Stimulus Money Update–You Can Help

Trying to follow the stimulus package transportation dollars and whether or not they will result in new bike/ped construction in Spokane this year is complicated! Here the latest news (this information comes straight from SRTC’s very helpful Jeff Selle):

Spokane Regional Transportation Council received $10.1 million in direct funds from the transportation stimulus money. Of that $308K had to go directly to bike/ped enhancement projects

– The SRTC Technical Committee met yesterday and decided to recommend allocation of that $308 to the Fish Lake Trail so that the project can begin immediately and won’t risk losing the $1 million already allocated towards it. Fish Lake Trails has $1.3 million in funding now but still needs $700K for final paving. Work will proceed, but paving won’t happen unless they find more funds.

– 5-Mile Prairie Road Improvements were allocated $1.25 million which means the entire 5-mile project can be completed, including new bike lanes.

– Other projects that the Technical Committee recommended to the SRTC board: $450k for Rutter Parkway Bridge, $2.8 million for Spokane Valley Sprague repaving (which includes pedestrian enhancements and traffic calming), $1.4 to Havana St. overpass, and $1.75 million to the Deer Park Crawford Rd. project. This leaves $1 million left over that hasn’t been recommended for allocation yet. Might be great to lobby the SRTC board on how this should be spent.

A totally unrelated Federal safety grant for $619K was announced by the City of Spokane two days ago that will pay just for downtown Spokane Biking improvements, included lane striping. This means 3 or the 5 Smart Routes bike project are getting full or partial funding for 2009. But there still more to do! Right now the legislature is debating what to do with another $11 million dollars of transportation enhancement money (that the pile of money that bike/ped projects get funded out of.) Westside politicians want to take ALL of this money for some west side beautification project! They must be stopped! If we got even $500K we could pay for the entire Iron Bridge project. Another $700k would complete the Fish Lake Trail paving.

Barb Chamberlain has put together this handy cheat sheet for contacting the legislators involved with making that decision. Contact them today and tell them we need our projects funded:

This is a negotiation that does not yet have a bill number.

Given that, go ahead and use either the email form links I sent previously, or the direct email addresses and office numbers listed below.

It’s great if you customize your message to talk specifically about which project is most important to you, or general bike/ped information, while keeping it short. The email form allows 4000 characters, and my draft language is well within that limit.

Rep. John Driscoll:
Office: (360) 786-7962

Rep. Don Cox:
Office: (360) 786-7942

Rep. Alex Wood:
Office: (360) 786-7888

Rep. Matt Shea:
Office: (360) 786-7984

Sen. Chris Marr:
Office: (360) 786-7610

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