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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Applicants needed for Transportation Benefit District board

​Interested in helping maintain the City’s streets and sidewalks? The City of Spokane’s Transportation Benefit District (TBD) Board is seeking applicants to fill a vacancy on the citizen advisory board that helps determine priorities for TBD funding.

The Citizen’s Transportation Advisory Board (CTAB) is seeking to fill a vacancy for a position from Council District 1 (Northeast Spokane) with a term ending Nov. 11, 2016.

The successful candidate may seek reappointment at the end of the term. Spokane’s Transportation Benefit District is an independent taxing district created in October 2010 to help the City better maintain its street system and pedestrian infrastructure. The Spokane City Council serves as the TBD governing board separately from their Council duties.

Money raised through a $20 vehicle registration fee pays for street maintenance and pedestrian improvements outlined in the City’s Six-Year Pavement Maintenance Program. The fee raises about $2.6 million annually.


In the “Parking Madness” bracket, it’s Spokane vs. Cleveland

Still angry over the Zags not advancing in March Madness? Did you really pick them to win it all in your bracket? Fear not because Spokane has an opportunity to advance in a different kind of bracket!

We made the D.C. Streets Blog but congratulations aren't exactly in order. It's because we have lots and lots of parking lots.

They have a "Parking Madness" bracket that examines the "worst parking craters in an American downtown." Eight cities have squared off while Milwaukee, Tulsa, Dallas and Louisville made it through the first half of the first round. 

Spokane made an appearance due to the ill-advised convention center parking crater, seen in a before and after below:


Proof that you’re never too old to bike to work

Bike To Work week wrapped up last Friday and what a week it was. I talked to a lot of people though who just kept coming up with excuses as to why they couldn't participate. They should meet Lucette Gilbert, who says she's in her "high 70's," the latest star in Streetfilms' series on New Yorkers who ride.


My NYC Biking Story: Lucette Gilbert from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Tax for streets overshadows talk of task force

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A) Jon Snyder: “You can’t just say, ‘We need the streets fixed! We need the streets fixed!’ and then vote against every single remedy that we have at our disposal”
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B) Steve Corker: “If the No. 1 priority of the city was public safety, would we have the courage to vote in a B&O (tax) to ensure that was funded?”
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C) Bob Apple: “I hope the voters take a negative act towards those who think that they don’t have a right to an input”
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D) Joe Shogan: “A B&O tax in this town has got about as much chance as an ice cube in hell”

Mayor Mary Verner told the Spokane City Council on Tuesday that she will reconvene a committee that will help form policy on paving streets and select opportunities to focus "complete streets" efforts.

For the most part, the city's 2004 street bond has been used only to reconstruct streets from curb-to-curb, a policy that has been challenged by some members of City Council who believe it should also be used to improve sidewalks and make other upgrades. Verner has stood by the curb-to-curb use of the street bond, but has worked to supplement that money with grants and other funds to add amenities on certain projects.

Talk in Tuesday's meeting often turned to funding, specifically on the proposed tab tax that will be considered by the Spokane City Council next month. As you can hear in the above clips, passion among the council members about streets is high.

Feast or Famine…

Good morning, Netizens…

It is either feast or famine in the City of Spokane snow removal operation, if experiences this morning are to be given any credibility. After the first body-slam of snow one week ago last Thursday, it took four days before we saw a single snowplow coming rumbling down our street, and then it did a desultory, half-hearted job at that. The City of Spokane’s pretty color-coordinated map located at http://www.spokanestreetdepartment.org/snowplow.htm never gave us a clue when the plows would be arriving, hence we could not be prepared and have our vehicles moved off the street.

However, at approximately 2:30 this morning, as if to make up for perceived lack of attention, two city plows came rumbling by the house a total of five times between 1 and 3 AM with their blades scraping the accumulated ice and snow off the street and piling it neatly beside the street. Of course, this created yet another big snow berm that will need to be dealt with before anyone goes to work today.

Unfortunately for some, two of our household will be working straight through the weekend, making up for the three work days they lost during the previous storm. Equally unfortunate, the weather forecast is now for rain mixed with snow or vice-versa, which promises an icy mix guaranteed to to delight drivers throughout the city.

At least now with temperatures hovering near 30 degrees at a quarter to four in the morning, the de-icer may function as it should, and perhaps city intersections will be better than they were when temperatures were hovering near zero.

Have your streets been plowed?