Spokesman-Review Letter To The Editors
Roads lead to future
In his guest column on April 10, Dallas Hawkins suggested that building city streets to complete streets standards is not “practical” because of increased costs.
But the opposite is true. What is not practical is to build or rebuild streets to lower standards of operation than are possible if streets at appropriate locations incorporate safety and multimodal capabilities.
Greater operational safety of streets for cars, trucks, buses, pedestrians and bicyclists represents significant decreased future costs to the community and the city.
Built-in provisions for transit service, pedestrian walkways and bike lanes significantly increase streets’ capacity to move people and goods.
What we invest in today permanently impacts the community’s future, and we should be building service facilities like streets for their best achievable utility over their long lifetime.
So what future will our streets be built to accommodate? What future service requirements should our investments pay for? If they are seen as the same as the past, as does Hawkins, then we are left with streets that are not rebuilt to incorporate less expensive modes of travel, such as transit and bicycles, or to increase vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle safety. This is not the “practical” investment choice for Spokane’s streets.