Posts tagged: complete streets
Spokane’s only tax revenue geared specifically for sidewalks won’t be diverted for street paving by the City Council’s new membership.
The council last year narrowly approved a $20-per vehicle tab tax and mandated that 10 percent be spent on sidewalks while the rest be spent on streets.
A majority of members on the more conservative City Council elected in November already said they didn’t support repealing the tax. On Tuesday, it became clear that the sidewalk set-aside is safe, too.
The council voted unanimously to approve two sidewalk construction projects for this year using tab fee revenue. A third sidewalk project was approved on a 6-0 vote with Councilman Mike Allen abstaining because he lives across the street from where the sidewalk will be installed on 29th Avenue.
The projects were recommended by the Citizens Transportation Advisory Board.
Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin, who voted against setting aside money for sidewalks and the creation of the tab tax last year, said while sidewalks aren’t her first transportation priority, she recognizes that the city has a problem with large sections of missing sidewalks.
“I lost that vote,” she said. “It’s time to move on. I want to help make as good decisions as possible with these dollars.”
If Spokane voters approve a new tax to repave a new round of crumbling streets, walkers, wheelchair users and bicyclists won't be ignored when streets are rebuilt.
The Spokane City Council late Monday, in the last meeting before four of the members will be replaced, voted 5-2 in favor of a “complete streets” ordinance.
The new rule will require that when streets are reconstructed, pedestrian and bike infrastructure already called for within the comprehensive plan – the city's long-term growth guide — must also be included as part of the construction. That extra infrastructure, however, wouldn't have to be included if the cost to add it equaled 20 percent or more of the total project cost.
The long-time leader of the neighborhood group representing downtown filed paperwork last week announcing a run for Spokane City Council.
Gary Pollard, chairman of the Riverside Neighborhood Council, said Monday that he decided to run because the council needs more members who are “more pragmatic” and “more job-oriented.”
He said some council members are too focused on “complete streets” concepts and that he would not support asking voters for a new street bond if it included money for sidewalks.
“That would put too much burden on the taxpayers,” Pollard said.