Spokane, WA is one of the most car-centric and sprawling cities I know. It’s also where I fell in love with cycommuting, or commuting by bicycle.
Commuting or running errands by bicycle is possible without much or zero supporting infrastructure; you just need to choose your path wisely. If you know the basics of cycling in an urban area, you’ll be just fine following the suggestions below.
The Spokane Greenways Committee created a pilot project to help the city focus their future greenway, or bicycle boulevard, development efforts. The project designated a few presently bike and pedestrian-friendly routes that just need a push in the right direction to become some of Spokane’s first bona fide greenways. The committee chose two-way residential streets almost exclusively, which are perfect for the aspiring cycommuter today. North Cincinnati Street, East and West Everett Street, South Manito Boulevard., and North Walton Avenue are the committee’s Phase I priority choices, as discussed in their briefing paper.
Just for Spokanites, I’ve created the interactive Google map below. It aims to provide the best advice possible - to make your next commute your next adventure.
[googlemap width="425" height="350" src="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=210390167788984553881.0004d553441aa01cd1717&msa=0"]
The green lines represent those routes which have been endorsed by the Spokane Greenways Committee for Phase I improvement. The blue lines are my own suggestions for connecting you from almost anywhere in Spokane to where you need to go. If this doesn’t get you close enough, I highly suggest riding Spokane Transit Authority (STA) to a good starting point, like a Park and Ride or the STA Plaza downtown. There’s no extra charge for bringing a bike on board, just be sure to secure it firmly!
Pinpoints represent major places of interest, like the STA Plaza, Northtown Mall, Riverpoint Campus, and Spokane Community College. Each line, when clicked, has a description that tells you something about the route. The descriptions include advice on which bike racks to use, the best time of day to use the route, or what to expect of the infrastructure.
Have you ever cycled to work or school? What suggestions do you have for aspiring cycommuters in your city?
Credits: Data linked to sources. Google map created by Aascot Holt. Special thanks to Jackie Caro, an intern at the Neighborhood Services Code Enforcement Office for the City of Spokane.