Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Have a complaint about your commute? Add it to the map

Posted By on Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 3:15 PM

click to enlarge linkspokane.png

Whether it's an intersection where you wish they'd install a stoplight or a corner where crossing on foot feels like a risk to your life, the city wants to hear about the problems with your commute.

As part of its long-term transportation planning, the city has released two maps of Spokane where users can add comments to problem areas and places where things are working well. (For potholes, the city's website already has this map where you can request pothole repairs.)

The new maps — one here for all modes of transportation and one here focused on bike and pedestrian travel — show existing bus routes and trails and allow users to add routes and single points labeled as "good example," "bad example" or "general idea." Users can also add icons signifying specific needs like parking, traffic signals and trail connections.

To get started, visit the map and take a look at what's already there. If someone else has already added a route or comment, you can agree, disagree or comment on their suggestion. If not, you can add your own by clicking the "routes" button at the top of the map, then "good example," "bad example" or "general idea" and drawing the route on which you want to comment. Follow the same process for specific locations by clicking on "points." (Because the maps were built with Google maps, the city suggests using Google Chrome as your web browser for the best experience.)

Link Spokane is part of a push at City Hall for "integrated planning" or "integrated strategy," which basically means doing different types of work in the same area at the same time. If crews are going to dig up your block to replace a water main, for example, rather than doing only that work, patching the street and leaving, the city might also improve the street or sidewalk and add a swale to slow runoff in the same area at the same time. You can read more about the plans in a brochure the city released in January here.

Of course, adding your gripes to the maps won't guarantee the city fixes them, but it's one way to share thoughts from the comfort of your own home instead of, say, a public forum.

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