This story in the Spokesman-Review today talks about some areas in which Spokane and Kootenai county commissioners would like to coordinate their efforts to be more effective overall.
Here are a couple of the topics they are tackling: comparing notes on recycling programs, establishing a regional law enforcement pay structure so Kootenai isn’t competing with Spokane County for officers, and connecting Kootenai’s bus system to Spokane Transit routes to allow commuters to travel from Kootenai to Spokane County, all on public transit.
Great ideas? Of course, but the public transit one isn’t a new idea. SRTC has been talking about hooking the two transit systems up for several years now. We’ve run into a couple barriers over the years that have prevented it from happening, so if the commissioners talking about it can make it happen, great.
The most opportune time may have passed already though, considering that SRTC used to provide transportation planning services for Kootenai County in addition to Spokane County. The Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization Board recently voted to separate from SRTC and hire our former Transportation Manager, so it’s hard to say what kind of affect working with a newly-formed agency could have.
Anyway, it’s great to see we’re moving in the direction of across the board (and border) coordination. Read the article to see what other efforts commissioners from both counties are focusing their attention on at this time.