Spokane Regional Health District Launches Walk Bike Bus Campaign

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For more information, contact Kim Papich, SRHD Public Information Officer (509) 324-1539 or kpapich@srhd.org

SPOKANE, Wash. – June 28, 2016 – To encourage more of Spokane to replace short car trips with walking, biking and/or use of the bus, Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) launched the Walk Bike Bus Spokane program. It’s free to designated neighborhoods, offering residents individual support to shift gears including:

  • information and products specific to walking, biking and busing
  • educational workshops and events
  • guidance from trained staff and volunteers to empower these transportation choices
  • various prizes and incentives specific to program sign-on and tracking miles-traveled throughout the program

After a successful pilot in Spokane’s South Perry neighborhood in summer 2015, efforts are now being implemented in the Garland District. Located on Spokane’s near north side, the Garland District revolves around a unique street with offerings ranging from ice cream, collectibles, art galleries, music and theater, making it an ideal destination to expand the health district’s mode-shift campaign. 

The program offers customized information to participants specific to the mode they want to take, whether that is walking, biking and/or busing. Once registered, participants who are ready to replace car trips meet with trained ambassadors to build the skills and familiarity needed to commute in an active way. The health district is also partnering with businesses in these neighborhoods to provide incentives for customers who shift modes—one of the many fun materials participants in the Garland District receive is a coupon pack for walking, biking or busing to local businesses. Businesses have an interest in promoting walking and biking as these customers are more likely to contribute to bottom lines.   

Other campaign activities in the neighborhood over the summer include a neighborhood destination bike ride, Aug. 6, 2016, participation in the Garland Street Fair, Aug. 13, 2016, neighborhood walking tours to promote a new and unique Garland multi-modal map, and an end-of-summer picnic to celebrate successes. 

Residents outside the Garland district can still benefit from the campaign by visiting Walk Bike Bus Spokane website for free resources to get walking, biking and busing, regardless of location. 

Said Walk Bike Bus Spokane Coordinator, Mariah McKay, “This program puts Spokane on-par with other great cities who operate mode-shift campaigns, including Portland and Minneapolis, empowering individuals to rediscover their communities without driving.” Continued McKay, “We want everyone who lives, works or runs a business in our community to know about all the options they have for getting around. By choosing to walk, bike and take transit, Spokanites improve health, save money, reduce traffic congestion, and help maintain a desirable environment.” 

Additional benefits to participants

  • Save money on gasoline, car maintenance and insurance
  • Meet daily physical activity needs
  • Reduce stress as walking and biking helps improves mood
  • Normalize healthy transportation habits to your family and friends
  • Reduce emissions and traffic congestion in your neighborhood
  • Win fun prizes for participation

Benefits to community

  • Improve air quality
  • Reduce traffic noise and congestion
  • Strengthen economy by supporting local businesses

Benefits to businesses

  • Grow business from walking and biking customers
  • Free up parking for customers from outside the neighborhood when locals walk, bike and bus
  • Increase productivity from employees who use active transportation
  • Elevate business district visibility and attract more customers with organized events

Said Garland Business District President and Integrity Insurance owner, Julie Shepard-Hall, “Garland is known for its walkability and our leadership and innovation in environmental sustainability. These same values are at the heart of Walk Bike Bus Spokane, so it was natural that we would welcome them with open arms.” 

The program is supported by Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC). The council’s participation illustrates the overall coordination and collaboration of the community behind this program. 

Said Kevin Wallace, SRTC Executive Director, “SRTC worked closely with local jurisdictions, agencies and elected officials to add to Spokane’s network of roads, paths, lanes, and sidewalks to provide safe places for you and your family to get around. We’re excited to support an effort like this, helping residents realize the benefits and convenience of walking, biking and using transit; particularly within their own neighborhoods.” 

The program is in partnership with Spokane County Commute Trip Reduction program, City of Spokane, Spokane Transit Authority (STA), Spokane Bicycle Club and The Lands Council. Funding is provided by the Washington State Department of Transportation (DOT). 

Concluded McKay, “We are very grateful for the robust partnerships that underlie this first-of-its kind effort in Spokane. They are the kind of relationships that will make this program the hallmark of a truly great and active city.” 

SRHD also recently received funding, again through DOT, for 2018 through 2020 to implement Walk Bike Bus in additional neighborhoods, as a partner with the City of Spokane and STA. Each effort will include successively larger audiences in order to scale the program to reach a greater number of residents. 

For more information about Walk Bike Bus Spokane, visit walkbikebusspokane.org or its dedicated Facebook page at facebook.com/walkbikebus. Information is also available on www.srhd.org. SRHD’s web site offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Become a fan of SRHD on Facebook to receive local safety and wellness tips. You can also follow us on Twitter @spokanehealth.