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!