A public involvement process for route development plans has been tailored to promote open exchange of information, ideas, and solutions between WSDOT, the public, and stakeholders. A Public Involvement Plan was submitted and approved by SRTC.
Information will be continually available to inform and educate the public, elected officials, and local agencies of the status of the RDP. The newsletters were mailed to affected residents within the corridor, elected officials, media outlets, local agencies, and parties with interest in the project; flyers and handouts announced the open houses; press releases announced the open houses; information packets were at the open houses, and a website provided current information on the RDP.
An open house was held in November 2002, and April 2003 in Cheney. Previous to the first open house approximately 14,000 surveys were mailed out to citizens around the vicinity, including 4,000 that were placed in the EWU newspaper. Drop boxes were placed at local area buildings (Pathways to Progress, City Hall, County Library, Wren Pierson CC, EWU’s library, EWU’s PUB). Local citizens identified problems, issues and concerns along this segment of SR 904 at the initial open house verbally, on comment sheets, and/or through the website. A few of the most common suggestions voiced at this open house was to have additional lanes and left turn lanes at specific intersections. Better street lighting was also a common concern. At the second open house on April 9th comparisons between a 4 lane divided and a 5 lane undivided roadway were displayed. The majority of input was positive for the 5 lane undivided roadway. A few concerns were brought to our attention; 1) people driving faster since there will be more lanes, 2) signal at Medical Lake/Four Lakes Road intersection, and 3) left turns off of minor streets. Both of the open houses were well attended.
Stakeholder input was obtained from representatives of WSDOT, the Traffic Safety Commission, Spokane Regional Transportation Council, Spokane Transit Authority, City of Cheney, the local school district, Eastern Washington University, Spokane County, and the public.