Tuesday AM Recap: Support for STA & Bike Plan Update
The Master Bike Plan has not been updated since it was passed in 2008. In the intervening years the City has made some progress in improving our bike facilities, but not nearly as much as we should have. I brought forward an update to the Master Bike Plan on an emergency basis after nearly a year of work because the City was in danger of losing out valuable grant opportunities because we haven’t added new projects to the plan. This is an important step forward in making cycling safer and more appealing in our City, and will be important to helping the City retain it’s Bicycle-Friendly status. Thanks to City staff Louis Meuler, and Nathan Gwinn for their work on this and thanks to my fellow Councilmembers for being committed to a balanced transportation network. Passed 5-2 with Councilmembers Allen and Fagan voting against but not giving a reason why.
The Council passed a resolution in support of the Spokane Transit Ballot measure to fund significant new service for the first time in 30 years. The Deadline for this vote is April 28th with ballots going out the end of next week. We got a great presentation from STA last night discussing the 10-years worth of projects in the ballot measure. STA has earned the trust of the citizens with strong financial practices and an inclusive planning effort that lasted five years. STA provides essential transportation for the most vulnerable populations–seniors, students, the disabled, and low income–and provides crucial economic development. In addition to providing access to jobs the Spokane Transit measure will fund over $120 million dollars in projects in our County. You can read more about the plan here. This vote passed 6-1, with Councilmember Fagan voting against, just as he did against our similar resolution in favor of the recent successful Spokane Public Schools bond and levy.
In other business we approved an emergency budget ordinance to fund a position for the Targeted Investment Area on East Sprague, two hearing dates for street vacations, a sole-source contract for detox services, and a resolution supporting the naming of the North-South Freeway after Speaker Tom Foley.
Active Transportation, Council recap