I’m doing my blogging late today because I spent all morning in the Inland Pacific Hub (IPH) meeting this morning at CenterPlace in Spokane Valley. If you’re not familiar with the IPH Transportation Study, it is a project is to transform the Inland Northwest into a hub for commerce, vital to the global economy. Sound like a stretch? Well it’s not; because of its central location, the Inland Northwest is perfectly positioned to be a key link to competitive commerce in the northern hemisphere.

Besides SRTC, there are several agencies partnering on this project, including Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Washington State Department of Transportation, and the Idaho Transportation Department.

Those jurisdictions this week hosted three forums to get input from the public in Pullman, Sandpoint, and Spokane Valley. And people seem to be interested; over 30 people attended the Pullman meeting, about 12 in Sandpoint, and just over 50 at today’s Spokane Valley meeting. And they came from a variety of backgrounds. At today’s meeting alone, we had representatives from the railroads, Avista, Jobs Plus, the Davenport Economic Development Council, Eastern Washington University, a couple of everyday citizens, a delegation of three from Trail, B.C., and a ton of other people. And they all had different perspectives about what we need to do to take full advantage of the potential economic development opportunities associated with international trade.

We’re in the process of compiling the meeting notes and results, and will have those on the Inland Pacific Hub website sometime within the next week. The good news is that this gives you that time to go through the IPH website and get to know the project a little more. Happy reading and let us know if you have any questions or comments.

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