Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Up and Coming Work

(clicking the picture will open a PDF of this image)

I've been wanting this mashup map for a while. It shows the bike facilities that are specified in our current comp plan, overlaid with upcoming street bond projects. Thanks to Ken and Katherine who are staffers for the City of Spokane for putting this together.
There's a lot of goo here. I'll go with the bullet list approach:
  • The current comp plan shows a map of shared use lanes (no lines, just signs) and bike lanes (lines on the street).
  • The city and the Bicycle Advisory Board are just now beginning the process of creating a Master Bike Plan (MBP). I've had a few entries that describe it. The MBP is likely about a year or 18 months away from completion. Which means, we're a couple years out from real, on the street implementation. So, one challenge is to continue to push for bicycle facilities as we develop the new plan and make sure that the two parallel efforts are congruent.
  • The "Street Bond Project" implementation is a disappointment. I've gone on about that in another post. The main take away is that we're spending millions of dollars on re-surfacing many roads in Spokane, roads that will not be resurfaced for another few decades, and many of these roads are specified (in the comp plan) as roads that should have bike facilities. However, these funds were locked down by a street citizen advisory committee in such a way to only benefit automobiles: no "amenities" (regardless of what is specified in the comp plan)can be improved or created with these bond monies.

So then why the mash up? The reality is, there are many citizens, city employees, and elected officials that are wise enough to see beyond the short-term costs of providing an infrastructure that encourages non-single-occupancy auto transportation. Smart communities all over the world have recognized or are recognizing that putting money into alternative transportation pays off in the long term. In a nutshell: if it is the will of the citizens, we can get the bike facilities on some of these upcoming projects.

We've been successful with getting some funds to stripe the SE Blvd Project. Now the city engineers are considering signing and "re-centering" a section of North Wall that is going to be resurfaced next year. In addition, the city council is interested in piloting the Bike Blvd idea in the next year or so. Don't know what a Bike Blvd is?

Check out this youtube video and start dreaming of how a side street in your neighborhood would look all decked out.


So, as you look at that map, take a look at your neighborhood and look at the upcoming work. If it's more than a year out AND there are bike facilities spec'd on the comp plan for the work area AND you think bike facilities would be a good idea there, then please contact me or come to a BAB meeting and get involved.

1 comment:

Jason Gilman said...

Cool map, but I think I spotted one error: I don't think there's a direct street connection between Southeast Blvd and Crestline unless they just put it in recently. I may have to check that out on the ride home tonight.

The Bicycle Blvd is a cool concept. I could see lower traffic semi-arterials like Arthur, Manito and 25th as Bicycle Blvds on the South Hill.