid-afternoon.

The Byway, in conjunction with other important roadway improvements, will maximize mobility and provide a safe, long-term solution to traffic-congestion problems in the Sandpoint area, including a non-stop, through-town corridor for commercial truck traffic.

Construction started on the Byway in 2008.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Group Asks Governor To Put More $ Toward Bicycling, Walking and Transit

Transportation for Washington wants you to ask Governor Gregoire for a fair share for walking, Bicycling and transit. The group, which specializes in transportation advocacy, claims the federal transportation bill that was just passed, MAP-21, sends transportation funding back to the 1950s.

So they're collecting petitions asking Governor Gregoire to fairly allocate federal transportation dollars to walking, biking, and transit and plan to deliver the petitions to the Governor in mid-August.

You can check out the petition here and see if it's something you're interested in signing.

What Type of Bicyclist Are You?

In an effort to understand what will motivate people to ride their bikes more and drive a car less, a pair of Portlanders have come up with four categories for bicyclists and potential bicyclists, based on attitudes toward non-motorized transportation.

So what type of cyclist are you? Treehugger has a look at the foru categories.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Changes In The Works For TAC Application Project

I've had some questions lately about the available position on our Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC). Due to one member relocating to the west side of the state, an opening has been created, and I've been grateful to hear that there is interest from several people in filling it.

Our Policy Board has also expressed an interest- in choosing future members, instead of having TAC members choose the new members as has been done in the past. As a result, we are changing the application process.  The next Board meeting isn't until September (we're giving Board members a short summer break) so nothing will happen until at least then, when we receive direction on how to move forward in filling the position. And most likely we will seek multiple new members at that time, as two current member's terms expire in late 2012.

So for now my advice would be to check back here in September. I'll post more as soon as I know more. Or you can contact me at with your name and contact information and I'll put you on a list to get ahold of directly when I have more information.

Spokane Traffic Growth Follows National Trend

The trend across the country appears to be a decline, or leveling off at least, of traffic growth. And Spokane appears to be no exception, with steady growth in the early 2000s and a plateau in recent years.
Sightline Daily takes a look at our local traffic numbers.

Alleged Drunk Driver Runs Over Bike Trailer With Girl In It

A two-year-old Spokane Valley girl is in intensive care after the bike trailer she was riding in was run over by an alleged drunk driver on Saturday. The Spokesman-Review has the story.

Deteriorating Roadways Could Cause More Accidents In Near Future

A piece of deteriorating pavement on I-5 shot through the air this weekend and hit a car, going through the windshield and injuring the driver.  And while it's considered a freak accident, Washington State Secretary of Transportation Paula Hammond said, with much of our infrastructure reaching fifty or more years of age, and no money readily available to bring them up to date, incidents like this could happen more and more often.

We've had this discussion about our own regional transportation system and how I90 was built in the 1950's, and many of our bridges are even older.

KOMO News has the full story.

Monday, July 23, 2012

July SRTC Newsletter Available Now

Our newsletter for July is now available. There's no such thing as the lazy days of summer at SRTC.
See what we've been up to the past couple months here.

A Little Of This, A Little Of That

The Crown Victoria is a thing of the past as the car of choice for law enforcement officers, three new construction projects started in Spokane Valley today and a new poll shows that people actually like letting someone else pump their gas in Oregon.  Here's the Spokesman-Review's roundup of transportation happenings in their weekly "Getting There' column.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Get Over The Pass Before 8p.m. or Hang Out With The Other Folks Waiting

If you've got vacation plans on the west side of the state in the next couple weeks, the Washington State Department of Transportation says be sure to get over Snoqualmie Pass before 8 p.m. to avoid being delayed by rock blasting.

Blasting time is from 8-9 p.m. until August and is scheduled for Monday, July 23, through Thursday, July 26. You'll also experience periodic rolling slowdowns weekdays near the snowshed (milepost 58).

WA Father & Son Hit Bear In SUV

I've swerved to avoid hitting a lot of things, but a bear?? That's what one father and son saw coming right at them on the road near Roy, in western Washington, but they weren't able to stop in time. You think hitting a deer puts a dent in your car? This collision flipped their SUV over. Here's the story.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

TTC Meeting Agenda Available

The agenda is available for next Wednesday's Transportation Technical Committee (TTC) meeting. You can
read it here. There are a couple of interesting items on the agenda, so feel free to attend if you have an interest in the U-District Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge or what the Spokane Regional Transportation Management Center does.

Are Drivers Under Attack?

Is there a war on drivers versus people who use bikes, public transit or their feet to get where they're going? That's what some people claim; citing bus and bike lanes, red light cameras, and the millions of parking tickets given out every year.  While the emphasis lately seems to be to get more "alternative" transportation in the mix, some people are saying there will always be cars, so just get used to it. National Public Radio has more.

Lots Of Hit-And-Run Bicycle Collisions In England

Click on this infographic I "borrowed" from Transportation Issues Daily to see it full size. It focuses on statistics behind bicycle accidents and injuries in England and has some disturbing numbers on hit-and-run incidents.

Naked Guy At Airport Found Not Guilty Of Indecent Exposure

An Oregon man who stripped nakend at Portland’s airport to protest what he saw as invasive security measures was found not guilty of indecent exposure yesterday.

A Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge said the nudity was an act of protest and therefore, protected speech. Here's the story. But don't go using this ruling as an excuse to get naked please.

Auckland Street Signs Under Siege- By Prostitutes

Ewwww. Street signs in an area of New Zealand are under seige- by prostitutes using the poles to dance on. So how are they being ruined? This article from 'Auckland Now' says some of the prostitutes are large or strong enough to bend or snap the poles when spinning around them. Yikes. I'm going to leave it at that.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Airlines Consider Cutting Staff, Letting Passengers Do Some Jobs Themselves

You could see fewer people in your future trips to the airport; Alaska Airlines is exploring the possibility of using a self-boarding system hat lets passengers scan their own boarding passes at the gates. And that's not the only airline contemplating cutting down on staff. The Seattle Times has the story.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Three Spokane Valley Projects Start July 23

Some Spokane Valley streets will get facelifts when three new street preservation projects get under way July 23. The projects include 4th Avenue between Dishman-Mica Road and Farr Road; Dishman-Mica Road between 16th Avenue and Schafer Road; and Vista Road between Mission Avenue and Nora Avenue.

The 4th Avenue project is expected to take about two weeks to complete, and will involve patching and a new asphalt overlay. From 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., traffic will be reduced to a single lane with flaggers directing traffic through the work area. After hours and overnight, there will be one lane open each direction.
All vehicles must be parked off the roadway on 4th Avenue from Dishman-Mica to Farr Road between the hours of 6:30am and 10:00pm while the project is under way through about August 3.

Dishman-Mica Road will also be patched and overlaid with asphalt from about 250 feet south of 16th through the Schafer intersection. During the anticipated two week construction period, traffic will be reduced to one lane each direction from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. New detectors for traffic signals will be installed in the pavement at the intersection of Dishman-Mica and Schafer. The light at the intersection will be set to flash red in all directions around the clock for the duration of the project, requiring drivers to use the intersection as a four way stop.

Work to be done on Vista Road from July 23 through about August 3 will include patching and asphalt overlay. Traffic along Vista will be reduced to a single lane during work hours, when flaggers will direct traffic through the work area. After work hours and overnight, one lane in each direction will be open.

Residential access along Vista between Mission and Nora may be temporarily blocked up to four hours between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. during the project.
Congestion and delays should be expected in all three work areas so find an alternate route if possible.

Coal Train Study Not Positive For Railroads

Coal trains have been a hot topic in our area recently, as well as in Montana, Oregon and other northwest states. So much so that a group commissioned a study to determine the impact of planned coal terminals in Oregon and Washington.

And the study doesn't have much positive to say about constructing six proposed northwest export terminals that would ship 150 million tons of coal a year to Asia.

Oregon Live has this article on the study.

While Spokane's City Council went so far as to approve a resolution requesting further study of the effects of coal train travel through the City of Spokane, it's still looking doubtful we will ever see that many more coal trains through our area than currently. As I blogged a few weeks ago, rumor has it that up to sixty more trains could come through daily. The Inland Pacific Hub project we have been working on the past couple years says this isn't likely though because the capacity of the two Class I lines through our area is 78 trains per day, which is at capacity on the UP line and nearing capacity on the BNSF line (page 89). That means the lines couldn't physically carry another 60 trains and the railroads claim they don't plan to expand anytime soon.
We'll continue to monitor this situation though, as freight movement is a large part of transportation, and report back when there is new information.

Campaign Asks For Public Opinion On WA Transportation

The Washington State Transportation Commission wants your input on transportation ideas and issues in order to share them with the State Legislature and Governor as they work to prepare a transportation funding package for 2013.

The idea of 'Voices of Washington State' is to get your opinion on a variety of transportation issues so they can pass it on to help inform the discussions of our lawmakers and the decisions they make.

You can participate two ways; by participating in online forums or joining a survey panel. Either way, this is your chance to have a say in where transportation dollars go. Here's where you can sign up for either.

Traffic Signals Out In NE Spokane

The City of Spokane Street Department is reporting dark and blinking signals in Northeast Spokane. Among the major intersections affected are Market at Euclid, Garland, and Wellesley; Euclid and Crestline; Indiana & Nevada; and Frederick and Freya. Other intersections also may be impacted by the power outage as well.
City crews will deploy generators as needed, but remember, when you come to an intersection without a signal- treat it as a four way stop.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Meeting Cancelled

The Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting scheduled for Monday, July 23 has been cancelled.

City of Spokane Meetings/Projects for this Week

  • A public open house will discuss a project to rehabilitate 44th Avenue from Regal to Ray streets. The open house will be held on Wednesday, July 18, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at ESD 101, 4204 S. Regal St.

  • A project to pave Dalke Avenue from Myrtle to Freya streets begins Monday, July 16. The project will pave Dalke Ave. from Myrtle to Freya streets; and Myrtle St. from Dalke to Francis avenues and install curbs and sidewalks. All streets will be closed to traffic. Local access will be maintained.
  • The project to rehabilitate Lidgerwood St. from North to Francis avenues and surrounding residential streets will restart on Monday, July 16. Addison St. from Rowan to Columbia avenues will then be closed to motorists. Motorists will be detoured to Lidgerwood or Division streets. Lidgerwood St. from North to Francis avenues is paved and open. The project will rehabilitate Lidgerwood St. from Joseph to Francis avenues; Addison St. from Rowan to Columbia avenues; Columbia Ave. from Lidgerwood St. to the cul-de-sac; Standard St. from North to Columbia avenues; and Joseph and Nebraska avenues from Lidgerwood to Cincinnati streets.

Leave Your Dog Home This Time of Year

Come on folks, you know better than this! I know dogs love to go in the car with you but last Thursday alone, Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) issued three citations for charges ranging from Unsafe Confinement to Animal Cruelty in the Second Degree for keeping dogs in hot cars. And one of the charges stemmed from a woman leaving her puppy in the car while she was in a bar!

Animal Protection Officers spent that day responding to reports of animals left in cars. In each case, the animals were seized and rushed to local veterinarians who confirmed the animals were suffering from heat stress.

The temperature inside a car can quickly climb to over 100-degrees. Even leaving a dog in the bed of a pickup can result in severe burns because the metal and the liner get so hot.

Animal Cruelty 2nd Degree (RCW 16.52.207) is a gross misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 365 days in jail and/or a $5,000 fine. Unsafe Confinement (RCW 16.52.080) is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

If you see an animal left in a vehicle, call SCRAPS at (509) 477-2532.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Behind The Scenes at Transportation Management Centers

Have I mentioned recently that the Spokane Regional Transportation Management Center turns ten this year? Yep, ten years of helping to combat traffic congestion. If you're not sure exactly what that entails, the video below will fill you in. 

I thought of it because of this article on the U.S. Department of Transportation website I stumbled on called "Behind the Scenes at TMCs." That's pretty much what the TMC in our office does.

What Does It All Mean?

Umm.. I get overwhelmed just looking at this mess. This is in Port Washington, WI where some people are up in arms, because, in addition to all these signs directing drivers how to get through a roundabout there and onto a highway, overhead signage is about to be installed. Some officials there are worried about the information overload additional signs, deemed necessary by the state Department of Transportation, could cause. The Ozaukee Press has the story.

Seattle Ranked Fourth Worst Traffic Congestion In U.S.

Here's one list you don't want to be at the top of; a new report out this week says Seattle is the fourth-most traffic congested city in North America. How did it rank higher than cities like San Francisco and Washington, D.C.? The Seattle Times tells why the city's traffic is considered so bad.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Lights Out To Save Money

Well, things have officially gotten so bad that the New Hampshire Department of Transportation is turning off the light at the end of the tunnel to save money. Actually it's not the light at the end of the tunnel, but at least half of the nearly 3,000 streetlights it operates on state highways.

Shutting off lights will save between $400,000 and $600,000 a year but some say the cost in accidents may not be worth it. The Concord Monitor has the story.

Plan For Delays/Detours At Kettle Falls Bridge

This is outside of Spokane County, but has the potential to have a big impact on your summer outings so I thought it was worth reporting so you can adjust your route accordingly: work begings Monday, July 23 to repair the US 395/State Route 20 Columbia River Bridge near Kettle Falls.

The bridge deck hasn't been resurfaced since it was built in 1940. Recent emergency bridge closures and temporary repairs underscored the need to permanently repair this critical transportation link. The work involves removing 1.5 inches of the existing concrete surface, repairing the underlying concrete, then repaving the bridge with concrete.

You can expect up to 20 full overnight closures of the bridge, from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., as crews pour the new concrete deck. During the full closures, drivers will be directed to a 68-mile detour via State Route 25 to Northport, then back to US 395 via the Northport/Flat Creek Road.
During the day, a temporary signal will allow vehicles to cross one direction at a time, but you can still expect up to 10-minute delays.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Next Phase Of Sprague Ave. Project Starts This Week

The next phase of the project to reconstruct Sprague Avenue is scheduled to get under way on Thursday, July 12. Crews will move the work to the south side of Sprague Avenue that day, between the 14900 block and Evergreen Road.

Originally scheduled as the last phase of the project, construction on the south side of this section of the roadway was rescheduled to accommodate the relocation and upgrade of a buried natural gas line.

During this third of four phases of construction:
• The south side of Sprague Avenue will be closed. Access to businesses will remain available.
• Traffic will be reduced to one lane each direction with a center turn lane.

• The south side of the Sprague/Adams intersection will be closed; use Progress or Evergreen to 4th Avenue for local access.

• The intersection of Sprague/Best will be closed; use Progress or Evergreen to 4th for local access.

• Evergreen Road will remain open.
Construction of the fourth and final phase of construction, which will be along the north side of Sprague Avenue between the 14900 block and Evergreen Road, is anticipated to start sometime in mid August and wrap up in late August.

Project Added To TIP- Public Input Sought

We're proposing another amendment to the 2012-2015 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and are looking for your input on it. The TIP is a programming document that identifies specific projects proposed to be undertaken during the upcoming four years. The proposed amendment is to include this new project:
Prairie View Elementary School Sidewalk Project- This project will construct a sidewalk along Johannsen Road beginning at the school and continuing to Northview Lane. A crossing will be installed at Northview Lane to the south side of Johannsen Road and a separated sidewalk will be constructed on the south side from Johannsen to an existing sidewalk west of Oak Street. A short potion of sidewalk on Orchard Prairie Road will be constructed to connect to the existing sidewalk to the north.

Full details of the amendment can be viewed at or a hard copy can be received by calling (509) 343-6370. The current TIP can be viewed here.

A public comment period on the proposed amendment starts July 10, 2012. All comments must be received by 4:30 p.m. on July 23, 2012 by emailing to, mailing to SRTC at 221 W. First Ave., Suite 310, Spokane, WA, or by calling (509) 343-6370.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Spokane Valley Road Obstruction

Sprague Avenue at Carnahan Road will be reduced to one lane each direction from 7 am Wednesday, July 11 through 6:30pm Friday, July 20th for utility work. 

Obstruction Or Exercising Your First Amendment Right?

A Texas woman has been arrested and jailed for 12 hours- for alerting drivers to the presence of a speed trap!
The has the story.

Early Aviation Beacon Removed From Local Hill

A historic tower that helped to guide pilots before radar was available has been removed but not forgotten, the Washington Transportation Commission is asking for your input on public transportation and the replacement Keller Ferry has officially been named. Here's what's happening this week in transportation from the Spokesman-Review's Getting There column.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Board Meeting Agenda Available

The agenda and packet for next Thursday, July 12th's, Policy Board meeting is available now. The time and address are also at the link. Feel free to attend if you have any transportation interestes, thoughts or concerns. Everyone is welcome.

Summer Ozone Season Is Here

With temperatures expected to hit almost 100 degrees this weekend, the Spokane Clean Air Agency wants to warn you that 'summer ozone season' as arrived and encourage you to reduce emissions. To do this, they ask you to cut back on gas-powered activities, such as car trips and yard work that involves gas mowers or trimmers.
The hot days contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, a harmful air pollutant and a key ingredient in smog. Ozone is formed when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) react in the presence of sunlight. Pollutants from our daily activities "cook" in the sunshine and hot temperatures, forming ozone.
Ways to reduce emissions include:

• Reduce car trips by combining errands.
• Walk, bike, carpool or ride the bus to work.
• Purchase products and paints with a zero or low VOC content.
• Refuel your car in the evening when possible.
• Avoid overfilling your vehicle's gas tank or "topping off" your tank. Stopping at the first "click" reduces spills and the amount of gas vapors that escape into the air.
• Avoid using small gasoline-powered engines, such as lawn mowers and tractors, chain saws, power washers, air compressors, weed whackers, leaf blowers, etc.
• Keep tires inflated properly. When your tires are inflated correctly, your car drives more efficiently which improves your gas mileage and reduces the pollution entering the air.
• Store gasoline and other solvents in tightly closed containers in dark, cool places.
• Avoid using lighter fluid to start your charcoal barbecue. Lighter fluid has high VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) content.

Here's more information on ozone and the damage it can cause, and a place where you can sign up to get alerts when air quality is poor.

Urinal Cakes Ask Bar Patrons Not To Drive Drunk

Michigan officials are trying a new tack to cut down on drunken driving. They're distributing Interactive Urinal Communicators to bars and restaurants. If you're not familiar with a Interactive Urinal Communicators you may recognize them by a more common name; talking urinal cakes.
Yes, talking urinal cakes. And here's what they say: "Listen up. That's right, I'm talking to you. Had a few drinks? Maybe a few too many? Then do yourself and everyone else a favor: Call a sober friend or a cab. Oh, and don't forget to wash your hands."

At least they add the wash your hands reminder, but at that point it would be too late for me. I'd either be running out of there because the thing scared the heck out of me or doubled over laughing.
Here's more on this non-traditional (to say the least) campaign.

Spokane City Construction Projects Starting Next Week

A project to realign sewer mains to improve flow will begin on Monday, July 9. Litchfield Pl. from Daisy Pl. to A St.; A St. from Queen to Central avenues; Crown Ave. from Milton to A streets; and Rowan Ave. from Loma Dr. to Audubon St. will be closed to traffic. Drivers will be detoured to Queen, Everett, and Rowan avenues, Alberta, Belt, and Audubon streets, or Loma Dr. This $324,000 project is being funded by the Wastewater Department.

A project to rehabilitate Jefferson St. from Wellesley to Rowan avenues and surrounding residential streets is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, July 11. The project will rehabilitate Jefferson St. from Wellesley to Rowan avenues and surrounding streets including Adams St. from Wellesley to Rowan avenues; and Madison St. from Wellesley to Rowan avenues; and Wabash Ave. from Maple to Madison streets will be rehabilitated. Also the stormwater system will be upgraded to improve performance and maintenance, and ADA curb ramps will be installed at intersections where needed. All streets will be closed to traffic. The $908,000 project is being funded by the 10-Year Street Bond and Wastewater Department.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

SRTC Is 20 Meters From The Guy With The Sign Asking For Money

Wow, I thought I was the only one who gives crazy directions but it turns out folks in Costa Rica have been copying my system all these years of directing people to locations using not addresses, but directions such as "a miles from the gas station" or "across from the school." Apparently the country doesn't name streets and homes don't have addresses. It's been estimated this is costing the country hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue though. For instance, a quarter of sent mail is returned as undeliverable. So why's it taking so long to fix such an inconvenient system? The Wall Street Journal talks about the pros and cons of this system.

'Cliff Notes' Guide To New Federal Transportation Bill

A lot of people have been asking how the new federal transportation bill, MAP 21, compares to the old one, SAFETEA-LU. Having had a few days off and then the holiday, I haven't had time to go through it myself. Thanks to one of the members of our Transportation Advisory Committee though for sending this analysis of MAP 21, by America Bikes. It compares areas of the two bills, such as Programs, Funding & State Opt Out, Eligible Uses, Program Mechanics, etc. side by side, then offers and analysis for each topic. There is also a section where 'Frequently Asked Questions' are answered. All in all, it appears to be a pretty good 'Cliffs Notes' because I'm guessing there's not much chance you'll read the entire MAP 21 bill.

Bike To Work Barb To Lead Bicycle Alliance Of Washington

Congratulations to Bike to Work Barb! After tirelessly advocating for bicycling on our side of the state, she has been hired to lead the Bicycle Alliance of Washington in Seattle! Barb has been on our Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) since its inception and has volunteered her time on many other committees and events, particularly the annual Bike to Work Week. She is a daily bike commuter and launched the blog, Bike Style Spokane, as a way to encourage more women to try biking.

Barb says this is a dream come true for her. We will miss her on the TAC but will still be able to work with her on non-motorized projects.
She takes over as Executive Director of the Alliance in August. Here's the press release if you want to know more.

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.