The East Sprague Loop is the kind of route that fascinates me. Tiny, short stretches of condensed, multi-use, inner- to mid-city roads are the perfect areas to throw transit infrastructure. It empties the users from the longer routes that travel to the suburbs and surrounding areas, allowing those vehicles to stop less often closer to their origin, fewer buses/streetcars are needed to fulfill the demand, and (most importantly) the streetcars appear more frequently and predictably, meaning that memorizing a schedule (ideally) isn’t necessary.
Published September 19, 2016 by Erik
Route 1 should be advertised as the City Drive Lite. Glimpses of Beacon Hill through Hillyard’s old buildings make way for river views over Upriver Drive, dumping you onto post-warehouse Division, through Downtown and up the aptly named Grand Blvd to upper Manito. Spokane in a nutshell, no doubt.
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Published September 9, 2016 by Erik
Many of these routes follow Spokane’s best rides, which is not surprising. Generally, people in a city want to live in an enjoyably comfortable neighborhood with easy access to downtown, entertainment, and/or nightlife (the politics around who is capable of living in such an area is for another post (or book)). Route 13, with only a couple of revisions, is a stretch of road I bicycled nearly every day last summer. Its edges are accessible from downtown, the areas at its fringes are picturesque and have smooth roads, and Route 13 actually passes meaningful, practical areas of Spokane. So much so that Spokane’s proposed Central City Line follows many of the same roads. Beginning on the river at Spokane’s eastern edge, Route 13 ducks through downtown, climbing up Sunset Blvd’s first major ramp.
Published September 4, 2016 by Erik
When thinking about The City as a concept, I generally picture a circle with a lightening gradient towards the edges, as a map of the daytime population density, dedicated parking spots, or lawyer’s offices would likely show. So, to simplify, imagine a pizza.
If you were to cut the pizza into sections to represent, say, ways to get from periphery to periphery, how would every person who has ever seen a round pizza cut it? Most likely, some variation of:
- North to south
- East to west
- Bisect those cuts with another (NW to SE, SW to NE)
Route 4: Northwest Blvd > Altamont is a cut from the lower northwest part of town to the upper southeast part of town. This route is nearly directly east to west, only deviating to cross the river. A practical and necessary route that is totally unrepresented/unfulfilled in any functional way with our current public transportation options.
Best non-Downtown spot for a drink along the way: The Flying Goat. A real place to lock your bike up! A chill patio! A safe way to turn left into the establishment!
Next Sunday: Read about Route 13: East Nora > Garden Springs.Leave a Comment
Published September 1, 2016 by Erik
Gonna head this off at the pass: yes, this route goes straight up Grand.
Yes, you can make it up.
This Sunday! Meet at Coeur at 11:30, we roll to Hillyard at noon for:
We’ll cool down/chill out by snagging a drink at RocketMarket and heading to the High Drive Cliff overlook just west of Luna.
What are we celebrating? Earning our Labor Day.
See y’all Sunday!Leave a Comment
Published August 25, 2016 by Erik
Today, CityLab published one of those articles that makes any transportation nerd say, “Well, duh,” but almost everyone else say, “What’s CityLab?”
In it, author Linda Poon promotes the #straighterisgreater hashtag, highlighting circuitious, meandering bus routes bad enough to keep people from using public transportation.
This connects to a project I’ve been working on for most of the summer. I’m calling it #1923streetcar.
Each week, I’ll be bicycling and photographing a different route from Spokane’s 1923 Streetcar system. The first route is Route 4: Northwest Boulevard to Altamont (orange in the map above), a 7 mile route that took about 45 minutes to casually bicycle.
Part of this project will be focusing on how thoughtful many of these routes are, especially when compared to the STA’s service today. Transportation needs are always changing and will vary for every user, but if you wanted to travel Route 4 on Spokane’s current bus service, the trip would take over an hour via either 29th or Market and Wellesely along with walking over a mile. For a simple, nearly-straight line full of arterials traveling through Downtown, using STA seems to lack the straight-ness and greatness Poon and #straighterisgreater is advocating.
Be on the lookout for #1923streetcar and related ephemera every Sunday starting September 4th!
Want to ride along? Keep an eye out here and on Instagram for announcements!
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Published June 8, 2016 by Erik
The “failure” of “bike share” the second letter refers to was a community driven effort to spray paint a bunch of down-on-their-luck bicycles lilac and leave them around town for folks to ride and leave where they pleased. Predictably, most ended up in garages or the river. Perhaps you may be able to imagine a subtle difference or two to the bike share programs that Paris, London, and New York currently enjoy. Sorry, Cheryl.
Despite the success of bike sharing elsewhere, perhaps Spokane should eschew the idea of a Bike Share simply because 20 years ago the rag-tag version of modern bike sharing didn’t become a permanent part of our modern landscape. Very similar to the way we have eschewed:
Netflix (because Blockbuster isn’t around anymore)
Mobile phones (they were so inconvenient when they were tied to the console of one’s Lincoln)
Downloading music (because 28.8k modems are way too slow for that sort of thing)
Consistency is key, after all.
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Published May 30, 2016 by Erik
Ronde van Spokane Stage 3: Spokane ➡ Spokane, 20k.
Race report: Ceremonial appreciation for this mean machine’s 7th birthday.
Love you, bro.
Planning is already underway for next year’s #secondannual #rondevanspokane !Leave a Comment
Published May 30, 2016 by Erik
Ronde van Spokane Stage 2: City ➡ River ➡ City, approx 30k; many beers.
Calm conditions until some nervousness overtook the peleton.
Beers and tacos calmed everything right down.
Today’s Stage 3 preview: a ceremonial finish along Spokane’s chillest roads.Leave a Comment
Published May 28, 2016 by Erik
Ronde van Spokane Stage 1: Felts Field ➡ GEG, 53k.
Rough roads and large trucks on the way to SFF.
Fifteen minute race neutralization at Coeur.
Smooth roads, heavy headwinds to GEG; smooth roads, heavy tailwinds back from GEG.
Tomorrow’s stage 2 preview: beer, burritos, river, chance of BBQ.Leave a Comment