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Route 14: Fort Wright > East Trent

As predicted, Route 14 was flat and fast. While some of the enjoyment that comes with those characteristics is simply aesthetic or emotional, their presence makes the process of moving completely across town simple, navigable, and repeatable, all of which are important when discussing mass transit.

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Understanding Spokane was different in 1923, I appreciate how many of these routes begin and/or end a block or two off of the main arterial. It allows a comfortable wait before boarding away from the less desirable aspects of arterial roads.
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This light at the intersection of Government Way and Fort George Wright Drive is the last light until First and Cedar. Placing the route on an uninterrupted stretch of road, combined with the wide shoulder, gives the streetcar/bus the equivalent of a designated lane. By eliminating most of the frustration drivers of private vehicles feel having to pass/wait for mass transit, the viability of the transportation increases.

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By jogging east onto 7th, Route 14 avoids the light on the corner of Government Way and Sunset. Like Route 13, where the streetcar crossed Sunset before ending its route, the huge added benefit of using thoughtful side streets is allowing riders a safe place to exit the vehicle.
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If Spokanites hate roundabouts as much as they say they do, why is Browne’s always so bustling? #teamroundabout
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Of all the one way options downtown, Sprague is the one I’d most like to see go back to a two-way street. As the dividing north-south street, its status is the most “arterial”-like street downtown. On top of also being a beautiful road to travel east on, I think it would help to make Spokane more navigationally intuitive for both visitors and residents.
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After using Main for awhile post-construction, I’ll write a post detailing my thoughts on its reconstruction. For the time being, I think it’s a good small step toward a more bike-able downtown, although I don’t think small steps are a solution to our transportation ills.

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Route 14 ends on the dividing line between factory warehouses and slightly worn single-family homes. In short, Route 14’s two termini are in mixed-use zoned areas, perfect for a mass transit route.

Best non-downtown spot for a drink along the way: It’s hard to beat pizza and a beer at Pacific Ave Pizza. Unless you’re downing margaritas on El Que’s patio.

Next Monday: Route 10: North Madison > South Maple.

Published in 1923 Streetcar The City War on Cars

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