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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Reader Wants More Multimodal Options

Spokesman-Review Letters To The Editor

Thursday, June 19, a headline on the Spokesman's front page proclaimed, "Americans rein in road time." Inside, the editorial exhorted Idaho to spend money on highways. A disconnect? Old thinking?

Idaho's transportation department (ITD) does not invest in meaningful bicycle, pedestrian and transit infrastructure. Unfortunately, its highway/roadway expansion makes other modes more difficult and dangerous. Many Idahoans would drive less but find their efforts hampered by minimal transit, sidewalks, bike lanes and unsafe crossings. These options can be less expensive than adding road lanes, but ITD acts as a "highway department," not a "transportation department."

Several years ago ITD sponsored a visioning workshop where I heard North Idaho leaders advocate for transit, bicycles and walking. All are missing in the final funding report.

With drivers seeking alternatives, let's invest in them. Make it safe for kids to safely walk or bike to nearby schools. Adults should be able to use their bicycles and feet to commute, to enjoy themselves or to run errands. Instead of spending mere pennies on these options, let's give them priority for a few years and enjoy the results. Our transportation system will be more robust; our lives will be better.

Molly O'Reilly

I hear this all the time about Spokane, but not as often about Idaho and Kootenai County. Do you agree with Ms. O'Reilly? What kind of multimodal facilities would you like to see?


Anonymous said...

Check it out!

beadlebug said...

Okay, I checked out the link that "anonymous" left, and have NO IDEA what it's all about. Guess I'm just a dumb hick beacause I can't find the point in the DOT's "Mobility and Access Plan". Sorry, but it looks like some of the worst bureaucratic bs I've ever seen come out of state govt. Proving once again that government excels at spending a lot of time and money to accomplish nothing. Just put some buses on the road, people!

KMPO Staff said...

I tried the link but it won't open on my computer. I'll try it at home tonight. In the meantime, you'll be glad to hear KMPO is working to improve the public transportation options in Kootenai County. We've recently started a 'Public Transportation Roundtable' of transportation and social service agency professionals, and are seeking citizens to join. One of the first items of business is to determine what it would take to extend STA service to Post Falls and CDA, and/or extend Citylink service to PF to hook up with a possible STA route.