Multimodal... more than a buzz word!
In this context, the term "mutimodal" simply means all modes of transportation.
When most people think of transportation, they think about vehicles and streets. However, many people don't drive - youth, some seniors, disabled individuals, and those that maybe can't afford to own a car. In fact, data suggests that in a typical community 20-40% of the total population can't drive.
That said, 70-90% of trips are made by automobile and this supports why we tend to focus on improving roads with less focus on other modes such as walking, biking, riding the bus, carpooling, etc. As a result, our sidewalks and pathways are not well maintained and many gaps exist. We haven't updated our truck routes in nearly 20 years. Our street maintenance budget is not keeping up with much needed repairs. The list goes on.
The list of transportation issues continues to grow and that list is not limited to vehicles. Multimodal = looking at all of the ways in which people travel.
What's the point of a Master Plan?
We can't ignore our transportation issues. The problems need fixed!
The purpose of the plan is to bring together all of the data and community feedback to answer What, Where, How, and When. That effort enables the City to prioritize improvements and to budget for them accordingly. The plan also helps obtain outside dollars (grants) to fund projects.
Plans that lack an effective implementation strategy sit on the shelf.
Effective plans provide a balance in priorities and enable us to take action.
We have come along way!
It has been over 10 years since the last transportation plan was developed and much has changed:
- Local and regional growth
- New zoning/ land use
- Downtown reversion from one-way to two-way
- Larch/ Boyer roundabout
- Schweitzer/ Boyer roundabout
Why update the plan?
- Generate and apply current data to inform decision-making
- Assess citizen perspectives, goals, and priorities to ensure the path forward aligns with community expectations
- Establish a clear strategy for all modes of transportation to provide a balance in priorities
- Define a fiscally responsible and practical implementation plan to provide a basis for maintaining, managing, and improving our transportation infrastructure
What will be included in the Master Plan?
Highlight of intended results:
- Updated Travel Demand Model (current and future traffic counts) - DONE
- Operational Analysis (how well do the intersections work) - DONE
- Pavement Condition Assessment and Analysis (what streets are the worst) - UNDERWAY
- Revised Truck Routes (current route system is nearly 20 years old)
- Sidewalks and Pathways Network (where do we need them and which ones should be prioritized)
- Accessibility / ADA Compliance and related on-street parking challenges
- Division Ave focus-area (Pine intersection, safety for kids, mid-block crossings)
- Revisit options at Superior and First
- Identify solutions to address current "cut-through" routes between Hwy 95 and Hwy 2
- Prioritization of projects with cost estimates and funding strategies
- Comprehensive List of Improvements (informs budgeting, future funding, and impact fees)
- Recommendations for improving codes, policy, and standards
Sequence of Events and Timing
Recent, Related Efforts
- Pilot Program on N. Ella - Speed Tables
- New Four-Way at Cedar and Third
- New Four-Way at Church and Fourth
- New Four-Way at Pine and Division
- No Truck Signs, throughout South Sandpoint
- Pilot Program on First, Temporary Bike Corral on-street
- New No Parking Signs on Cedar, west of Division
- New Sidewalks/Ramps on Ontario/Florence
- Improved ADA Parking along Cedar (First is underway)
Did you know?
1. Most residential streets in Sandpoint were originally paved over 30 years ago with approximately 2-inches of asphalt.
2. All traffic signals are owned and maintained by ITD.
3. In 2006, approximately $103 million in transportation improvements were identified within Sandpoint.
4. The one-way portion of Pine Street between Fifth and Fourth was required by ITD to enable the City to convert downtown streets from one-way to two-way. Changing this portion of Pine back to two-way is not viable because it would cause safety issues and negatively impact the nearby signal at Church.
5. City is drafting possible revisions to the codes relating to new construction and maintenance of sidewalks, specifically regarding fairness, equity, and clarity of the code.
Please stay-tuned for more information about how you can get involved. Multiple opportunities will exist throughout the planning process for you to weigh in on the future of our transportation system. Open houses, surveys, and workshops are just a few ways in which the community will be engaged. The City of Sandpoint is committed to ensuring this critical planning effort is community-driven.