WHAT IS SMARTROUTES?
SmartRoutes was the Spokane area’s plan to significantly increase transportation choices for walking and bicycling by making safer and more convenient trails, sidewalks, and bike facilities. SRTC hoped to accomplish this through partnering with the Rails to Trails Conservancy in their goal to have Congress double the non-motorized transportation budget from $4.5 billion to $9 billion in the new federal transportation budget. MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century), the recently passed federal transportation bill, didn't address this however.
As part of the SmartRoutes campaign in early 2008, SRTC, Spokane Regional Health District, local political and business leaders, community activists, walking and bicycling advocates, and local planners and engineers combined resources to encourage commuters to find an alternative to driving alone. They discovered that the Spokane area needs extensive improvements to our bike and pedestrian facilities, to get people to do that. Those improvements will cost a substantial amount of money, however.
In response, the ‘SmartRoutes 2010’ initiative was developed. While it didn't come through,the campaign did bring awareness to the need for more non-motorized transportation options,and local elected leaders took notice. The community has continued to work on on developing non-motorized transportation infrastructure for our area with local dollars and other funding sources.
As part of the initial SmartRoutes application in 2008, SRTC and partners compiled a list of priority non-motorized projects for the area. While waiting for a new transportation bill to be authorized, several of the projects on that list were funded through other sources. The project list was updated in late 2010 and will be updated again in 2013 to keep the momentum going.
Click the links below for information on each of the projects on the current list:
PowerPoint Presentation of Project Descriptions
In addition to completing some of the projects on the SmartRoutes list, there have been other accomplishments that came out of SmartRotues. A Complete Streets Policy was developed as a result of SmartRoutes and the City of Spokane recognized the need for, and created, a Bike/Pedestrian Coordinator position.
Partners in the SmartRoutes initiative: