Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Additional Options Needed Across the Cascades

Like last week, it happens every so often and we all freak out. The Washington State Department of Transportation closed both Snoqualmie Pass and Stevens Passes on Christmas Eve due to ten feet of snow and serious avalanche danger. While this is a safety measure, people still complain. Several friends scrapped their plans to spend the holiday with family on the west side after looking into flights (too full and too expensive).

As the folks at the Seattle Transit Blog pointed out in a post yesterday, we need more and better options across the Cascades. A major storm can literally leave us, and the products we depend on that are shipped over the pass daily, stranded and separated from the rest of the state.

And, as the blog post points out, it's not just during the rare freak snowstorm that we need these options. I drive to the west side often and frankly, I hate the drive. If there was train service for a decent price, at a decent hour and that was timely, I think it would be well-used.

At the link above, Seattle Transit Blog breaks down the number of people traveling the passes everyday and how this amount of people could be transported more efficiently.

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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.