Spokane Adding New Transit Options

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If you’re planning on moving to Spokane or have lived here for only a short while, you may be surprised to see all the development happening around the city. One great thing about Spokane’s growth is an increase in tax revenue for the city and the surrounding area – meaning much-needed development projects are actually getting funded!

One of the things Spokane is trying to address is transit – do we need more public buses, more bike lanes, wider roads? If you’ve lived in Spokane for a long time, you might be like me (Melissa) and say “wider roads!” However, if you’re someone who prefers taking the bus/using a bike/lives downtown, you may be more inclined to advocate for more bus and bike lanes.

The beauty of living in a growing city like Spokane is that there is room for opinions! In this week’s roundup, we cover the latest transit news, the Zags #1 ranking, and more.

Let us know what you think of this weekly news roundup – love it? Hate it? Tell us over on our Facebook page here!

How rapid is Spokane’s rapid transit project? [KREM]

Summary: The Central City Line won’t be getting its own lane, which raises the question: How will this mode of transit be more rapid than an ordinary bus? What makes this project more than just a bigger bus? According to the Spokane Transit Authority, there is a big difference: Faster loading and unloading times at stops.

Another big difference: Frequency. During peak hours, the CCL will run every 7.5 minutes. That’s twice as fast a normal bus line in Spokane, which operates every 15 minutes, according to the STA.

ES Analysis: The Central City Line’s large, electric buses will make public transportation smoother starting in 2021. Tickets will be paid at new, fancier stops instead of on the buses, which makes it possible to board through any door, even if you’re on a wheelchair or with a bicycle. The new bus stops will feature screens with line arrival times. The frequency of the runs should help shave ten minutes from Browne’s Addition to Spokane Community College.

Since the line is still in design phase, the STA is taking feedback from the public about the effects of the line. You can make your voice heard through their online open house!

If this will affect you, particularly if you live in the Browne’s Addition/Spokane Community College area, make sure to make your voice heard! The one way to make change in your city is to be vocal where it counts – at City Council meetings and when the City asks for your opinion.

Gary Parrish on Zags’ No. 1 Ranking: ‘No matter how you cut it, they are one of the very best teams in the country’ [KREM]

Summary: The trolls come out every time Gonzaga has the No. 1 spot and it’s even more intense this time of year with Gonzaga rolling through the WCC.

Obviously, there are plenty of arguments to have Gonzaga as the top dog and Parrish can definitely make those.

“Gonzaga’s sitting here at 27-2. They’ve got 11 wins over top 100 KenPom teams. They’ve won 18 straight games by an average of 31.3 points. They’re number one in the NET rankings, number two in KenPom, number two in Sagrin,” he said.

ES Analysis: CBS Sports Reporter Gary Parrish has been giving the Zags their credit. He ranked Gonzaga in the top spot ahead of Duke two weeks ago, and now the majority of the poll voters agree with him.

Parrish makes the argument that if the Golden State Warriors played in the WCC, no one would question their strength as a team. Just because Gonzaga is playing weaker opponents, it doesn’t take away that they are one of the best teams in the country.

As a proud Zag grad, I’m thrilled yet cautious about our ranking and how it looks for us going into March Madness 2019. I’ve been there through Adam Morrison, Jeremy Pargo, and more, plus followed the Zags on and off for years. I know how things can turn on a dime (I’ll never get over the championship game between the Zags and UNC! Grr!).

Citizen effort to map Washington’s Kettle Crest gains momentum [The Spokesman-Review]

Summary: “The Kettles Map Project’s goal is to create comprehensive and accurate guide to the range.” The mapped area will extend from Republic, up and over the crest to near Kettle Falls.

If all goes according to plan, the map will be published in the fall of 2020. Simultaneous to the creation of the map, a website will be created on which land managers and users can update trail descriptions and conditions.

Mappers hope they can raise awareness of some of the issues facing the range.

ES Analysis: The Kettle Crest, which is difficult to access because of the lack of roads and maintenance of the area, will finally be mapped thanks to the drive of runner Brittany Aäe and cartographer Marc Rothmeyer of Dharma Maps. While some people do use the trails in the area for running or hiking, much of the land usage has been devoted to logging and ranching.

As these activities have had negative impacts on the land, the mappers hope to increase the public’s awareness of the area, investing them in the issues that face it. The hope is that as people begin to see the crest as a “microcosm of all the conservation issues facing the Northwest”, they will begin to take seriously its own conservation.

Finding good places to hike and explore around Spokane can be challenging, and I’ve always wondered about the gorgeous Kettle Falls area. Glad to see a citizen-driven effort to map the area!

More than 7,000 have already signed up for Bloomsday 2019 [The Spokesman-Review]

Summary: Thousands of people have already signed up for the three Bloomsday runs this year, which will be Bloomsday founder Don Kardong’s last year leading the organization. Bloomsday President Mark Starr said, “[Don]’s made quite the impact on Spokane.”

ES Analysis: The Professional Road Running Organization is offering a $10,000 prize at the event, and Second Harvest food bank is asking for donations when you sign up for the run. Don Kardung’s impact will be celebrated with the selling of an ice cream flavor named after him.

While the main event is on May 5, the Junior Bloomsday (for children in third to seventh grades) will be on April 20 and the the Marmot March (for children third grade and younger) will be on May 4!

Are you doing Bloomsday this year, or taking it off? We still haven’t decided if we’re going Bloomsday this year – I know, time is ticking! What do you think?

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