The Spokane City Council unanimously agreed to support the “preservation, maintenance and improvement” of the John Way Pioneer Trail Monday night, following threats from state legislators to abandon ownership of some parts of the trail crossing the entire state.
The resolution supporting the 253-mile-long trail, which connects to Spokane via the Fish Lake and Columbia Plateau trails, was put forward by Councilman Jon Snyder.
“I wanted to express solidarity with some of these smaller towns, especially Tekoa,” Snyder said of the communities along the route.
The trail is the former rail bed for the old Milwaukee Road, which connected Spokane to Seattle. Idaho’s popular Route of the Hiawatha also sits on the road.
Legislators will likely discuss selling off parts of the trail in the upcoming legislative session, and Snyder said he wanted to put forth the resolution to stop the proposal.
Pat Sprute, who rode the length of the trail in 2012, supported the council’s resolution.
“Whether a trip starts here or ends here, money will be spent” in Spokane, Sprute said.
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.