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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011


If you're traveling along US 95 tonight watch out for the Megaloaded trucks that are coming through.  The megaloads are scheduled to resume tonight after a non-injury accident last week.  For the short story on the accident see the link below:
Two oversized shipments are leaving the Port of Lewiston tonight after 8 p.m. and will be traveling on US 95 to Coeur d'Alene.

The loads can take up to 2 lanes of traffic and they are supposed to pull over every 15 minutes.

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) released a news briefing today, see the link below:

Monday, December 12, 2011


Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) reported today tha a hydroelectric project at Snoqualmie Falls, 30 miles east of Seattle, is the destination of a megaload that might be moving through north central Idaho as early as Monday.

The shipment will be carrying a huge, Y-shaped pipe for an upgrade of the power-generating operation, one of the oldest of its kind in the nation, said Don Whitehair, manager of the Selway Corp. in Stevensville, Mont., about 30 miles south of Missoula.

The extra-big rig will weigh 185,000 pounds and be 95 feet long, 22 feet wide and a little more than 17 feet tall.

Whitehair's company would leave the Montana border around 10 p.m. Monday and move the pipe across Idaho on U.S. Highway 12 in a single trip that would end no later than 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, Whitehair said.
It will have to pull over every 15 minutes to allow cars to pass, but it should be able to go at the posted speed limits, Whitehair said.

This component is one of more than 150 that Selway Corp. has moved through Idaho and Montana on their way to Snoqualmie Falls and the only one that's this big, Whitehair said.

Getting permits for the Idaho portion of the trip has been one of the toughest parts of arranging the logistics, Whitehair said.
His company had to address 19 bullet items from the Idaho Transportation Department that seek details such as the type of clothing flaggers will be wearing.

Unrelated megaloads that Imperial Oil has been shipping from the Port of Lewiston to the Montana border on U.S. Highway 95 and Interstate 90 continue to be on hold following a non-injury accident earlier this week.

Those are carrying components of a processing plant that's being constructed in the Kearl Oil Sands in Alberta, Canada.

Driving Safely Around SNOWPLOWS - ITD Reminders

It's that time of year when our State Snowplows are out making our roadways safe for us...Here are some tips from ITD, reminding us to drive safely around snowplows:

* Remain two car lengths behind snowplow trucks for every 10 mph you drive. Sand being spread by trucks can damage your vehicle.

* Do not pass a snowplow unless it is absolutely necessary. If you must pass, do so only when you can clearly see the road ahead. Do not pass on the side where the plow is spraying snow. If you do, the snow's force can knock your car out of control.

* Do not cut back immediately in front of a snowplow truck. The plow blades are often covered with snow and can be difficult to see.

* Do not brake suddenly if you are traveling in front of a snowplow. The heavy vehicle cannot stop as quickly as an automobile.

* Do not abandon your car unless it is absolutely necessary. However, if you must, leave it as far off the road as possible. Abandoned cars can interfere with the road clearing process and can be extremely hazardous to snow removal equipment and the operators if they are hidden or buried by snow.

* Be aware of potential icy areas such as shady spots, bridges and overpasses. Since they are exposed on their undersides, bridges and overpasses are deprived of ground warmth and freeze more rapidly than the roadways leading to them.

For the latest highway and weather conditions you can call Idaho’s 511 Traveler Information Service at 5-1-1. For online updates, visit Telephone and Web reports are available 24 hours a day and are updated as conditions change.

Please drive safe this winter!

Tolling our Roadways to Generate Funding


Although toll booths won't look like this anymore, it looks like they are coming to our neighboring State.  Washington State is planing on tolling the roadways to generate addtional road funding.  Washington State will begin tolling certain lanes on State Routes in 2013. You will be rewarded when paying a toll, enabling you to go in the faster lanes with less congestion. It may only be a matter of time before Idaho follows.... 

See the full story at the link below:,0,7191581.story

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Road Tax Being Considered - What, do you think about this?

There has been a lot of talk recently of the possibility of a government imposed "vehicle miles traveled " (VMT) tax  fee based system being part of our future, to help pay for our roadways.

A recent study by the U.S. Transportation Research Board showed that a VMT fee system would generate approximately 20% more transportation revenue by the year 2030.

Due to advances in technology, a pay-per-mile tax would now be possible for our government to impose a VMT-based fee system, that would most likely rely on some form of vehicle use monitoring.

Although, this would take time for any VMT tax to be adopted and set in motion.  The VMT fee based system adoption would definitely change our lives in many, many ways.

If you would like to see the full story as reported by CNN, please follow the link below:

What are your thoughts on the VMT fee system?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Funding Opportunity for Mobility Management by NCST Apps Due by December 23rd, 2011

The National Center on Senior Transportation (NCST, a United We Ride technical assistance center) has announced a request for proposals for mobility management projects that demonstrate innovative and effective solutions to enhance transportation options for older adults through person-centered mobility management. Non-profit or local/regional/Tribal governmental agencies that plan, administer, or provide aging and/or transportation services may apply.

Projects funded under the solicitation will demonstrate innovative and effective solutions to enhance the mobility of older adults through person-centered mobility management. Four categories of projects will be funded:
  • Peer-mobility management and employment
  • Mobility management in rural/frontier areas that have limited transportation options
  • Holistic models that integrate mobility management within current practices, including options counseling, information and assistance and/or case management
  • Mobility management applied to the family of senior transportation options
The NCST expects to award 8 grants (2 in each of the categories listed above) for a maximum of $50,000. Matching funds are not required. Grantees will be expected to complete their work in 9-12 months. The focus of all the grants is on older adults, although projects may also target adults with disabilities. A focus on culturally and ethnically diverse older adults is strongly encouraged. Applications are due Friday, December 23.

Agencies interested in applying can participate in a conference call on Thursday, December 8 for more information on the application process and selection criteria. Please visit the NCST website to find the request for proposal and application. Questions should be directed to Lynn Winchell-Mendy at 202.872.0888 or
For original story please visit the following link:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Traveling to/from Spokane? Crews to Reconfigure Lanes on I-90 Starting Today

Starting today, crews will be reconfiguring lanes on the highway from Sullivan Rd to Barker Rd along I-90. 

The Bad News
Eastbound Traffic:
Will be reduced to a single lane on:
Thursday - Between 9 a.m - 3 p.m., 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Friday - 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., 7 p.m. to Mid-day Saturday
Monday - 7 a.m. until work is complete
Westbound Traffic:
On Monday, December 5, westbound lanes of I-90 will be reduced to a single lane form 7:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. Tuesday morning to remove a concrete barrier.

The Good News!
After December 6th, the drive from/to the Post Falls/Coeur d'Alene area will be much more enjoyable with additional lanes to drive on!!!

See the full story from Krem News below:

56% of Portland OR, Bicyclists Run Red Lights in Crosswalk. Do you think we have the same problem here???

Portland State University students performed a recent 'behavior study' and found that 56% of bicyclists run red lights, compared to 7% of motorists.  The study was completed early in November 2011 for a duration of eight hours, recording a total of 502 vehicle operators (497 motorists and 99 bicyclists).

 Do you think we have the same problem here in Idaho?

To see the full story please follow the link below:

FREE WEBINAR - Accessibility in Work Zones - December 14, 2011

Attend this webinar to learn best practices for handling bicycle and pedestrian travel during construction operations. Attendees will hear how the Minnesota DOT has developed its standards for Temporary Pedestrian Access Routes (TPARs), including a workshop, demonstration project and focus group evaluation.

Presenters from Boulder, Colorado, will discuss how that city worked with developers, contractors and decision-makers to develop a new work zone traffic control policy that establishes policies and procedures for pedestrian and bicycle travel during construction operations and identifies criteria for closing the PROW and designating alternate routes.

To register for the webinar go to the following link: 

SH 53 Transportation Access Study Update - State Line to Junction US 95

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) in conjunction with David Evans and Associates, held a steering committee meeting yesterday at the Rathdrum City Hall. 
The study is being conducted in two phases.  Phase I is an assessment of current conditions, and includes identification and evaluation of existing access points, current safety issues, recommended access changes for the current condition, and a preliminary GIS system for managing access and approach permit data.  Phase II is anticipated to focus on the development of a long range Transportation Access Plan, including the examination of planned growth areas, future land uses within the Hauser and Rathdrum areas and the unincorporated Kootenai County.

Yesterday's steering committee meeting overview, included a review of the analysis performed for all reported accidents within the 14 mile stretch of the Highway 53 corridor (from the State Line to US-95). The reported accidents were reviewed for the years 2006-2010.  A total of 267 accidents were reported with the highest number of these, being wildlife animal related accidents.  All public comments received so far, were also reviewed and discussed. 

The SH 53 access study is considered to be Phase 1, which evaluates access management opportunities as a means to improve safety, minimize traffic congestion, and preserve capacity along the corridor. 

Inter-jurisdictional collaboration, community involvement, and stakeholder engagement are critical to the success of this Transportation Access Study.  The public is encouraged to participate, providing feedback and comments throughout the process. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Speaking of Cell Phones - Don't Use them while Driving - USDOT New Advertising Campaign

The United States Dept. of Transportation is launching a new OMG campaign to warn young drivers about the dangers of distractions while driving.  Even with hands free bluetooth integrated into my car, I've been guilty of not paying full attention to the road at times...  This is a reminder of how important it is to keep your eyes on the road.  For the full story please go to the link below:

Feed your Parking Meter By Cell Phone??????

Wow, technology just keeps advancing!  Now, they have come up with a way to feed your parking meter through your cell phone!  San Francisco is the leader on this one.  The new service will send you a text when your meter is about to expire, and the service also will allow you to pay the meter remotely! 


To see the full article see the link below:

Monday, November 28, 2011

KMPO Monthly Board Meeting Thursday, December 1st, 2011 @ 1:00 p.m.

The monthly Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization (KMPO) Board Meeting is this Thursday @ 1:00 p.m. at the City of Post Falls, Council Chambers, 408 N. Spokane St., Post Falls, WA. The general public/citizens are always welcome to attend.

City of Hayden Organizes 2nd Public Meeting to Address Strahorn One Way Status

The city of Hayden is organizing the 2nd public meeting to discuss the "Strahorn Rd" one-way status.  The public meeting is tomorrow, Tuesday, November 29th at 6:00 p.m. and is being held at the Hayden City Hall, located at 8930 N. Government Way.


The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the city of Hayden's response and potential to lessen what it sees as adverse traffic impacts.

Strahorn was converted to a one-way between Miles Avenue and Hayden Avenue in September 2010, and the city of Hayden would like its smaller neighbor to change it back.

To see the full story please go to the Coeur d A'lene Press, at the link below:

Monday, November 21, 2011

KCATT Meeting Tomorrow 11-22-11 Public Welcome

The monthly Kootenai County Area Transportation Team (KCATT) meeting is scheduled for tomorrow morning, November 22, 2011 at 8:00 a.m.  The meeting is held at the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) District One Headquarters, 600 W. Prairie Avenue, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83815

All KCATT meetings are open to the public and there is a public comment period at each one where you can share your comments or concerns.

Here is the agenda below:

1. Call to Order
2. Welcome/Introductions
3. Approval of October 25, 2011 Meeting Minutes
4. Public Comments
5. Project and Utility Updates
6. KMPO Planning Updates
a. KMPO Updated Growth Projections Workshop November 29, 2011
7. Idaho Transportation Board Update
8. Current Business
9. Upcoming KMPO Board Items
10. Other Business
a. KCATT Member Items
b. PROWAG Public Comment Briefing and Discussion
11. Next Meeting – December 27, 2011
12. Adjournment
For special accommodation/translation services, call 1.800.698.1927, 48 hours in advance. KMPO assures nondiscrimination in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 (P.O. 100.259) and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

ITD 511 Travel Information Website - Road Conditions, Weather Reports & MORE!

Whether you have broadband, dial up or a mobile website.... ITD's web-browser will give you the latest road conditions, weather reports, traffic problems, mountain pass conditions, camera reports and more. 

You can even personalize your 511 experience, getting current traffic reports, driving directions and estimated travel time. The link to their website is below:

Or, if your not an Internet user you can call:   511 or 1-888-432-7623

This is a website to keep in mind for driving conditions this winter!

BRIDGE to Re-open at Appleway Rd -This Thursday November 17th

The bridge over the Spokane River at Appleway Road, West of the Stateline Village is scheduled to open tomorrow, November 17th, 2011 at approximately 9:00 a.m.  After two construction seasons, the new bridge is opening and is reportedly ahead of schedule and under budget.  The bridge was designed to connect to the Centennial trail, but that portion won't be completed until 2012. 

Old Appleway Bridge

New Appleway Bridge

As reported by ITD in Today's News Briefing, the estimated total cost of the project is $8,000,000 – which is $9,500,000 below the original project estimate.  80-percent of the project was paid for by Federal Bridge Replacement funds with 20-percent coming from the Spokane County Road Fund.

To see the KHQ original story, please visit the link below:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wow...Imagine shifting the Gears of your Bicycle with Your Mind!

It's your best guess how fast technology will advance in the next twenty years.  A company called Deeplocal is currently working on a  Prius X Parlee bicycle that will allow you to shift gears with merely your thoughts and of course the neurotransmitters in your bicycle helmet !  It is a joint venture of Deeplocal; Parlee Cylces and Toyota.


See the article at the link below.

AMAZING, It makes me wonder what's next???

Monday, November 14, 2011

WINTER Driving Tips - FYI

The Idaho Department of Transportation posted an article of Winter Driving Tips (see link below).  I am posting the suggestions in the article, since it's good to remind yourself of winter driving conditions, take precautions and be safe on the roadways!

  • 80% of winter accidents are four wheel or all wheel drives vehicles.  All wheel or four whell drives may accelerate faster on slick roads than two wheel vehciles,  but all vehicles slow down the same way.
  • Remember bridges and bridge approaches tend to be icy even when roadways look bare and dry.
  • Make sure and clear the hood and roof to prevent visibility problems on higher speed roadways.
  • Crusie control causes problems on slick surfaces.  "You can sense road conditions better than your cruise conrtol".
  • Tires are considered bald when they wear down to 2/32" of tread.  "Tires should be at least 4/32" to maintain grip".
  • It'sa good idea to keep an emergency kit and a blanket in your car in case of a breakdown.

Here's a video from Michelin Tire for tips on "Winter Driving Tips on Braking".  This is a great video for new or inexperienced drivers that have never driven in the snow!

Enjoy winter and be safe out there!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Flying Green - Alaska Airlines Launches First Biofuel (20% Used Cooking Oil) Flight Today - Seattle to Washington DC - More flights to follow!

Alaska Airlines launched the first biofuel flight today (out of 75 planned flights) and it was powered with a 20% biofuel blend.  The flight left the Seattle-Tacoma Airport today going to Washington DC with more flights to follow:

1 daily Alaska Seattle-Washington DC flight.  Total of 11 flights.
6 daily Portland, Oregon-Seattle-Portland flights operated by sister carrier Horizon Air.  Total of 64 flights.

For more information please go to the following link:||20111109_AW||

Alaska Airlines would like your input, on the future of aviation, sustainability and environmental awareness, you can join their "Flying Green Chat" at

Closed for Veteran's Remembrance Day November 11

Many government offices, schools, banks etc. will be closed for the Veteran's Remembrance Holiday this Friday.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

OPEN HOUSE - Nov.10th, 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. - RATHDRUM Highway 41/SH 53 BNSF Railroad Bridge

The public is invited to attend the open house for the Highway 41/SH 53, BNSF Railroad Bridge Replacement Project, which is scheduled to begin next summer.

The open house is scheduled for this Thursday, November 10th, at the Rathdrum City Hall, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

An overview of the project will be available for public questions and comments.

Link to CDA Press Story

Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Citylink Bus Depot Under Construction in Plummer, Idaho

Citylink has been busy constructing a new bus depot in Plummer, Idaho.  It's not completed yet, but as soon as it is there will be an open house and ribbon cutting to celebrate the new facility.  We will give you an update in the near future.

Citylink is a FREE public transportation bus service, open to everyone and includes a route that has a bus stop at the Coeur d'Alene Casino. The transit buses are pedestrian friendly, bicycle friendly and are ADA accessible, accomodating up to two wheelchairs at a time and up to four regular bicycles at a time.  This transit service operates five routes, over 20 hours a day, seven days a week. Most Citylink buses are equipped with seating for 33 people and have bicycle racks.


Below is a link to the Citylink website & the Bus Route Information:
Citylink Website Link

Route Map & Bus Schedule

You can access the routes; online,
Please call 877-941-RIDE  if you need help catching the bus.

Local Mobility Management Networks (LMMN) Public Comment Period Open thru November 30, 2011

If you are not familiar with I-Way, now's your chance to
  get to know the agency and the services that they provide
  to the community.

I-WAY Website

I-way is a growing statewide network that connects people in Idaho to an exciting mix of transportation options, giving Idaho an economic and quality-of-life advantage, while helping keep our state clean and beautiful.
Up for Review & Public Comment:
The draft coordinated mobility plans for the seventeen (17) Local Mobility Management Networks (LMMN) are now ready for review and public comment. These draft LMMN mobility plans are revised from the 2009 and 2010 plans based on input from many interested stakeholders through an open planning process that included many public meetings. The focus of the plans is on the needs and strategies identified by each LMMN and will help guide the public transportation funding recommendations made by the six (6) District Coordination Councils. 

Kootenai County is District #1 (which includes Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and Shoshone) and the mobility manager for this area is Cliff Warren.

District 1 Public Comment Link

Please send all comments to Heather Wheeler at Public comments will be accepted through November 30, 2011.

"Your Invited to Attend the SH 53 Access Study Informational OPEN HOUSE" - TWO Public Meetings - NOVEMBER 16, 2011

State Highway 53 -
From the State Line to US 95
Transportation Access Study

     Wednesday, November 16, 2011
3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.                       6:30 p.m. 8:30 p.m.       
HAUSER CITY HALL                             RATHDRUM CITY HALL
11837 N. Hauser Lake Road                 8047 W. Main Steet
Hauser, ID                                          Rathdrum, ID  

The Idaho Transportation Department is holding two open houses to share information and seek public input on a Transportation Access Study along SH-53 from the Washington state line to US-95.
This study will consider access strategies to address safety, congestion, and capacity issues on SH-53.

There will be a short presentation at 3:45, 4:45, 6:45, & 7:45 followed by time to ask questions and give input.

We hope to see you!

Individuals with disabilities may request meeting accomodations by contacting the Idaho Transportation Department directly at 208-772-1200 or through the Idaho Relay Service at 1-800-377-2529.


KMPO BOARD Meeting Today


The monthly Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization (KMPO) Board Meeting is today @ 1:00 p.m. at the City of Post Falls, Council Chambers, 408 N. Spokane St., Post Falls, WA.  The general public/citizens are always welcome to attend.

The City of Post Falls - NEEDS YOUR OPINION - Pedestrian & Bicycle Plan


Your opinion is important!  Here's your chance to give your input to the City of Post Falls on what you would like to see as far as Pedestrian and Bicyclist priorities and what YOU think is important in your community.

The City Engineering Division is seeking public comment on priorities for Pedestrian & Bicycle facilities in the community. Comments will be accepted through Jan. 3, 2012. The comment & online survey is available at the links below:

City of Post Falls Bike & Ped Maps and Documents

At this stage in the process,  the City of Post Falls is seeking public comment on the bike and ped priorities. It is important that they receive feedback from the community; as to how you view the plan that was developed, so that they can incorporate those comments as they move forward with implementation of the plan. They appreciate your interest and time, to review and provide your comments. Please review the documents and fill out a survey. Thank You!

You have an opportunity to help the City of Post Falls to determine these proposed Pedestrian & Bicycle projects by participating in this survey. Links to transportation master planning documents, the Pedestrian & Bicycle Ranking Table, and project maps have been provided in the Pedestrian & Bicycle Tables & Maps Section (above).. To facilitate completion of the survey, please use the included Pedestrian & Bicycle Ranking Table and the project location maps for Pedestrian Facilities and Bicycle Facilities. Numbered projects are preceded with a "P" for pedestrian facilities and "B" for bicycle facilities.

Bike Ped Survey

You will need Acrobat Reader to open the survey. You then can fill out the survey online and email it back. Please put "Bike Ped Survey" in the subject line of your email.
If you prefer you can download and print the survey form and either mail or deliver to Post Falls City Hall, 408 N. Spokane St., Post Falls, ID 83854.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Possible SNOW in the Forecast for Thursday

If you haven't put your snow tires on yet, you may want to get them, and soon.  The weather forecast is possible snow and rain for tomorrow. 

While, studded tires are now legal in both Idaho and Washington, there are many studless alternative snow and ice winter tires that won't damage the roadways and in turn our future pocketbooks.

I haven't used anything except all season radials, for years now, but with the last three winters we have had and a longer commute everyday, I decided to purchase winter snow and ice tires.

Consumer reports can assist you in making sure you get the best tires for the amount of money you'll spend on them.  The tires I chose, are not ranked number 1 on Consumer reports, instead I decided to go with word of mouth on their performance, from people I know, that have used the same ones I just purchased. 

If you'd like to check out the consumer reports before you buy them, I've included a link below.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

18.4 Cents-Per-Gallon Federal Fuel Tax - Extended to the end of March 2012

Do you agree, the long term transportation funding is in apparent crisis, and needs to be addressed in the long term?

The Idaho Transportation Department reported yesterday, through an "opinion" article from the Indianapolis Star, "that the 18.4 cents-per-gallon federal fuel tax was extended until March of 2012.  The bill was scheduled to expire September 30th, but Congress approved the bill earlier in the month, for the eighth time, to help address the transportation budget shortfall.  The 18.4 cents-per-gallon- federal fuel tax, which makes up the majority of the federal transportation funding, was stated that it isn't tied to inflation and hasn't increased since 1993".  Please see the link below for the ITD news brief and the original article from the Indianapolis Star:

Monday, October 31, 2011

It's HALLOWEEN! Have a Safe and Happy Halloween - Be Careful Out There and Watch for Pedestrians!

It's all over the news, "Halloween" is one of the most dangerous nights of all, for pedestrians.  

Sunset tonight is at approximately 5:31 p.m.

If your driving please Slow Down and WATCH for Pedestrians!!!

Glow sticks, flashlights and refelective gear could make the difference when keeping people safe Halloween night.

Have a HAPPY & SAFE Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

West Coast Electric Highway with Fast Charging Vehicle Stations are Coming

In case you missed it, I know I did!  It may be awhile, before we see any electric vehicle fast charging stations in or around the Coeur d' Alene area, but an "electric highway" along I-5 in the Seattle area, in our neighboring state, is already in the works and is touted to be in operation before the end of January 2012. The project was developed as part of the West Coast Green Highway.  The first charging sites will be placed along I-5 north of Everett and south of Lacey.  Additional charging stations will be added along US 2 reaching central Washington.

Washington State Governor Gregoire issued an executive order that directs the state to develop and seek federal funds to implement a project for the electrification of the West Coast Green Highway.  WSDOT is also on board. The project is federally funded through the U.S. Department of Energy with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars administered by the Department of Commerce through the State Energy Program.  It will be the first border to border highway to offer fast charge technology.  The electric highway will support mass-produced plug-in electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus and Chevrolet Volt that are now rolling off the assembly lines.

So if you own an electric car, are thinking about buying one and are planning to go on a trip along the I-5 corridor, you may be in luck!  To read more....see the attached link.  We will update the blog on this when we hear more..

CDA Illegally Parked Vehicles - Move them By November 14th and Be Glad you Don't Live in Lithuania

If you haven't moved your inoperable vehicle off the Coeur d'Alene streets by November 14th, 2011, you may find it missing in action along with a towing fee and other possible fines. At least it's not being crunched first and then towed off, as it is in Lithuania below :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

HOORAY The KMPO BLOG is Back Up & Running

HOORAY!!!!!! The KMPO Blog is BACK UP and RUNNING!!! Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization is now located in downtown Coeur d'Alene. Check back frequently for posts related to all modes of transportation!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

For all your regional, national and world transportation news, please visit the Spokane Regional Transportation Council Blog.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's Official

KMPO has cut ties with Spokane Regional Transportation Council. Here's the story from the Coeur d'Alene Press.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

CDA Bicycle Commuter Challenge

In a town the size of Coeur d'Alene, competition is tough between the three bicycle shops.

But they're finding a way to work together for the good of the community, instead of just competing for business. The 'Bicycle Commuter Challenge' is aimed at getting more people out of their cars and onto their bikes. And it involves prizes for people who take the challenge.

The Coeur d'Alene Press has the story on how the Bicycle Commuter Challenge works.

I Love Craigslist

My mother has some health issues that affect her balance so riding a bike is hard for her. I went to a nice gentleman's house to look at an item advertised on Craigslist yesterday and saw this beauty. She wasn't for sale and she needs cleaned up, a chain and a tune up but the guy agreed to sell gave her to me cheap. Hopefully this will get mom back on the bike.

Monday, May 9, 2011

KMPO Board Special Meeting

Well here it is folks; the KMPO Board has called a Special Meeting for Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 12:30 p.m. at Post Falls City Hall, 408 N. Spokane Street.

The purpose of the meeting is to take action on terminating a contract for administrative and technical staff services and the hiring of a staff member.

Here's the agenda. As always, these meetings are open to the public so feel free to attend.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Auto Sales Increasing, Car Size Decreasing

It makes complete sense; as gas prices go higher, Americans are opting for smaller cars.

New models that get 35 mpg or better led most major automakers to stronger April sales. In fact, auto sales are up overall and have been the past three months, signalling a recovery for the auto industry and possibly the economy.

The Coeur d'Alene Press has the details, although I suspect one of them is incorrect. The story states that the average gas price last year at this time was $1.06! Holy cow, that's some cheap gas.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Motorcyle Awareness Rally Planned For Saturday

A rally is planned for Saturday in Coeur d’Alene to boost motorist awareness of motorcycle and scooter riders.

ABATE of North Idaho, a motorcycle education group, will host the Motorcycle Awareness Parade and Rally at 10 a.m. at the Kootenai County Courthouse, 451 Government Way. A ride down Sherman Avenue will begin at 11 a.m.

The event is part of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

And I Thought I Was Running Late This Morning

Jenny from our office and I were doing traffic counts this morning at the crazy intersection of SH 41 and Seltice and we saw someone sitting in their car brushing their teeth! While driving! So that brought up lots of questions- where do you get the water? Where do you spit? How do you rinse your toothbrush off afterwards?

If you've ever brushed your teeth while driving and have any insight, let me know. And please don't do it again. That can't be safe.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Citylink Numbers Stay Strong

Citylink continues to go strong. The ridership numbers from last month show a drop in numbers on a couple of the routes, but an overall increase in riders from the same time period last year. Here are the numbers.

Board Considering Creating Independent Agency

There's been a lot of speculation lately as to what is happening with KMPO. The KMPO Board currently contracts with Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC), the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Spokane County, for day-to-day operational and administrative needs.

The Board is moving toward severing that tie however and creating an independent agency. It's not clear at this time what the timeframe would be to do so, but the contract between KMPO and SRTC states that KMPO must provide 90 days notice before an official split. At this time we have not received that notice.

Here's an article from the Coeur d'Alene Press today that contains some additional information.

New Interim Transportation Manager For KMPO/SRTC

KMPO has a new interim Transportation Manager. KMPO contracts with Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC), the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Spokane County, for day-to-day operational and administrative needs. SRTC operates at the pleasure of the KMPO Board.

The SRTC Board recently decided to take the agency in a new direction. That new direction eventually led to new leadership as well. At a meeting last week, the Board approved hiring Mark Rohwer as the Interim Transportation Manager to lead SRTC while a search is conducted for a permanent Executive Director.

“There is a lot happening in transportation right now,” says SRTC Board Chair Gary Schimmels. “That means a lot for this agency to keep up with and a lot of opportunity for it to grow. The Board is grateful to Mr. Rohwer for returning to his transportation planning roots to help guide that growth while getting the agency through this transition phase.”

Rohwer had a long history at the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) - Eastern Region (32 years!) before retiring in 2009. In his role at WSDOT, he collaborated with Metropolitan Planning Organizations such as SRTC, providing him knowledge of how MPOs function and how to move forward as an agency. He's also a long-time resident of the area, so he has a good idea how things work around here and the political climate.

It's expected to take approximately three months to appoint a permanent Executive Director at SRTC.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I Can't Say They Didn't Warn Me

I bought the tire below this weekend to replace the flat, shredded one on my wheelbarrow. Look what the new one says on it. Hmmm... good to know. Guess I won't try my luck on it on the highway after all.

KMPO Workshop Today

The KMPO Board has called a Workshop for today at 10 a.m. at Post Falls City Hall, 408 N. Spokane Street.

The purpose of the workshop is to discuss the development of an Independent Operating Management followed by an EXECUTIVE SESSION pursuant to I.C. 67-2345(1)(a) to consider hiring a staff member.

Here's the agenda if you want to check it out. As always, all KMPO meetings are open to the public so feel free to attend if you are interested. The Executive Session, obviously, is not open to the public.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Good Way To Kill Some Time On Friday

It's Friday, there's not a lot going on in transportation news, and it's snowing outside. To cheer us (and by 'us' I mean 'me' of course) up, let's go to my happy place: Mexico. That's right, I'm fortunate enough to have friends with a place in Puerto Vallarta, so I just got back from a cheap vacation there. So that it doesn't sound like I'm talking about myself though, and because this is a transportation blog, let's talk about transportation in Mexico.

To start with, we made a point to get everywhere by bus if possible. See those people huddled against the rock wall in the picture? That was the bus stop across from our hotel. Standing on 95 waiting for the bus isn't looking so bad anymore is it?

Once you got on the bus (assuming you lived to do so), there was lots to see. Many bus drivers decorate their buses with curtains, decals, fuzzy dice, etc. and they also provide you with music at high decibels; usually traditional Mexican mariachi music or techno. I've never been a techno fan but there's one beat I just can't get out of my head now.

Some buses even had live music. These were two musicians who jumped on at our stop and played and sang all the way downtown. When they got to the transfer point, they jumped off our bus and got on another, presumably to sing and make more money.

Many of the bus stops weren't even marked, you just had to know where they were. This one was marked with this shrine though. I'm not sure if that's to show that someone died there (probably because it was right next to a high speed two-lane highway) or if it's just a convenient place to worship while you wait for the bus.

While the buses were very popular there, many people created their own mass transit.

This one is hard to see because it was taken from a moving vehicle, but that's a man and woman on a motorcyle with a baby between them. I also saw pregnant women in the back of pickup trucks and people lying on top of loads to keep them from blowing out. Apparently bungee cords aren't popular in Mexico.

The pedestrian 'walk' signs there were really cool. They were animated and actually showed someone walking, although it looked more like he was doing the electric slide.

Okay, I'm done talking about myself- I mean transportation in Mexico- now. Don't we all feel better now?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Kootenai County Construction Map Available

I'm assigning you a goal for this year; beat road construction by being prepared for it. That's right, no more waiting in congestion caused by road construction projects. Instead, you'll finding an alternate route and getting where you're going on time. So how are you going to do that? With the 2011 Kootenai Area Construction Map that KMPO just completed.

The map shows major construction projects that will impact traffic countywide this year. It includes descriptions and the timeframe for each project. You can even print it and keep it in your car if you like.

Here's the link to it.

Buy A Home- Get A Free Car

Everyone knows the real estate market, along with the economy, is in the dumps right now. But one Chicago builder has found a way to move his inventory of homes; by giving a free car with purchase. The New York Times has the story.

While the home buyers in that community are loving that deal, others are calling it a way to promote urban sprawl and criticizing the builder for creating 'life-draining commutes.' Here's an article from Grist that references the 'empty, angry hours spent on the road and in traffic.'

So what's your take on this? If you were looking for a home, would you buy one far from home because a car was being thrown in?

Why Do YOU Walk?

It seems to be survey week here at SRTC. This latest survey is to help the group 'America Walk' learn more about who walks, and why we walk. America Walks is a national resource which fosters walkable communities by engaging, educating, and connecting walking advocates.

The survey only takes 5 minutes to complete and results are anonymous. This national survey will help walking advocates understand what motivates walkers and what keeps others from walking more. When the data is analyzed, America Walks will use the results to help promote walking in America.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Megaloads Lead To Some Funny Looking Trees

For the most part, I've shied away from blogging about the moving of the Megaloads, just because we were so inundated with it for so long. Will they be allowed to move or won't they? They're on the move but will they be forced to stop? Will they change routes now? It just got old hearing about Megaloads and the legal battle every day. I saw this picture today though and thought I'd share. That tree is a victim of Megaloads. It had to be trimmed to get the giant loads past and it's not exactly your everyday way to trim a tree.

The Spokesman's Eye on Boise blog has the story.

Federal Highways Approves Green Bike Lanes

Here's something cool; the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has issued an Interim Approval for the use of green coloring in bike lanes, much like the one in the picture from San Francisco.

Citing multiple experiments that demonstrated positive operational effects for both bicycle riders and other road users, with no notable negative effects, this approval allows states to apply for approval to use coloring in bike lanes. This Interim Approval does not make the use of green-colored pavement mandatory however.

Here's more info on this decision from FHWA, including the research that went into making it.

What do you think? Is this an improvement for bicyclists in your eyes?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Get Your Studs Off By Sunday

It may have snowed in some areas this morning, including at my house, but ITD is sticking to the calendar - studded snow tires must be removed in Idaho before this Sunday, May 1.

If you're caught with them on your vehicle after that, you can be fined $62.

CDA Passes On Phone/Texting While Driving Ban Again

The city of Coeur d'Alene announced Monday it, once again, won't implement a citywide ordinance banning cell phones or texting while driving, but instead give the state Legislature another chance to do it next year. The reason? The city's General Service Committee says it would be a difficult rule to enforce at the city level, as it would be confusing for drivers driving through Coeur d'Alene from neighborhood towns.

The Coeur d'Alene Press has the story.

I90 Drainage Repair Work

State maintenance crews will be performing drainage repair work in the I-90 median between Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls near milepost 10 beginning Monday (May 2) through May 12. The work will be done at night to lessen the impact to drivers.

Crews will be working Monday through Thursday each week, from 7 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.
The center lanes in each direction will be closed to traffic.

Monday, April 25, 2011

April KCATT Meeting Cancelled

For those of you who attend the monthly Kootenai County Area Transportation Team meetings, the meeting scheduled for tomorrow, April 26, has been cancelled.

The next KCATT meeting is scheduled for May 24, 2011 at 8:00 a.m., so mark your calendars.

Public Transportation Roundtable Meeting This Week

KMPO's Public Transportation Roundtable is this Wednesday, April 27 at 1 p.m. at the Coeur d'Alene Library. Here's a look at the agenda. Feel free to attend, Roundtable meetings are open to everyone.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Unintended consequences?

Colorado has already leagalized the use of marijuana for medical purpposes, but now the legislature is grappling with how to regulate "stoned driving." The Denver Post reports the legislature took up the issue yesterday thinking the 5 nanograms of THC, the active drug in marijuana, in the bloodstream was enough to constitute stoned driving, but there is a twist with this drug. Apparently, THC is still detectable in the bloodstream even after the user "sobers up."

The legislature killed the bill on a 6-3 vote, but according to the Denver Post story, this issue is going to take some time to resolve.

Will gas prices impact tourism this summer?

I was just reading this story in the Las Vegas Journal about how the rising cost of gas could eventually hurt tourism this year.

I found that really interesting and I wondered if tourism related businesses around here are worried about it. I don't think they have to worry too much about Canadian tourism because Canadians having been paying higher prices for gas for years, and their dollar is finally on par with our dollar. Still, I bet domestic tourism slows down this summer.

This story got me thinking about my own summer travel costs last year, and I have to say that I may have to consider less travel this summer. Steve Everett (our IT guy), and I are part of a competitive BBQ team and last year we competed all over the Pacific Northwest. We won a number of ribbons & trophies, and a little bit of money, but this year we are going to have scale things back -- unless, of course, we start winning big money out of the gate.

How about you, have you given any thought to your summer travel plans?