Archive for the ‘Editorials’ Category

STA’s Latest Shenanigans

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Full disclosure: I (Dick Raymond) am not a fan of STA. First, as the City of Spokane’s representative on the Technical Advisory Committee (to STA’s Light Rail Steering Committee) during the very exhaustive and comprehensive study that concluded light rail transit, along what was called the south valley corridor would be a desirable and feasible regional alternative providing not only long term transportation/transit benefits, but also very significant and positive near and long-term economic development impacts; Second, as a concerned citizen.

So, why the attitude? I am, to say the least, nonplused that after the change in STA leadership late into the study, emphasis at the highest level suddenly changed from “how might this vision be accomplished?” to “how can this whole thing be scuttled?” This ultimately culminated in a vote by the STA Board to set aside the project and disband the Light Rail Steering Committee, thus putting the kibosh on any further development.

This cancellation was after spending $8 million on the study. Eight million bucks down the drain! I wonder how those who worked so hard to obtain the federal grant in the first place feel after that, let alone the feds themselves? The sorry history of this entire ordeal is fully documented on the Inland Empire Rail Transit Association’s (InlandRail) website at http://www.inlandrail.org. You are encouraged to check it out, particularly the Editorial Page. (more…)

Boeing

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Probably like a lot of folks, I (Dick Raymond) have been following the tantalizing story around Boeing’s intent to consider locations other than Everett when they ramp up production of the 737 in response to seriously increasing demand. To their credit, the Spokane area politicos seem to be saying and doing the right things as they prepare their pitch to sell the West Plains area as the most logical location for the new facilities.

While I was working at the City of Spokane, they brought sewer and water to the West Plains in anticipation of such an eventuality. Finally, the County Commissioners are at least saying they’re not going to do something stupid (again) when it comes to zoning and land use issues that affect such industry. And, to be sure, it looks like they’re making a solid effort to back up the rhetoric.

As the various groups add up all the “pluses” for why Boeing ought to seriously consider the West Plains area for their next assembly plant, how cool would it be to say, “…and our light rail provides service all the way to Coeur d’Alene!”

Yeah, that would be very cool. It would also require—let’s see—a light rail system. But, that would have required vision on the part of the regional leaders. Oh, well…

STA Comprehensive Plan Update

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

As part of their current (2010) comprehensive plan update effort, STA has produced a pamphlet entitled “The High Performance Transit Network”.  InlandRail picked up a copy when we staffed a booth at the recent Liberty Lake Days celebration, where STA was also staffing a booth.

As you may have surmised, STA is embracing a concept they call High Performance Transit, touting it as “…relevant to both near term challenges and long term opportunities while working towards connecting people with places throughout the Spokane region. A defining element of this vision is the High Performance Transit (HPT) Network.”

In large part, InlandRail agrees with what STA is purportedly attempting, which among other things appears to be proposing a comprehensive and unbiased look at the region’s future transit needs in order to determine an appropriate modal mix to meet those needs. Sounds pretty good.

Well, as great as it feels and sounds, all may not necessarily be wonderful here in River City.  As you may have already guessed, I (Dick Raymond) have written an editorial on this subject that spells out some of my thoughts and concerns regarding STA’s statements and claims. You are encouraged to check out the editorial on our website. 

What’s your opinion? Do you think STA has managed to move beyond their former selves as to be trusted? I hope so. Or, is it more of their legendary status quo-esque sleight of hand? I hope not.

Spokesman-Review Editorial: Transportation Vision

Friday, July 16th, 2010

In their Tuesday, July 13, 2010 editorial entitled Public input critical piece in fulfilling transit needs, the S–R editorial board spoke to a visioning process being undertaken by the Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC) “…designed to focus on the full array of agencies, activities and infrastructure needed to move people and goods efficiently around the region. ” Interestingly, we think the editorial board displayed remarkable insight and candor. (more…)

Editorial page content

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

The purpose of the InlandRail editorial page is to present in as straightforward a manner as we can, issues pertaining to the whole idea of transportation planning (and, certainly rail-based transportation solutions) and how it fits into the overall regional scheme of things. Essays that reflect the board’s thinking or action have no byline. Other essays (more…)