Search This Blog

Monday, May 14, 2012

If you drive a "Prius", Some Believe It can Define who you are

I found this article interesting....posted on "Today's News" by the Idaho Transportation Department. 
"You have a Prius....you probably compost, sort all your recycling, and have a reusable shopping bag for your short drive to Whole Foods.
The Portland Mercury, 2008

Opinion:  The Lewiston Tribune
WASHINGTON D.C. - Prius, which is Latin for "to go before" or "lead the way", is the perfect name for the car whose owners are confident they are leading the way for the benighted. 

The article goes on to review history of the automobile and the connection between cars and the American self-image, from the model T, in 1908 to the Toyota Prius, in 2003.

One thing they forgot to mention, is the snow dweller drivers.  It doesn't matter if I compost, garden or use a reusable shopping bag... I would love to get better gas mileage but, where I live, I have to drive an all wheel vehicle, that is, if I want to make it to work in the winter!

Here is the link to the full story, if you would like to read it.  http://apps.itd.idaho.gov/Apps/MediaManagerMVC/NewsClipping.aspx/Preview/63592

Thursday, May 10, 2012

"TAKE A RIDE" on the TRI-MET Rail System in Portland, Oregon

 











This past week, I attended training in Portland, Oregon.   Instead of renting a car or taking a cab, I took the TRI-MET Rail system to travel back and forth.  I have to say it's a wonderful transportation system!

Portland has a thriving downtown area, walkable neighborhoods, extensive bike paths and a comprehensive transit system.

On the way back from training to go to the airport, I had boarded at the Sunset Station and arrived at the Portland airport.  On the way to the airport, there was standing room only by the time we reached the downtown area.  Portland has a population of 583,776 according to the 2010 Census records.  I can see how invaluable a rail system can be in a city with a population of that size!  When you look at the history of the TRI-MET Rail system it's quite impressive. 

They began their rail line in 1980 (the first MAX line) and in 2009 had expanded the rail to include the yellow, green, red and blue lines.  All over a span of 29 years.  For all those that live, and yes, travel to Portland, the TRI-MET system is a wonderful operational accomplishment! Thank you to all those that joined the vision to create it and make it a reality for all of us to enjoy!

If you would like to check it out, here is the link to the TRI MET Site: http://trimet.org/about/index.htm

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Want to be an Organ Donor ? - Sign Up on Facebook

I saw a video clip posted by Today's News - Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) and thought this was worth mentioning.   I found it interesting that the ITD video mentioned that Idaho has the 6th highest nationwide percentage of people signed up to be an organ donor  The primary place in Idaho to register is through the Idaho Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  But, now, thanks to Facebook, you can sign up easily from your timeline page. Below, is the YouTube video of the launching of the Facebook campaign:


All you have to do, is take the steps below after signing into your Facebook and clicking on your timeline (or you can go directly to www.yesidaho.org or call 1.866.YES.IDAHO:



Did you know that MAY is National Bike Month?


What a better way to pull out the old bike (fill up the flat tires) and ride somewhere. On a trail, to work, the store, with your family, friends, or just around the block!  

Simply by choosing to ride your bike this month, and especially on bike to work day (May 18th is National Bike to Work Day), you can help generate political momentum for safe and bike-able streets!  Bike to work day shows transportation planners and politician,s that there is a need for a network of bicycle trails, lanes, boulevards, signage and new innovative facilities.  By cycling together, we can make a difference!

Before you ride, please be safe and prepared by learning or reviewing the "rules of the road".

Idaho has many wonderful trails in the Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls area.   Below are a few links for the local trails, and an ITD link that has useful information on rules of the road or even bicycle maintenance:

http://itd.idaho.gov/bike_ped/publications.htm

http://friendsofcdatrails.org/

http://gis.itd.idaho.gov/bikemap/

http://maps.google.com/  (Choose Directions and click on the Bike Icon)

http://www.idahobyways.gov/byways/lake-coeur-d-alene.aspx

Wishing you Happy and Safe Bicycling!!!!



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Idaho StateWide Texting BAN Goes Into Effect July 1, 2012

An Idaho statewide texting ban goes into effect on July 1, 2012.  Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter signed legislation this month to make texting while driving illegal.  Idaho is the 37th state to enact a texting-while-driving ban.




Banning the use of smartphones and other hand-held devices to manually review, prepare or send written communicaitons while operating a motor vehicle, the new law will receive primary enforcement - police can stop and cite offenders for that violation alone - but offenses are not moving violations.  Also, there are no points assessed against the driver's license,
Violators can expect to pay a fine of $85, if caught by a law enforcement officer.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Citylink Transit Routes w/Paratransit Service Area Changes - EFFECTIVE May 14, 2012

The Citylink Transit Routes with Paratransit Service Area are changing!  The effective date is May 14, 2012.  To view a larger map please visit our www.KMPO.net website at the following link:
http://www.kmpo.net/Data_Publications/Transit%20Proposed%20Service%20Reductions%204-30-12/CityLink_Trans_wPCB_120430.pdf


Summary of Citylink and Citylink Paratransit Service Changes

Effective May 14, 2012

What do the changes look like? Major fixed route service changes are as follows:
§  Citylink bus service will end at 10 p.m., seven days a week.
§  The “A” route, which currently runs out to Stateline, will be eliminated.
o   The “B” route will be reconfigured to pick up many of the riders who used to rely on the “A” Route.
o   Citylink will still serve Post Falls from Riverstone on Seltice and Mullan Avenue north and south of Interstate 90.
o   Service will be expanded north of Mullan Avenue on Idaho Street to Poleline Avenue, then Poleline Avenue to Spokane Street to serve the residential area and to access the Post Falls Library.
§  Two-way service will be provided between Post Falls, Coeur d’Alene, and Hayden eliminating much of the current loop routing.
§  More bus stops will be added along the routes, which will make transit access more convenient for riders.
o   By providing more stops along the fixed routes, this may decrease the distance riders have to walk to their final destination and provide better access to service.  
o   With more stops, the ridership may also redistribute to the new bus stops, thereby making loading and unloading at each stop quicker and easier.
§  Buses will no longer go directly into the NIC campus. Transit stops will be provided on Northwest Boulevard at Hubbard and Garden Avenue.
§  Increased the 60 minute frequency of the routes from the Riverstone Transit Center to provide hourly service as opposed to the current 85 minutes per trip.
§  The Link Route will provide easy two way (both inbound and outbound from Riverstone) access to the Kootenai Medical Center campus along Lakeside, Ironwood, and Lincoln Way.
§  Citylink routes and stops will no longer use private property, which reduces potential liabilities, and increases travel time. 
What changes are anticipated for the Paratransit Service?
§  With the reduction in transit service area, the boundary of the Paratransit service area will also be reduced to coincide with the changes in the fixed bus routing.  This change will impact some current users of the paratransit service. 
o   If you do not live within the new paratransit service area, but are eligible for paratransit service, you may still use the service if you are able to get to a connecting location within the paratransit service area.  Please note that your ride outside of the paratransit service area will need to be your responsibility.
§  There are no changes contemplated for the Kootenai Medical Center transit service.
§  Please remember that all Paratransit riders may also use the fixed route bus service for their travelling needs too.
Why is Citylink changing?
§     Citylink has not been a financially sustainable system for several years. These changes will allow us to bring the transit system in line with the funding available. And it creates a good building block for us to expand the system in the future as funding increases.
How and why were these changes chosen?
We have used what we’ve learned over the past several years to make improvements to the system.  We looked at ridership numbers to determine where Citylink is used the most and attempted to make changes in a way that affected the fewest riders.  These proposed changes allow us to achieve the required cost savings, while maintaining as much service as we can in the highest population centers.
§  Adding more bus stops to the system to make it more convenient for riders.
§  Adding more two way service on the fixed routes.
§  Decreasing wait time for riders by providing more frequent service from Riverstone.
§  Again, it is important to remember that this will be a sustainable building block upon which we can grow the system as more funding becomes available.
When will changes be implemented?
§  The changes will take effect on May 14, 2012.
Schedules?
§  New Schedules will be available prior to the change on the buses as well as all regular schedule outlets. 
Quick numbers on Citylink riders:
From February 2011-February 2012, an average of 48,200 people rode Citylink routes each month. Sixty-three percent (63%) of those riders rode the urban routes (A, B, and C routes in Post Falls, Coeur d’Alene, and Hayden).  Thirty-seven percent (37%) of riders rode the Link and Rural routes to Worley, Plummer, Tensed and DeSmet.  In 2011, Citylink provided approximately 575,731 trips in the urban areas.
Quick numbers on Citylink Paratransit riders:
Since paratransit service startup in July of 2011, ridership has grown to nearly 1,000 trips per month.
To see the "Summary of Changes" in larger text please visit our www.KMPO.net website

Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization (KMPO) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Kootenai County, Idaho. Federal law requires urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people to have an MPO. KMPO was formed in 2003, to provide coordinated transportation planning within Kootenai county for the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and the Coeur d'Alene tribe.

KMPO's Board of Directors oversees KMPO for Kootenai County, ID. KMPO's Executive Director and Staff are responsible for day-to-day operational and administrative needs.