Friday, October 24, 2014

Rail System Input Needed

The Washington State Department of Transportation will seek the insights of farmers, rail-industry experts, regular citizens and anyone in between at planning workshops this fall on state-owned rail lines in an effort  to improve the movement of goods produced on Northwest farms

WSDOT planning staff will consider infrastructural and operational challenges as they develop the Palouse River and Coulee City (PCC) Rail System Strategic Plan for the system. The strategic plan will be developed in partnership with the PCC Rail Authority. The 297-mile PCC rail line consists of three branch lines that carry freight through four eastern Washington counties. Shippers in Spokane, Lincoln, Grant and Whitman counties distribute commodities across the rail system to and from the hubs of cross-country railroads. Last year, the PCC rail system carried 20 percent of state-grown wheat, while reducing 37,000 truckloads from Washington state roadways.

The Spokane workshop is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 13 here at SRTC- 221 W. 1st St., Suite 310 from 2:30 4 p.m. so if you have thoughts, come share 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.