Moscow-Pullman Daily News op-ed

The money quote:

New St. Andrews’ downtown Moscow presence is a decided benefit to some businesses and a detriment to others. NSA has grown a great deal since its founding in 1994. Although the institution prizes its status as a small school, it’s obvious that NSA intends to continue growing. The bigger it becomes, the greater impact it will have on downtown Moscow, and the harder it will become for NSA to develop and move to a more integral, integrated campus.

Unless, of course, NSA converts downtown into its campus. No one at City Council or the Board of Adjustment contemplated this point. They simply rubberstamped the application without any thought:

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HIS VIEW

Moscow-Pullman Daily News op-ed, August 7, 2017Society still struggles with invention of automobiles

By Terence L. Day

The Moscow City Council would be well advised to take a long and thorough look into New Saint Andrews College’s continuing attempt to turn downtown Moscow into a college campus.

In a sense, I’m looking “over the fence” from a residence in Pullman but claim legitimacy as a customer and service consumer of Moscow businesses.

Additionally, I claim a tenuous, although legitimate, interest in Moscow through my grandfather who owned the Idaho Hotel in Moscow, 1912–1914. My memory of Grandpa also comes into play through the larger issue of the effect of automobiles on society.

In 1916, C.C. Day, then an Asotin farmer and businessman, and family mounted their horseless carriage (a Model T touring car) and sped off in a plume of dust to eastern Idaho investigating business and farming opportunities.

Later my father, Keith Day, owned a small truck line hauling fruit and vegetables between Washington cities and California’s Santa Clara Valley around 1930.

Grandpa’s 1916 trip likely involved no paved roads, and some of the highways my father drove to and from California on were still gravel.

And now my wife, Ruth, and I drive to Kennewick and Seattle and back in a day, for lunch, and are planning a 10,000-mile drive about the United States. So, you see, my interest in transportation issues comes quite naturally.

Moscovites and Pullmanites need no reminder that cities big and small that are fortunate enough to face growth issues are still struggling to cope with the invention of the horseless carriage. And, frankly, neither community is doing as well as it could and should.

For the moment, let’s confine the issue to parking and associated traffic issues in commercial districts.

New St. Andrews’ downtown Moscow presence is a decided benefit to some businesses and a detriment to others. NSA has grown a great deal since its founding in 1994. Although the institution prizes its status as a small school, it’s obvious that NSA intends to continue growing. The bigger it becomes, the greater impact it will have on downtown Moscow, and the harder it will become for NSA to develop and move to a more integral, integrated campus.

Now add the University of Idaho’s growth ambitions.

Pullman has its own parking problems, increasingly affected by Washington State University, which seems hell-bent on pushing cars off campus to park in areas neither designed for nor suitable for parking.

Handicapped-accessible parking is another issue inadequately addressed by either Moscow or Pullman authorities. I was sensitized to the problem in 1985 when Ruth’s aged mother moved into our home and needed handicapped access.

Now, at 79 years young, I have mobility issues and am increasingly aware of the need for community leaders to better serve its growing number of mobility challenged citizens and visitors.

Same goes for the UI and WSU which seem to have an antipathy for newfangled horseless carriages and are seemingly oblivious to the fact that a far greater percentage of students bring cars to campus than their fathers and grandfathers did in the good ol’ days.

Another example is the new Pullman High School where handicapped-accessible spaces on its north side are put at the west end of the parking lot while the entrance is on the east end of the building.

Development decisions understandably tend to focus on immediate needs and wants at the expense of consequences down the road. It is long past time for those who govern to look further into the future on decisions that future generations will have to live with.

Terence L. Day is a retired Washington State University faculty member. He and Ruth have lived in Pullman for 45 years. Day welcomes email at terence at moscow dot com.

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