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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.