Packed In: ‘The heart and lifeblood’: City forecasts future transportation plans, wants your advice

SPOKANE, Wash. — With more people moving in, focusing on transportation development is vital. With people relying on cars, sidewalks and public transit to get around, Spokane wants to make sure it’s starting projects to help the most people.

People like Joe Buster can’t live without the bus system. He can’t drive, so he takes the bus to work.

“The bus is my lifeline,” Buster said.

He’s noticed how the city’s growth is impacting his everyday commute. Some days are better than others.

“The weekend is a nightmare because if you miss one bus connection coming in to downtown, you’re in trouble for an hour,” he added.

Transportation experts are forecasting what the Inland Northwest needs through year 2045. They’re looking at population, employment and traffic growth to determine what projects people want to see completed in the long-term plan Horizon 2045. They want to hear from people of all different backgrounds about what’s important for them to see accomplished.

Lois Bollenback, the Executive Director for the Spokane Regional Transportation Council says everyone’s voice is important.

“The mom whose kids have to walk to school have a say,” she said.

They’re taking public feedback in an online Zoom meeting this Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. You can learn more about the plan and register for the public meeting here.

Some of the council’s current projects deal with improving how people get around on Division.

“Reimagine what that corridor looks like so it can be walkable, and it can really serve the community that surrounds it,” Bollenback added.

As the city packs in more people, improving transportation and how people get around is extremely important to sustainability.

“Good transportation is the heart and lifeblood of a city,” Buster said.

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