In 2017 the City Council approved an update to the Comprehensive Plan that included a major renovation of Chapter 4: Transportation. Included in that update was a refresh of the Bicycle Master Plan, completion of the Pedestrian Master Plan, and a reworking of the goals and policies for implementation of transportation facilities.
Because these updates reshaped the methods and means for transportation infrastructure, a follow-up update of the Design Standards was necessary. The draft Chapter 3: Streets, Alleys, Bikeways, and Sidewalks was re-written to reflect the changes reflected in the Comprehensive Plan update.
The City Design Standards guide and govern the development, redevelopment, and reconstruction of facilities built in the right-of-way. This transportation chapter update will include the current state of practice across the nation, with focus and reference sections that bring the design of pedestrian and bicycle facilities up to standards for better serving all ages and abilities. These standards also promote continuity and networking of the City's streets and sidewalks, as well as the integration of utilities that share right-of-way space.
Many of these standard practices have been in use in recent years for city projects with notable examples on Sprague Avenue and Monroe Street. Example updates are wider parking areas, shorter crosswalk distances, and wider sidewalks, all of which provide a strong transition from driving along the street to parking and walking to final destinations.
This update began during the Comprehensive Plan update. At that time a first draft was written to guide transportation design efforts. Street rehabilitation projects have been implemented with guidance from the draft standard. City staff have honed the Design Standards draft to align with experience gained during these implementations. This has provided valuable on-the-ground experience as well as public feedback based on physical interaction.
The standards have been shared with interest groups to verify the applicability of these updates to serve all users of Spokane's transportation infrastructure. Some of the interest topics that will guide this document are infrastructure for all ages and abilities, bicycle infrastructure, and development community needs.
The current design standards are available here. https://static.spokanecity.org/documents/business/designstandards/design-standards-2021.pdf