Spokane Valley moves ahead with design of Appleway Trail
Project to run between University, Evergreen just south of SpragueJune 6th, 2013
The city of Spokane Valley plans to develop a walking and bicycling trail on a stretch of land once envisioned as the site for a future extension of Appleway Boulevard, says senior traffic engineer Inga Note. Work is tentatively scheduled to begin as early as next year.
The Appleway Trail project, which Note estimates will cost more than $2 million, would be located just south of Sprague Avenue between University and Evergreen roads on land owned by Spokane County.
The city still is trying to obtain funding for the project, she says.
The city drafted an interlocal agreement with the county within the last year that authorizes the city to build a trail through the right of way and maintain the roughly two-mile stretch of land until needed for another transportation use, she says.
"The idea is the trail would stay there, it might just get shifted to the side," Note says.
Future transportation options for the land include extending Appleway Boulevard east, and using the property for high capacity transit, such as light rail, she says.
The Spokane Transit Authority had researched the idea of developing a light-rail system between Liberty Lake and the downtown corridor since the 1990s.
Discussions stalled, however, in 2006 when Spokane County voters rejected further studies of a 10 -mile light-rail system that would have included the two mile stretch of land proposed for the trail.
She says although the city is taking into consideration the long-term use of the land in designing the trail, the city and county aren't looking at either of those options seriously at this point.
Note says the city has finished the conceptual plans and is about 30 percent complete with project design. She anticipates a final design plan will be ready by the end of July.
"We're trying to go with a valley-type theme," Note says.
Site features the city is considering include a small orchard, flower gardens, community gardens, and play areas.
It's also considering an uncovered plaza with seating where the trail meets up with Appleway Boulevard on the west end.
"What we're trying to do is find some improvements that can be put into that corridor that won't be really expensive to move in the future," Note says.
The city plans to use flashing caution lights where needed at intersections, and a hawk beacon, which is a stop light that's triggered when pedestrians use the crosswalk, she says.