Local events

Horizon 2040 Public Open House

The Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC) wants your opinion on the future of transportation investments in our area. The SRTC has completed a draft of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP), Horizon 2040, and is making it available to the public with two open houses and a 30-day public comment period.

Horizon 2040 is a long-term “blueprint” that guides how the regional transportation system will grow and develop through the year 2040. It is based on projections for growth in population, housing and jobs and takes into consideration every mode of transportation, such as private vehicles, public transit, bicycling, walking, freight movement, rail and air travel.
Horizon 2040 includes:

• The projected demand expected to be placed on the regional transportation system between 2014 and 2040;
• the condition of existing transportation facilities;
• strategies to operate and maintain regional transportation facilities and manage congestion;
• assessments of area pedestrian and bicycle facilities;
• a list of transportation projects and programs to be constructed or completed by 2040; and
• a financial plan to carry out all of the above activities.

Horizon 2040 is required to demonstrate that funding exists, or will exist, to pay for each of the projects recommended by the plan to be built or completed.

“With a 37% increase in vehicle travel expected in the Spokane region by 2040, we have to plan how to pay for upkeep to the transportation system to keep up with demand,” says Mayor Steve Peterson of Liberty Lake, Chair of SRTC’s Policy Board. “We must be proactive in preparing for issues this growth could bring. Many of our area streets are already in poor condition and the challenge will be in maintaining them.”

Because transportation funding is tight, every possible project cannot be included in Horizon 2040. SRTC used the public as a gauge to determine what was important to include; having booths at many community events and presenting to dozens of community and special interest groups to gather feedback. Some recurring themes and requests heard include completing the North Spokane Corridor, expanding public transit service, improving nonmotorized facilities such as sidewalks and bike lanes, and dedicating additional funds to maintaining existing roads and other transportation facilities.

The public will get a chance to see their comments reflected at two open houses. The first is Tuesday, October 29 from 4-6 p.m. at the Cheney Library at 610 First Street, Cheney, WA. The second is Wednesday, November 6, 2013 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Northeast Community Center, 4001 N. Cook St. Spokane, WA, in the Assembly Room.

Horizon 2040 is available for review and comment before then at http://www.srtc.org/mtp_2040.html. Hard copies can be viewed at the SRTC office at 221 W. First Ave., Suite 310, Spokane, WA. Comments can be submitted by emailing contact.srtc@srtc.org, mailing to SRTC or by calling (509) 343-6370. The public comment period for Horizon 2040 runs from October 18 to November 16, 2013.