Bravo to the Spokane City Council, and especially to Richard Rush and Jon Snyder, for pushing forward with at least a couple of bike lanes on downtown streets. This is long overdue. The Howard Street lanes are especially important, linking the most widely used bike commuter routes into downtown from both north and south.
When it comes to biking, Spokane is a natural. Our climate, geography and active people all give us the potential to be a world-class cycling city, which studies show to be a huge economic driver over time, attracting and keeping the young, skilled people that make cities prosper. So far, we haven’t done much to make the most of these advantages.
Too many cyclists have been injured and killed on downtown Spokane streets in recent years, and too many others have been frightened away from cycling due to the dangers here. Meanwhile, all other Northwest cities have moved far ahead of us, despite rainier climates, steeper terrain or more costly land. It’s good to see at least a few improvements to put Spokane on a better path.