Spokane Bicycle News
By Anthony Hardwick
Spokane’s Bicycle Advisory Board interviewed three candidates for a sole vacant position on the board.
Candidates hailed from as far away as Egypt, but now all three call Spokane home. The first candidate* interviewed was a ten year veteran of the bicycle industry, the second candidate was an alternative mobility expert who most recently worked with Lime to bring alternative transportation to Spokane, and the third candidate was reared in Egypt, educated to the doctoral level in Canada, and has brought his expertise in transportation planning to Spokane.
All three candidates were given several minutes to introduce themselves to the board. Board Chair Grant Shipley commented after the candidates finished speaking that the board had a very tough choice ahead of it.
Candidates will be notified after the February board meeting who was nominated by the board. That candidate will then meet with the mayor before going through the final approval process. The new board member should be in the position by the end of May 2023. Board members serve a three year term.
Spokane’s Bicycle Advisory Board is open to the public, and public feedback is greatly appreciated. To participate in the meetings you can attend in person at city hall or virtually via the Microsoft Teams platform. Meetings occur the third Tuesday of every month at 6pm. For more details please explore the Spokane City’s Bicycle Advisory Board website: https://my.spokanecity.org/bcc/boards/bicycle-advisory-board/
*Please Note* I, Anthony Hardwick, was one of the candidates for this position. Strict journalistic was adhered to for reporting on this developing story. Further coverage of this subject will be provided by another writer for the site, as soon as I have one. At the time of publication I do not have anyone else to write up this story, so I wrote it myself. If you are concerned by this I encourage you to volunteer to be a writer for BikeSpokane.org. Reach out to me via email expressing your interest in volunteering: AnthonyH@bikespokane.org
By Anthony Hardwick
Nevada Heights, Spokane - Representatives from Spokane’s Transit Authority (STA) briefing the Nevada Heights Neighborhood Council on the Division Street Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project conceded that Governor Jay Inslee’s recent budget proposal complicated their timeline for the project's completion.
During the presentation Project Manager Hamid Hajjafari was asked what type of delays BRT could anticipate if the delays to the North South Corridor completion came to pass.
“These developments are so recent that we haven’t yet been able to factor them into the planning for this project. It does add an unforeseen complication if the corridor is delayed, but we will plan accordingly,” said Hajjafari.
Delays to STA’s Division Street BRT project would appear to be in direct conflict with Governor Inslee’s expressed desire to tackle climate change when signing last year's transportation infrastructure bill into law.
The North South Corridor is crucial to STA’s plans along Division. Completion of the North South Corridor would increase the efficiency of vehicles headed to and from the I-90 corridor by allowing them to travel those directions without navigating along Spokane’s busy Division commercial corridor. A reduction in thoroughfare traffic would allow STA to designate bus and right turn only lanes along Division.
The benefits of these designated lanes are numerous. Designated lanes would make it safer for right turning vehicles to avoid being rear ended by vehicles coming from behind them, thus reducing the urgency of right turns, which would lead to less collisions between pedestrians and right turning vehicles. Instances of vehicle collisions between cars trying to merge into the middle lane of Division after being stopped behind a pausing bus would be eliminated as well.
Couple these lanes with electric buses and proposed utilization of smart traffic signal technology and the reduction in carbon emissions in Spokane could be substantial. There are even plans to designate a section of the project for safer pedestrian and bicycle travel, reducing carbon emissions even further.
“A section of this project from the University District to Foothills Parkway will have safe options for walking and biking along Ruby and Division,” said Hajjafari.
Progress on the project is on hold while budget negotiations are underway in Olympia.