Using my crystal ball, I’m going to look into the future and tell you what our transportation system will look like in 30-50 years. I joke about it, but that’s what we’re attempting to do with the ‘Community Visioning Process’ SRTC is conducting. Only we’re not using a crystal ball, but input from people like yourself.
The goal of the Visioning process is to come up with a product, and an implementation plan,that describes the desired attributes of a multimodal transportation system to be developed over the next 30-50 years.
The process will look at all modes of transportation-transit, bicycling, walking, personal vehicles, freight, etc.- within Spokane County, as well as how they contribute and interact with each other and economic development.
Today we held the first meeting of the ‘Visioning Process Team,’ a group made up of elected officials, civic and business leaders, a couple SRTC Board members, bike and pedestrian advocates, etc. This meeting was facinating but left me with my head spinning.
There is so much that goes into planning such a huge project and so little time (the goal is to have the process wrapped up around the end of the year). Today’s meeting brought up many topics including, but not limited, to:
– Identifying gaps in the transportation system
– Making sure there is connectivity between all the different modes of transportation
– Changing the negative attitude toward bicyclists from drivers and vice versa
– Promoting transit-oriented developments
– The need to consider not only Kootenai County, but also Suncrest and all the way up to Trail, B.C. and over to parts of Montana in our planning process
– How to measure if the process, and the plan that results from it, is a success
– The fact that congestion isn’t always bad but there is a fine balance between congestion and building too many roads
– The question of how to best engage the public in this process as infrastructure/transportation isn’t considered ‘sexy’
And there was lots more. Two hours worth. It will all come together but right now it’s a lot to grasp. A HUGE part of the process is going to be hearing what you want to see. So let me know here what you would like to see in the future of transportation for Spokane. If you are interested in being involved, please also send me your email address, so I can keep you updated as this process evolves.
In the meantime, here’s more info on the Visioning Process.