December 21, 2009 in City

Yearlong study will create ‘vision’ for regional transit

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Also today

Q-and-A: A spokeswoman from AAA in Spokane offers statistics and tips on this year’s holiday travel trends.

Page A5

The future of transportation in the Spokane region is going to get a yearlong look in 2010.

Leaders from local governments and the private sector have agreed to launch a study that will culminate in a “unified regional transportation vision” for Spokane.

A private consultant is being sought to lead the community study of how Spokane wants to develop its system of roads, transit, walks and trails.

“The goal is to come up with a plan of what we want to see in 30 to 50 years down the road and how we are going to implement it,” said Staci Lehman, public education and information coordinator for the Spokane Regional Transportation Council.

The SRTC, which is Spokane’s federally designated metropolitan planning organization, will lead the study. Up to $350,000 is available through local government funding to finance the work.

Starting early next year, agencies and organizations that have a stake in transportation will be surveyed. Public meetings will be held to gauge community sentiment.

Expansion of mass transit and improvements in alternative transportation are going to be part of the discussions, Lehman said.

The effort stems from recognition among community leaders that Spokane has lacked a cohesive voice when it comes to seeking state and federal money for major projects such as the North Spokane Corridor, which is only partially funded.

The long-range “visioning” will help Spokane focus on its goals, Lehman said.

The work is expected to be finished as early as November.

More than 40 planners, engineers and communications experts have indicated interest in the consulting job. SRTC put out a request for proposals last month.

To learn more about the process, go to srtc.org and click on the link under “community visioning request for proposals.”

SRTC can be reached by e-mail at contact.srtc@srtc.org; Lehman can be reached at (509) 343-6387.

Make way for snowplows

Leave your car along the side of the road long enough for snowplows to bury it and create a hazard – and prepare for the worst. The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office last week issued a notice that deputies will order those vehicles towed.

The problem came up last year during the record-setting snows across the region, and the Sheriff’s Office said it’s not going to tolerate it this year.

Owners should consider moving their vehicles away from snow piles and keeping the piles from encroaching into travel lanes, deputies said.


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