Pullman is asking its residents to provide their input on an effort to improve traffic flow and make its city streets more accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists.
The city government has drafted a “Complete Streets” ordinance and policy it hopes will result in state grant money to tackle future traffic projects.
“It is a guide, a roadmap for how we look at transportation within the city of Pullman going forward,” Pullman Public Works Director Kevin Gardes said.
The effort is encouraged by the state, which established the Complete Streets grant program to help cities change their infrastructure to be multimodal friendly. It is intended to make communities safer and healthier by promoting walking, bicycling and using public transportation.
The new policy will also serve as a guide for private development that affects streets.
“The principles of this policy shall inform all transportation planning, design, maintenance and funding decisions,” the policy states.
A Complete Streets committee composed of city employees will review capital projects to determine if they enhance multimodal transportation. Gardes said the city’s new ordinance would apply to any plans to build a bypass highway around Pullman, which has been a longstanding city goal.
The policy states that the Complete Streets program should be periodically evaluated to check the number of ADA ramps built, the number of bike lanes built, the number of traffic calming features built and the condition of sidewalks.
Gardes said the city has already discussed making streets more multimodal in developing a new master plan for its downtown business district, including the possibility of a bike lane on Main Street.
Jamie Brush, a Pullman resident and founder of the Synergy Bicycle Alliance, said Complete Streets is a step in the right direction for Pullman. She said it can be used as a “springboard” to a more robust policy and ordinance in the future.
Brush, however, took issue with Pullman creating a committee comprised of only city employees. In an email to the Daily News, she wrote that to ensure the Complete Streets program is actually carried out, Pullman residents should be appointed to hold city staff accountable.
“This structure further acts as a clearinghouse for citizens and accounts for the interests of all users of the transportation network,” she wrote.
The public can submit their written feedback until 5 p.m. Jan. 20 to Bethany Johnson at City Hall.
After the public comment period, Gardes said the Pullman Planning Discussion will discuss it in a meeting Jan. 22 and the ordinance and policy will be presented to City Council for adoption at a later date.
Anthony Kuipers can be reached at (208) 883-4640, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.