Thursday, January 12, 2017

Proposed Bill Would Lower Train Speed Through Cities

A bill proposed Wednesday would give Spokane officials the power to make trains slow down through the city.

According to the Spokesman-Review, SB 5098, sponsored by Sen. Andy Billig, D-Spokane, would give major cities and the state Utilities and Transportation Commission the authority to set lower speed limits than the federal government allows in certain cases.

Under federal law, trains can travel as fast as 50 mph through cities, but lower limits can be set for what is referred to as “unique local safety hazards,” according to Billig, who also said trains with flammable materials traveling through commercial and residential areas at 50 mph is a unique hazard and “a recipe for disaster.”

The next step would be for the bill to be scheduled for a hearing by the Transportation or the Energy committee.

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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.