A task force looking at land-use planning in the Indian Trail area probably will have to revisit key elements in light of a recent traffic study, city planning director Charlie Dotson said.
Completed by the Spokane Regional Transportation Council, the traffic analysis concludes that final build-out of the plan “will overwhelm the existing transportation in north Spokane.”
The committee of Indian Trail residents and developers hoped that air-pollution violations along Francis Avenue intersections could be reduced by creating enough density in the neighborhood so bus service could become viable.
Instead, the traffic analysis concludes that it’s really too late for any real gains with mass transit. In essence, there is so little land left to subdivide that increasing the density now would only make air pollution worse.
“If we had tried to implement a strategy like this 10 or 15 years ago, we might have had some success,” Dotson said. “But the horse is already out of the barn door.”
The transportation council does recommend a combination of other options which, if done in unison, could reduce carbon monoxide to federal standards.
Among them would be highoccupancy vehicle lanes along the Ash-Maple corridor and the construction of a bypass corridor along a Five Mile Road-Strong Road and Barnes Road corridor, which would create an outlet for north and eastbound traffic.
The specific plan and the traffic analysis now goes back to a citizens committee for public workshops and analysis.