We’ve been crazy busy around here, developing our Metropolitan Transportation Plan, Horizon 2040. We work on a lot of plans and documents each year, but Horizon 2040 is probably our most important. That’s because it’s based on projections for growth in population, housing and jobs and considers every mode of transportation, such as vehicles, public transit, bicycling, walking, freight movement, rail and air travel.

When complete, Horizon 2040 will include a list of transportation projects and programs from each jurisdiction within Spokane County to be constructed or completed over the next 20+ years. We’re required to demonstrate that funding exists, or will exist during that timeframe, to pay for each of those projects. As a result, we can’t include every project we’d like to see built or finished. As you keep hearing, funding for transportation is extremely limited right now. This means choices will have to be made and community priorities decided upon as to what projects make the cut and what will have to wait.

That’s where we’re looking for your input. We recently hosted a series of “Roundtable” discussions on six topics: Public Transit; Bicycling, Pedestrians and Health Issues; Transportation for Seniors and Veterans; Transportation for People with Disabilities or Transportation Barriers; Roads and Freight Movement; and Transportation for Young People.

We got a lot of input from the folks who attended those sessions. Some topics that came up at almost every roundtable include:

• Improved snow removal and snow storage options are needed.

• Cuts to public transit have presented challenges to transit users across the board, but particularly to the disabled, elderly, low income and those too young to have drivers’ licenses.

• Sidewalks need improvements such as fixing damaged sidewalks and filling in sidewalks where they don’t exist.

Summaries of the conversation and themes from each of those Roundtables are available on the Horizon 2040 webpage.

We asked the people at those listening sessions to fill out a survey on their transportation priorities for the region, but we want to make sure the results reflects the priorities of the larger public, so now we’re asking you to take the survey too. You can take it here.

Please spread the word about the survey. We can’t accurately portray the community’s needs and priorities without their feedback.

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