Background

Spokane Arts is a nonprofit organization that supports arts and culture in our region. We have partnered with the Spokane Transit Authority (STA) to engage in a master planning process related to the Central City Line (CCL), a bus-rapid transit route with electric buses that will run east-west from Browne's Addition to Spokane Community College beginning in 2021. The Central City Line (CCL) will include 30+ new bus stations, and Spokane Arts is seeking input from the community on how to add "identification" elements to each station to ensure every station feels welcoming, vibrant, and reflective of the identity and history of the communities it serves. 

What is "station identification"?
Station identification is what's added to a bus station to indicate the unique characteristics of that location. Often, station identification is used to reflect the cultural, ethnic, and historical richness of the many communities served by each station. 

A few examples of possible strategies include graphic designs on the station windscreen, flags to identify a particular neighborhood, graphic wraps on station amenities, artistic bike racks, poetry, artistic lighting, and more. 

Why is station identification necessary? 
Ensuring that each station feels safe, approachable, and part of the neighborhood is crucial to riders' experience. Identifying/artistic elements at transit facilities create a sense of community, enhance the beauty of the entire transit system, and help discourage vandalism and graffiti. 

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* 1. Which of the following best describes you?

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* 2. Which neighborhood along the CCL do you identify with most? (This will help us determine which group of stations your input applies to.)

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* 3. How would you describe the character of that neighborhood in five words or less?

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* 4. Within the neighborhood you've identified, what assets or landmarks are important to you? (Examples could include a museum or community center, a park or natural feature, a piece of public art, an important historical figure, etc.)

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* 5. What would you like to see the future CCL stations reflect about the identity, values or character of your neighborhood?

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* 6. In the neighborhood you've identified, what cultural groups and ethnic communities should be invited to provide input on station identification?

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* 7. Many neighborhoods along the Central City Line will have multiple stations within the neighborhood's boundaries. In your opinion, should each neighborhood's group of stations feature similar identification strategies, or should each station be treated individually? 

FOR EXAMPLE: 
Option 1: Four stations grouped in the same neighborhood could feature a design repeated at each location but vary the colors to differentiate stops. Option 2: Each station location could feature a unique design based on themes/ideas selected by the neighborhood.

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* 8. Because this project is primarily funded by a federal grant, the budget is limited. While every CCL station will feature identifying elements to ensure it feels welcoming, safe, and part of the neighborhood, we are seeking your input on how to allocate resources. In your opinion, would it be preferable to:

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* 9. Are there ways that identification or art can help address issues your neighborhood has prioritized? (For example, if your neighborhood has identified walkability as a priority, how could future art interventions at or near these stations help serve your neighborhood's goals)

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* 10. Do you have specific ideas or requests (related to station identification strategies) to make the CCL stations feel welcoming and activated?

Station Identification planning process: 
STA and Spokane Arts have gathered community stakeholders to form a steering committee who will develop a master plan for station identification, a kind of roadmap to follow to ensure that community members have a voice in what "their" stations will look like. The committee includes representatives from neighborhoods, universities, and business as well as city of Spokane Art Commissioners and STA staff.

Spokane Arts is conducting community engagement in a variety of ways: through neighborhood council meetings; open houses; through online survey and an informational website; and via postcards mailed to residents and property owners with information about how to submit their feedback either in person or online. A full schedule of opportunities to provide input and see examples of what might be considered for Spokane can be found on spokanearts.org or STA's Central City Line project site

Spokane Arts is also tasked with researching transit-specific identification strategies in other comparable markets and presenting that research to the planning committee, to help them determine the type, character, and budget of possible interventions.
Station Identification Planning Timeline: 
December 2018: Master planning committee formed, kick-off meeting held
January 2019: Research station identification strategies in other cities, schedule community engagement meetings
February 2019: Presented on station ID project & sought feedback at two neighborhood council meetings
March 2019: Presented on station ID project & sought feedback at three neighborhood council meetings
April 2019: Continue hosting community events and collating feedback; launch online survey
May 2019: Complete scheduled open houses/community events. Mail postcards. Promote online survey widely. Collate/summarize public input received to date. 
June 2019: Committee to review/finalize draft of master plan before recommending to CCL Steering Committee and STA Board of Directors


The master plan delivered to the STA Board of Directors in 2019 will offer recommendations about the number and type of interventions for each station or group of stations, so that budget can be allocated. The plan will not determine the exact designs that will appear at each stop. Those will be chosen later through open calls for artists to submit their qualifications, and artist selection will be handled by juries that include representatives from each neighborhood where stations are located. Spokane Arts' public art juries are typically comprised of residents, business owners, art commissioners, and other relevant stakeholders. 

After the recommendations of the Station Identification Master Plan have been adopted by Central City Line Steering Committee and STA Board of Directors in 2019, the station identification process will move to the next phase. Any future calls for artists will be publicized by Spokane Arts through its newsletter, social media, website, press releases, and other tools, and co-promoted by STA and the City of Spokane to ensure they reach the widest audience possible. It is likely there will be multiple calls for artists to submit their qualifications for different types of projects.  The timeline for the calls for artists is not yet determined.
Questions about the station identification planning process?
Contact Spokane Arts director Melissa Huggins.
Email: melissa@spokanearts.org
Phone: 509.321.6444
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