Monday, June 14, 2010

Calling all Vallyites and those that cycle through Spokane Valley

One thing we didn't do so great during the Master Bike Plan work was sync'ing the bike network of the City of Spokane with the existing/planned network of the Valley. There are many reasons for this, mainly, that there really wasn't a Valley plan. But it's more a product of the regional fiefdoms that emerge as sprawl is arbitrarily chopped into different jurisdictions.

You see this at the county as you come travel southbound into Spokane on Wall street. And you see it as you travel westbound from the Valley on Sprague at Fancher road. So, we somehow manage to make car travel contiguous across these borders, but when it comes to bike and pedestrian facilities, it appears to be beyond the scope of transportation planning and implementation. Meh.

As for the Valley, the new city council is looking to make a strong opening move to show their commitment to the anti-taxers by cutting a planned bike lane project on Broadway. That's 80% funded by external grant money.

More detail from Marc Mims:

I'm trying to rally support for a project in Spokane Valley. Our city
council will vote at their June 29th meeting, on a motion to suspend the
Broadway Safety project.

Broadway is a major east-west residential arterial through Spokane
Valley. A few years ago, the section of Broadway from Sullivan Road to
Pines was changed from 4 lanes to a 3-lane configuration---one auto lane
in each direction, a center turn lane, and bike lanes.

Accidents rates are down significantly, there's much better access for
multi-modes of transportation to several schools along the route, and
the bike lanes are used regularly by cyclists.

The Broadway Safety Project would extend the new lane configuration from
Pines to Park. The city applied for and received grant approval to
cover 80% of the cost. However, some members of our current council
have been working hard to cancel the project. Their view: we don't need
bike lanes. It's a waste of money. Bikes don't belong on the streets.
They belong on the sidewalks and the Centennial Trail.

At a recent council meeting, council member Bob McCaslin commented, "We
don't need bike lanes. They have the sidewalk." When reminded by staff
that it's illegal to ride bikes on the sidewalks in Spokane Valley, he
said, "They have to catch you, first."

If the citizens don't communicate their wishes to their council
members, we're going to miss an opportunity to make our city a better,
safer place for cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists alike.

Time is short.

News and announcements related to the project are available at:

Council members can be contacted via email. Their addresses are here:


rory said...


it sounds like you're very interested in moving this project forward. I think theres more to this project then what the council person is saying. if you review their TIP, the project is still moving forward, however, instead of spending the bulk of the money this year, they are now spreading out the money. to complete the PE, then procure R/W, then build the project in 2014/15. with the size/scope of the project, it seems pretty reasonable, especially with federal funding.

have you talked with the city's project manager about the project?

2010 TIP(#2 slot):


2011 draft TIP (#6 and #20 slot):

semifor said...

rory, the immediate concern is the Broadway Ave Safety Project (slot 4, 2010 TIP). It is currently approved, funding secured.

The current city council has asked the city manager to prepare a motion to suspend the project. They will vote on that motion June 29th. Some members of the council oppose the project and want it canceled. Apparently, the motion to suspend is compromise.

If the project is not started next constructions season, we lose the grant that funds 80% of it.

There are, as I understand it, 3 possible outcomes, June 29th: 1) the council votes NO on the motion and the project proceeds as scheduled. 2) the council votes NO on the motion to suspend and instead, cancels the project. 3) the council votes YES on the motion and the issue remains undecided until next year.