After a three-year effort of members and advocates like you, the Spokane City Council finally voted to approve the Complete Streets Ordinance at the close of 2011. After the passage of a new street bond, Spokane started to see results on the ground.

Now that we are well on our way to creating a community with healthy transportation choices that work for everyone, a poorly worded concept in Spokane’s draft comprehensive plan update could stall our progress and subvert a core component of Complete Streets: the transportation project ranking system that ensures transportation projects we build reflect our community values and support our economic priorities.

The city’s proposed “Roadways of Significance” policy would allow projects deemed a “special economic opportunity” to duck the ranking and prioritizing process that keeps our system on track and to dodge Complete Streets requirements (such as bike and pedestrian infrastructure) – hinting that they be put in “eventually,” without requiring them to be planned. While the stated intent is for this loophole to be exploited rarely, there is no limiting language to prevent its abuse.

All of this, in the name of economic development. It is a widely acknowledged fact that Complete Streets are a key part of good economic development in Spokane. Let’s set our plan on the right path!

On Monday, June 19th at 6pm, the Spokane City Council has a hearing to approve the Comprehensive Plan Update that contains the “Roadways of Significance” loophole.

Tell the City Council not to gut Complete Streets. Send a letter here or attend the hearing.

Kitty Klitzke
Eastern Washington Program Director

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Filed under: Spokane City Council

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