Planning for a Bikeable, Walkable Spokane: Finding a Way Forward Together

Spokane Petition

Bicycle-Friendly Community signThe City of Spokane has announced the elimination of the Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator position. The message filtering out now, as Spokane bike advocates raise questions about this decision, is that their intent is to have the bike/pedestrian function built into the work of everyone who works on city streets.

We hear that statement as a promise to make Spokane a better city for bicycling and walking—a goal we share.

The way the decision was made and announced, however, and past history give the citizens who devote their time and energy to better biking, better walking, and Complete Streets some concern. We want to treat this as an opportunity to work together for better bicycling and walking–hence, this petition.

We the undersigned ask for a constructive public discussion about our multimodal future and for a public commitment to specific, measurable goals, progress reports, and process improvements that move us–together–beyond a cars-first approach.

Then we will all be able to celebrate more comfortable, more inviting streets for all that will truly make us the city of choice for future generations.

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We'll use this to determine your City Council district if you don't know it.

 

The Specifics

We need to hear a deeper dialogue and public commitment from the mayor, the City Council, and department heads that they truly will walk and bike the talk to assure us Spokane is moving forward, not back.

To believe that biking and walking are going to be at the big table and truly embedded in every decision and design, we call on elected and appointed city leaders to engage in discussions with citizen leaders and, based on those discussions, to provide specific answers to five questions in two essential arenas: operational and aspirational:

Operational

  • How will training needs be assessed and how will city staff acquire the expertise necessary to create and implement thoughtful and appropriate design of streets for all?
  • How will staff at all levels be evaluated for their contributions to better bicycling and walking and how will their accomplishments be recognized?
  • What staff will serve as the point of contact within the city for concerns related to bicycling and walking?

Aspirational

  • Will the mayor and City Council commit to a bold and specific goal for increases in biking and walking by a specific year, allocate city resources to work toward those, and report progress to the community annually?
  • Will the mayor and City Council commit to the goal of moving Spokane from Bronze level Bicycle-Friendly Community status to Silver, as a means of benchmarking against national standards, and develop specific plans for this status to be achieved?

Final Note

A focused position and the work of local citizen volunteers has yielded many results in the past 4-1/2 years. To name just a few:

  • Recognition of Spokane as a Bronze level Bicycle-Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists
  • $10-$12 million in non-local grants and funding for bike/pedestrian projects
  • Significant bike projects including the downtown network, closure of gaps in the Centennial Trail, University District Bike-Pedestrian Bridge progress, Iron Bridge, High Drive, Addison-Standard, and more
  • Estimated bike facilities additions: 11 miles of bike lanes, 7 miles of shared-use, off-street paved trails, and 6 miles of marked shared routes (signage and/or sharrows)

We believe this kind of progress can only continue with specific aspirational and operational commitments from city leaders. We look forward to a positive, constructive response and future celebrations of continued progress.

Names of Supporters

Leann Yamamoto

Erika Henry

Gage Stromberg

Eva Silverstone

Timothy Dickerson

Philip Sandifur

Henry Greer

Robin Deruwe

John Driscoll

Daniel Schaffer

Marla Emde

Louise Harless

Alan Jacob

Linda Prussack

Craig Minette

Alexander Martinek

Chris Voges

Mary Ann Bosky

Betsy Lawrence

Susie Prussack

Roger Bosky

Lynnetta Ellis

Jaime Brush

Joshua Messinger

Chris Bernardi

Jessica Bussard

Cynthia Short

Barb Stuebing

Walt Kloefkorn  Walt

Donald Gibson

Carol Waldenberg

Meghan Pinch

Scott Stucker

Luke Baumgarten

Alli Kingfisher

Stine Hansen

Kelly Lerner

Heather Svanidze

Kaaren Goeller-Bloom

Sarah Bain

Paul Main

Neil Andersen

Rick Hastings

Bradley Bleck

Jeannie Nelson

Lori Decicio

Eric Iannelli

Kate Burke

Steve Faust

Barb Chamberlain

Scott Jozefowski

Charlene Violette

Kelsi Swenson

Carol Bryan

John Speare

Mary Rosner

Noah Sutherland

Bradley Baysinger

Karen Momany

Ryan Patterson

Hunter Dehaven

William Kelley

James Baird

Travis Nichols

Nikki Follett

Paul Mutton

David Merriman

Josh Meckel

Rebecca Moore

Dev Brierley

Tim Ray

Erika Jacobs

Teresa Lien

David Jones

Katy Zemke

Mark Steward

Luke Bakken

Suzanne Vennard Halberstadt

Andrea Parrish

Bruce Steele

Travis Coleman

Bob Lutz

Jason King

Amy Lutz

Sam Waples

Patrick Sullivan

Philip Brunner

Eric Erickson

Michael Tonkyn

Steve George

Henry Dennewith

Ella Melik

Teri Koski

Glen Copus

Jon Kercher

Omar Akkari

Landon Crecelius

Marggy Burke

Ben Giese

Dan Siddoway

Luisa Gallagher

Russ Nobbs

Toni Pratt

Kelli Osborne

Robert Hemphill

Tim Hansen

Elaine Snouwaert

John Schram

Greg Stiles

Jack Siddoway

Jeff Hayward

Kathleen Chase

Nathan Duhnke

Chris Eichorst

James O’Hare

Shelley Williams

Charlie Greenwood

William Hulings

Aaron Aaron

Sarah Hayward

John Ragan

Kate Boston

Sandra Blackwell

Deborah Di Bernardo

Suzi Hokonson

Bryan Mahar

Ed Davis

Jonathan Hawkins

Brett Chambers

Shayna Begrovich

Tyler Salvage

Brenda Almquist

Jed Barden

Don Barden

Mark Henriksen

Seth Battista

Anna Jennings

Mariah Mckay

Charles Lehman

Erik Solberg

Liza Mattana

Eliza Hersh

Matt Hollon

Steve Mattson

Crystal Gartner

Graham Gunderson

Mitchell Crane

Joseph Lotrario

Heidi Lasher

Chris Voges

Roger Bosky

Rosemary Otto

Shane  Maggart

Lee Ann Greaves

Erika Prins

Julie Starling

Scott Arbuckle

Brian Wood

Marshall Powell

Amy Mccaffree

Tom Battista

Walter Galen

Rhonda Dundon

Jackie Caro

Tomas Lynch

Steve Simmons

Rachel Jordan

Dave Braun

Carla Chapman

Judy Gardner

April Bresgal

Patricia Danner

Tracy Mahuiki

Chad Kauppi

Anjaela Mertens

Polly Nobbs-Larue

Patricia Hansen

Bill Bender

Justin Poole

Charles Crawford

Alice Hostetter

Susan Hall

Andrew Baucom

M. Price

Kirsten Frost

Tabetha Neathery

Mike Petersen

Timothy Hansen

Ryan Traetow

Sally Lodato

Jim Lodato

Randall Gehlen

Jonathan Hawkins

Michael Raab

Eileen Hyatt

Nomi Martinson

Ann Martinson

Bonnie Sherar

Peggy Davey

 

 

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This article was posted in Advocacy, Alert, Complete Streets, Issues & Advocacy, News, Spokane County, Transportation. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post.Post a Comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

2 Comments

  1. John Schram
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Losing Grant Wencel as the bike/ped coordinator is a great loss for the city as a whole in many respects. While implementing Spokane’s ‘complete streets’ initiative is important to connecting vehicular, bike and pedestrian considerations it is by no means a sledge hammer to force every inch of street to uniform conformity. Take High Drive in Spokane as an example. A natural and unimproved bluff access slated by original design to have an 8′ concrete sidewalk installed to ‘improve’ pedestrian access. The effect would be to eliminate up to 80% of the available parking. An effective bike/ped coordinator would be able to interface with the city to distinguish what would truly be the best option. If you have an opinion about pedestrian ‘improvements’ from 29th to Manito on High Drive please email jhappy@spokanecity.org

    • Barb Chamberlain
      Posted December 20, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the remark, John. Complete Streets principles are meant to be context-specific, not one size fits all; each street has specific needs, total width available, types of traffic, etc. The biggest challenge in many places, and Spokane is one of them, is to have a contiguous network for walking and biking; so often sidewalk gaps, lack of curb cuts, and/or lack of a paved shoulder with sufficient width make the street difficult or dangerous for anything but driving.

      We hope to hear the city respond affirmatively to the commitments the voters and taxpayers are asking of them with this petition.

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