#4ThePeople: Airway Heights asks voters to renew its Transportation Benefit District

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. — The city of Airway Heights is asking voters to renew its Transportation Benefit District (TBD) to continue funding streets, sidewalks and future traffic projects.

“Safety is huge. Cars go too fast out here,” said Carol Cooper, who lives in Airway Heights.

Crossing one of the busiest roads is such a challenge for people in the area. Cooper says the road is too dangerous for parents with kids to cross.

“Trying to wheel little children between cars. They (drivers) didn’t stop for them. Probably, they didn’t notice them,” Cooper said.

This renewal would use a 0.3 percent sales tax to fund transportation projects. That’s three cents for a $10 purchase.

More than 70 percent of vehicles traveling along U.S. 2 stop in Airway Heights for food, fuel and to shop or attend events. As a result, most of the TBD funding comes from visitors to the city. So why the increase?

“We talked with community members and visitors in Airway Heights,” said Albert Tripp, City Manager at City of Airway Heights. “They identified different concerns about safety: Pedestrian safety or Traffic Safety.”

In 2013, voters approved a TBD which raised about $3.9 million in revenue and leveraged $10 million in grants to fund traffic congestion relief, street and road maintenance, and more.

Its helped fund reconstruction from U.S. 2 to Russell Street and streets on Sprague and Russell, along with pedestrian crossing on Ninth Avenue.

Here are a few projects the city would fund if the TBD is renewed:

  • Pedestrian safety projects along U.S. 2, North Hayford Road, South Hayford Road and 12th Avenue
  • 12th Avenue and Hayford Road traffic signal installation
  • South Hayford Street widening.
  • A multimodal corridor for vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians on West Plains’ connections at the Sixth, 10th, and 12th avenues

100422 Airwayheights Map Peter Map2

If voters approve the TBD renewal, the city will raise approximately $935,000 a year.

“Good transportation infrastructure is critical to relieving traffic congestion and attracting businesses and visitors for shopping and dining, all of which generates revenue for city services residents want,” said Albert Tripp, city manager of Airway Heights.

The TBD renewal will be on the November 8, 2022, general election ballot.

READ: Neighbors worry about traffic safety in Airway Heights, City says updates are on the way