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Forest for the Trees

Streets for more people, and a bunch of wilderness.

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Whole Streets

Not all streets are meant just for cars. Some should have bike lanes. Some should be for buses. Others should have better sidewalks.

That’s the word from Kitty Klitzke and a bunch of other alternative transportation advocates, including Spokane City Councilman Jon Snyder.

Klitzke, who runs the Eastern Washington chapter of Futurewise, a growth-management advocacy group, has helped craft a “Complete Streets” law for Spokane. A public hearing for this ordinance will be held next week, and the City Council could vote on it by the end of the year. The council resolved in April 2010 to complete such an ordinance.

The proposal, Klitzke says, will essentially give enforcement power to the city’s decade-old Comprehensive Plan.

The more her group looked back at the Comprehensive Plan, she says, the more they realized “it already called for complete streets. … Pedestrian is paramount [according to the plan]. After that, you consider cyclists, transit and other non-motorized modes.

After that you consider cars. … We have enough streets to give everyone their own routes.”

Public testimony will begin at 4 pm, Dec. 14, in the lower level of City Hall, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. (Nicholas Deshais)

Forest Economics

More than 100 economists from 31 states have petitioned President Obama to protect more wilderness areas and invest in public lands.

The economists — including three professors from the University of Idaho and one from Washington State University — write that the West’s natural lands “attract innovative companies and workers, and are an essential component of the region’s competitive advantage.”

The letter was sent to the White House and congressional leaders and was posted on the website of Headwaters Economics, a think-tank based in Bozeman, Mont., that deals with environmental issues.

The petition comes amid a push by activists to designate the Scotchman Peaks, a mountain range along the Idaho-Montana border, as a federal wilderness area, which The Inlander reported on last month (“An Uphill Battle,” 11/2/11). (Chris Stein)

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