The US Department of Transportation announced on January 20 it has awarded the Division Street corridor a $405,000 grant to further land use planning to increase access to housing and employment within reach of frequent, reliable transit. The grant, to be awarded under the Federal Transit Administration’s Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Planning, supports a collaborative effort, and will be administered by Spokane Transit to fund planning activities undertaken by the City of Spokane and Spokane County.
Regional transportation agencies are planning for future Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) along Division Street between downtown Spokane and the Mead area to provide frequent, reliable, and attractive public transportation service to better connect tens of thousands of jobs and households. The planned completion of the North Spokane Corridor prompted the current study, called DivisionConnects, to reimagine how the existing highway arterial could transform into a multimodal corridor with accessible transit, a mix of jobs and housing, and abundant access for all.
The federal grant will allow Spokane County and the City of Spokane to leverage efforts in DivisionConnects and develop a TOD Corridor Land Use and Infrastructure Plan centered around the future Division Street BRT route. The plan will be developed in partnership with residents, businesses, neighborhoods, and property owners. The planning effort lays the foundation for future development code changes to increase housing and business opportunities in the corridor.
“We are enhancing the Division Street corridor as a critical part of better meeting how our city lives, moves, and works,” said Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward. “This includes addressing attainable housing and transit equity considerations to support a healthy, active, and thriving future for our community.”
“In addition to transforming the Division Street corridor, this project will be a catalyst for development in areas of the unincorporated County designated for urban growth,” said Mary Kuney, Chair of the Spokane County Board of Commissioners.
“STA is partnering with the City and the County to position the Division Street corridor for greater inclusion, housing and transit equity as well as improved economic vitality,” said E. Susan Meyer, Spokane Transit CEO. “We are grateful to the Biden-Harris Administration and Congress for recognizing the critical relationship between these important community needs and a robust public transit network.”
STA is scheduled to begin preliminary engineering of the Division Street BRT project this spring and will be seeking to enter the federal funding pipeline for major transit projects, known as the Capital Investment Grant program, in 2023. Subject to funding, Division Street BRT is envisioned to be in service as early as 2027.