February 18 2013

The Commuting Cyclist: Spokane, Washington Edition

Spokane, WA is one of the most car-centric and sprawling cities I know. It’s also where I fell in love with cycommuting, or commuting by bicycle.

Commuting or running errands by bicycle is possible without much or zero supporting infrastructure; you just need to choose your path wisely. If you know the basics of cycling in an urban area, you’ll be just fine following the suggestions below.

The Spokane Greenways Committee created a pilot project to help the city focus their future greenway, or bicycle boulevard, development efforts. The project designated a few presently bike and pedestrian-friendly routes that just need a push in the right direction to become some of Spokane’s first bona fide greenways. The committee chose two-way residential streets almost exclusively, which are perfect for the aspiring cycommuter today. North Cincinnati Street, East and West Everett Street, South Manito Boulevard., and North Walton Avenue are the committee’s Phase I priority choices, as discussed in their briefing paper.

Just for Spokanites, I’ve created the interactive Google map below. It aims to provide the best advice possible – to make your next commute your next adventure.

The green lines represent those routes which have been endorsed by the Spokane Greenways Committee for Phase I improvement. The blue lines are my own suggestions for connecting you from almost anywhere in Spokane to where you need to go. If this doesn’t get you close enough, I highly suggest riding Spokane Transit Authority (STA) to a good starting point, like a Park and Ride or the STA Plaza downtown. There’s no extra charge for bringing a bike on board, just be sure to secure it firmly!

Pinpoints represent major places of interest, like the STA Plaza, Northtown Mall, Riverpoint Campus, and Spokane Community College. Each line, when clicked, has a description that tells you something about the route. The descriptions include advice on which bike racks to use, the best time of day to use the route, or what to expect of the infrastructure.

Have you ever cycled to work or school? What suggestions do you have for aspiring cycommuters in your city?

Credits: Data linked to sources. Google map created by Aascot Holt. Special thanks to Jackie Caro, an intern at the Neighborhood Services Code Enforcement Office for the City of Spokane.

Aascot Holt

Aascot Holt is an undergraduate at Eastern Washington University, pursuing a major in Urban and Regional Planning and a minor in Geography. She will graduate in the spring of 2013. She is from Stevenson, WA and currently lives in Spokane, WA in a brick 1936 kit house. She is most intrigued by small-city and small town planning, parks and recreation planning, long-range planning, and historic preservation. She hopes to continue her habit of being involved with many planning projects at a time, and fears being pigeonholed. Aascot maintains the “Being A Planning Student” Tumblr as well as her planning-centric blog, The Comprehensive. She is currently writing Cheney, WA’s entirely new comprehensive parks, recreation, and trails plan, completely pro bono. More can be learned about her endeavors via LinkedIn.

This entry was posted on Monday, February 18th, 2013 at 9:04 am and is filed under Infrastructure, Transportation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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