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.
Following is a quote from the editorial:
Too often, however, diverse projects are treated as separate and unrelated rather than what they are—components of one regionwide system.
That system has to operate smoothly. Otherwise, not only do we all suffer inconveniences, our commerce suffers, too, as does our general quality of life. The economy stagnates. Jobs disappear.
Transportation touches everyone, and it matters to everyone.
Addressing transportation needs should concentrate on more than forestalling such negatives as congestion and busted tie rods. It should be about building a transportation network that creates positives that give Spokane an edge over other cities.
By integrating streets and highways, transit and cycling, rail and air, Spokane and the region that surrounds it have a timely opportunity to define themselves as a connected region. Admittedly, it’s a complex undertaking, which is why citizen engagement at this early stage is urgent.
This sentiment is echoed throughout the InlandRail website. In a recent update to their website, InlandRail highlighted the SRTC workshop to which the S-R editorial alluded, and pointed readers to the Visioning Project consultant’s website where the public can get involved.
InlandRail strongly encourages public involvement. The visioning process that SRTC has undertaken is extremely important to the region, and begs for an unbiased, cooperative effort among all local jurisdictions and agencies—there’s too much at stake to do anything but.