Archive for the ‘General Interest’ Category

Spokane’s Sustainability Action Plan

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

At their June 28 meeting, on a 5-2 vote Spokane’s City Council adopted the Sustainability Action Plan produced by Mayor Verner’s Task Force on Sustainability. This document addresses climate mitigation, climate adaptation and energy security—all timely topics—and presents an action plan with strategic recommendations. Notably, Avista’s Roger Woodworth and STA’s Susan Meyer were part of the 13-member task force that developed the Plan. (more…)

KREM TV interview

Monday, March 8th, 2010

KREM TV recently interviewed me (Dick Raymond), purportedly about the Inland Empire Rail Transit Association and light rail. Well, to put it kindly it turned out to be not exactly as advertised. You are invited to read/see the KREM story on their website, and then read my website editorial page comments.

My frustration is that no media folks have yet seen fit to do an in-depth analysis of just what has transpired with respect to the light rail story.  (more…)

Promising recent developments

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Two recent developments may offer a glimmer of hope for regional light rail: (1) the recent election, and (2) Federal Transit Administration’s January 13 announced revamping of the way proposed major transportation projects are evaluated.

To put it succinctly, the “bad actors” are now off the STA Board, and their replacements seem to be informed listeners without agendas. My hope is that this new STA Board will in fact be characterized by a renewed, informed, visionary, open and transparent dialogue regarding regional light rail, devoid of personal agendas. Let’s see if STA at least gives the new Board a chance to “weigh in” before doing anything rash,  or worse — stupid.

With respect to FTA, their new policy is to now include economic development and environmental benefits when evaluating projects. Read that as admitting, “sustainability and livability matter.”  This monumental about-face is HUGE! They removed their blinders and now admit that “getting there” will be only part of the equation when it comes to evaluating proposed transit projects for financial assistance under their New Starts and Small Starts programs. Their action unequivocally validates the Light Rail Steering Committee’s (and InlandRail’s) contention that transit projects must be evaluated holistically when considering and comparing the merits of competing proposals. 

Let’s see if these new developments give the regional light rail effort any momentum.

STA bus route fracas in Browne’s Addition

Friday, October 30th, 2009

In a recent Spokesman Review article, it said how a group of residents in Browne’s addition are up in arms about some bus route shuffling STA recently put in place. It made me think of some work I did while with the City of Spokane regarding the real impact that STA buses have on our city streets — particulary residential ones. I wonder if STA and the city talked about the ramifications with the route adjustments? A paper I wrote on the subject quantified those effects. You can find it here:

Welcome to the inaugural InlandRail blog post!

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Many folks have commented that they wished we had an active blog. Well, here it is. We’re still getting our feet wet, so the look may change in the future as we identify and implement any new functionality that becomes available or that we may have overlooked.

This blog was created using the open-source application, “WordPress”. Check it out  at  By using WordPress, we were able to host our blog fully on our own InlandRail server, and not rely on any third-party infrastructure or other hosting agreements. This allows us much better control over the look, feel and security of the blog. So, comment away — let’s see how this thing works out.